By now you’ve no doubt heard about the incredibly stupid comments made by Republican Rep. (and U.S. Senate candidate) Todd Akin of Missouri, who said during a television appearance that “legitimate rape” rarely produces pregnancy because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
In the aftermath of his incredibly insensitive and completely uninformed statements, Rep. Akin was forced to attempt to clarify his earlier statements, and during an appearance on Mike Huckabee’s radio show, Akin told Huckabee he meant to say “forcible rape” instead of “legitimate rape.” During that same appearance, Akin vowed to stay in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri, saying, “I’m not a quitter, and my belief is that we’re going to take this thing forward.”
What’s really important to keep in mind here is that although he may have used inflammatory and wildly inappropriate language to articulate his ideas, the underlying ideas espoused by Rep. Akin are not outside the mainstream of the Republican Party. In fact, Rep. Akin co-sponsored HR 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion” bill, along with none other than Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the vice presidential candidate hand-picked by Mitt Romney. The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion” bill co-sponsored by Reps. Akin and Ryan was a blatant attempt by House Republicans to attempt to redefine rape so that it only applied to “forcible” rape, meaning that all those “fake” rape victims would stop exploiting loopholes to get themselves abortions. After a considerable amount of backlash over their attempt to redefine rape, House Republicans pulled that part out of the bill for a time, only to try to sneak it back in once public outcry had died down.
So when it comes to redefining rape, Rep. Todd Akin and Rep. Paul Ryan are not only on the same side – they co-sponsored the bill!