Congressman Todd Akin continues to dominate the news cycle following his comments on a St. Louis television program about rape and abortion. When asked about abortion exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape Akin said, “It seems to me first of all from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Here’s a quick roundup of reactions.
Over at Salon Joan Walsh wrote Akin a thank you note for exposing his party’s misogyny. Wrote Walsh, “Of course, the far right will keep trying to get its laws into our lady parts. The battle is far from over. But it’s clear Akin crossed a line, and once again reminded women how far right Republicans hone. ”
Walsh also appeared on MSNBC’s “NOW along with actress Gabrielle Union. They discussed the importance of women advocating for women’s rights, and the need for access to affordable women’s health care. Union, a rape survivor, said Akin’s comments told rape survivors, “Your experience is not valid.” Walsh added that Republicans, “Play on people’s fear about the independence of women.” You can watch the clip here.
President Obama held a press conference yesterday and said in response to Akin’s comments, “Rape is rape and the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we are talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me.”
Members of Akin’s own party condemed his comments too. Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown called on Akin to drop out of the Senate race saying, “There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking. Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin’s statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination for US Senate in Missouri.” Apparently Brown doesn’t mind that Akin is a member of Congress.
And Akin continued to speak, vowing to stay in the race. Yesterday, he said on Mike Huckabee’s radio show that he “made the statement in error” and “used the wrong words in the wrong way.” Akin told Huckabee, “Yeah I was talking about forcibe rape.” Of course, because he’s sorry for saying, “legitimate” rape, but he’s okay about classifying “forcible” rapes.
And today, Akin released a television ad repeating his claim he used the wrong words and asking for forgiveness. Watch the ad here.
However, as the President said at his press conference,”I think the underlying notion that we should be making decisions on behalf of women for their health care decisions or qualifying ‘forcible rape’ versus nonforcible rape — I think those are broader issues and that is a significant difference in approach between me and the other party.”