Regarding the Aug. 21 editorial “Rape means rape”:

Why the staged outrage from the Republican left and The Post’s astonishment? Mr. Akin’s policy prescription — no abortion under essentially any circumstance — is well within the Republican Party mainstream and is consistent with the expressed views of GOP running mate Paul Ryan.

As long as the public policy Mr. Akin advocates is Republican orthodoxy, why does it matter what twisted beliefs (or failures to attend ninth-grade biology class) might have engendered it? Would the prospective public policy result be different if Mr. Akin were to have asserted a “deeply held religious belief”?

Tim Andrews, Fairfax

Todd Akin is ignorant not only about science but about history as well. He was quoted in the Aug. 23 front-page article “Small legacy, loyal allies” as saying that abortion is “the blackest page yet in American history.” Well, he was right about the color associated with the greatest shame in American history, but he was wrong about the subject. Our greatest shame is, and probably always will be, the government-sanctioned enslavement of men, women and children of color and the ongoing legacy of racism and oppression.

Anne Kimber, Washington