Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) will go down in history as the man who foisted “legitimate rape” upon us. This bit of linguistic quackery tops “forcible rape,” another noxious and undefined notion that was in a bill sponsored by Akin — and presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan — last year. The language was changed, but the message was sent. Men will determine what rape is and will do everything they can to deny women the help and services they might need to deal with such a trauma.
After saying out loud what the entirety of the GOP wishes he hadn’t, Akin is resisting all pressure to get out of the race for the Senate with this crocodile tear of an ad.
Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize. As the father of two daughters, I want tough justice for predators. I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault. I pray for them. The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is, rape has many victims. The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness.
Yes, rape IS an evil act. But what on earth are the right words he could have said in the right way that would explain his extreme position that access to an abortion should be denied even to a victim of rape? And Akin’s prayers won’t be enough to heal the physical and emotional wounds suffered by them.
That Akin says “rape can lead to pregnancy” means nothing. He said as much in the Sunday interview just before he uttered the infamous “legitimate rape” nonsense. “[T]hat’s really rare,” Akin said about the chances of a woman becoming pregnant as a result of sexual assault. After saying that “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” he goes on to say, “But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something....”
As for “The truth is, rape has many victims,” this is a nod to Akin’s support of a “personhood” that would grant constitutional protections to fertilized eggs, thus making abortion illegal in all instances. The presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee is in favor of this legislation, too.
The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold.
Supporting the kind of bills that could add to the victim’s torment shows me that Akin doesn’t have a heart at all. And the same will hold true for Missouri voters if they show their forgiveness by sending him to the Senate — assuming he stays in the race.