Todd Akin announced Wednesday that he would not be attending next week's Republican National Convention. Apparently, RNC chairman Reince Priebus could not find a suitable speaking slot for the Missouri Republican US Senate nominee after Mitt Romney asked Akin to quit the race.
But Akin will remain a powerful "presence" at the convention, which on Monday will endorse a platform that fully embraces the congressman's stances on abortion rights and a broad array of social issues.
The platform, which has been firmed up this week, renews the party's call for amending the US Constitution with a "Human Life Amendment" that seeks to outlaw abortion. It also includes a "salute" to states that have sought, even in the absence of an amendment, to complicate access to medical procedures that the Supreme Court has determined are safe, legal and legitimate -- including requirements that women undergo invasive ultrasound procedures and accept anti-abortion "counseling."
Notably, despite the controversy over Akin's "legitimate rape" remarks, the formal position statement of the Republican Party mentions no exceptions to the bar on access to a safe and legal medical procedure, even for victims of rape and incest.
This should come as no surprise. One of Akin's most enthusiastic allies -- and an unapologetic defender of the congressman even now -- has played a a guiding role in the drafting of the platform.