Keep Akin in the race!

Everyone has heard about Akin’s comments about “legitimate rape” and the push now coming from the GOP to get him out of the race. But is this really fair or ideal? The problem with removing Akin from the race over this is that his gaffe was not just one exposing his scientific ignorance, but because it was a Kinsley gaffe. That is, it’s a gaffe because it unintentionally revealed the truth.

I’m not saying that his medieval medical hypothesis has any scientific validity, he is after all just parroting pro-life misinformation spread to attack scientific data about the frequency of pregnancy after rape. The Kinsley gaffe in this case is that he revealed the truth about what he, and other pro-life politicians who support no-exception abortion bans, believe.

Why should we punish this truth-telling with removal of Akin from the race? All that will happen is that the GOP will replace Akin with another pro-life fanatic who is simply better at hiding what he actually believes about women, reproduction, sexual assault, and their autonomy over their own bodies.

I’m thankful for Akin’s honesty, because he has dropped the facade that the radical right cares about women, respects their autonomy, understands sexual assault or has any place in this century. He has pulled back the curtain and shown what they really believe. Other examples of this attitude abound, from the abusive ultrasound bills, to this comment from Idaho Republican Chuck Winder in March wondering if women even know what rape is, to American Vision’s comparison of the blowback against Akin as “like gang-rape”. He has only further exposed the misogyny of the pro-life movement and brought some of their more despicable lies front and center for all to see. We should be thanking him for his honesty.

Comments

  1. #1 Kevin Bonham
    August 22, 2012

    Which is precisely why it’s Republicans that are the ones calling for him to leave the race – it reveals too much about just how far to the right they’ve swung. It’s right there in the party platform, and it has been for years, but now people are paying attention.

  2. #2 Narad
    August 22, 2012

    Yes, do keep him in the race. I hope he wins just to piss off all the people who support killing babies.

    As for his comments on “legitimate rape” what exactly is his crime? There are a number of of evil bitches out there that would have have sex with a man, then scream rape to get a paycheck out of it and then kill the baby. Yeah. it happens. Sometimes when rape is screamed, it may or ma not have occurred. yet, the judge and the jury always sides with the woman no matter what.

    Consensual sex is NOT rape.

    Oh and one more thing. if stupid liberals were not so easy on rapists, there would be fewer of them. Instant death penalty by hanging is a perfect solution to a rapist. Then if the woman becomes pregnant (on less than 5 % do), she could have the child and give it up for adoption and the state could seize all of the rapists’ belongings as repayment to the victim.

    Of course knowing democrats they would probbaly try to tax the belongings recieved.

    Akin has committed no crime. Abortion in itself is a crime. The murder of a baby is a crime. The sorry sluts who do sleep around and get pregnant and choose to kill their baby out of conveneince may not havw to answer for it right now, but one day they will stand before God and they will answer for it then. So, sooner or later punishment is coming. They will not get away with murder in the name of convenience.

    As for the rapist himself, he will answer for his sins as well. Hope he brings a fireproof suit to the hanging. Hell awaits when the trap door opens.
    We have to start getting rid of criminals if we want to return society to a useful place to dwell in. Right now it is out of control becuase no one fears the consequences of their actions. Put the fear back into them and drop the crime rate.

    Say it doesn’t work? Ask Iran their about their drug problems compared with ours. Here if someone sell cocaine on the streets they get sentenced to 10 years, serve three, and get set loose. In Iran they get shot before a firing squad and their house burned down. Which place has more cocaine dealers? AJust saying a little more punishment for crimes goes a long way in preventing more.

  3. #3 Aurora
    August 23, 2012

    Good grief. It’s always frustrating when the pro-choice left attacks pro-life believers personally instead of addressing the arguments.
    Yes, what Akin said was both stupid and poorly said. I’m amazed that someone could be so uninformed about how a woman’s body works. His comment about legitimate rape was in poor taste–but to his credit, he later apologized, emphasizing that no rape is legitimate.
    But he had good intentions. The message against abortion in the case of rape is not misogynistic, nor does it reflect a lack of care or respect for women. Rape is a terrible, tragic violation of a woman’s body, often accompanied by physical violence. But you can’t heal one violent act with another one. Abortion takes someone who has suffered a terrible violation and does more violence to her, violating her a second time.
    Additionally, it punishes her innocent child for the crimes of the father. The death penalty was ruled cruel and unusual punishment for rapists–why then is it acceptable for the innocent child created by the father’s crime?
    What Akin said is true–pregnancy following a rape is rare. If only 5% of cancer victims died from cancer, doctors would be over the moon. Of all abortions performed in this country, rape, incest, and the health of the mother combined account for less than 1%. Yes, around 32,000 women are raped and become pregnant each year. But over 1.4 million are aborted each year.
    Even one woman raped is too many. But aborting her child will not heal the wounds of her rape, nor will it stop men from continuing to treat women this way.
    Not to mention that saying abortion is okay in the case of rape completely dehumanizes every person born as the result of rape. Something like half of all women who are raped and become pregnant choose to carry their child to term. Do those people who were conceived by rape not deserve to live? Were the crimes of their father so terrible, that they should have died instead of being born?
    Those in the pro-life movement believe that all human beings have a right to life. Every single one, from conception to natural death. You do not have to believe that, but don’t attack us as mysogynists and women-haters. Disagree with our beliefs. Show us why some humans deserve to be called persons and given the right to live, while others are consigned to death.

    I will say that while I disagree with all of your reasons, I agree with your premise. Akin shouldn’t step aside for one night’s comments which he later apologized for. Politicians say stupid things all the time–it’s difficult to be perfectly articulate 100% of the time. His comments have ignited worthy debates, and he is after all entitled to free speech.

  4. #4 LindaCO
    August 23, 2012

    Yes! Well said. I wondered why a bigger deal hasn’t been made of the hypocrisy of the GOP attacking Akin for stuff they officially endorse.

  5. #5 Kevin Bonham
    August 23, 2012

    @ Aurora – I don’t think that a bundle of cells with 46 chromosomes is a person, but let’s let that argument go for a sec. Imagine that I’m walking down the street, get mugged, and am knocked unconscious. When I come to, I find myself in a hospital bed, surgically attached to a man I’ve never met, and told by doctors that if they disconnect me from him, he will die. I only need to stay attached to him for a year, but in the mean time, I have to feed him and carry him around. If I wait that long, there are medical complications that might come up, and the surgery to remove him is painful and carries significant risk.

    Should the government require that I stay attached to him? I mean, I might be a hero if I chose to save this man’s life despite significant inconvenience and even risk to myself, but should the government be allowed to dictate my medical decisions?

  6. #6 Ruth
    Wildwood, MO
    August 23, 2012

    Akin is my rep. He wants to repeal the 17th ammendment having senators elected rather than appointed, so his cries about being picked on by party bosses rings hollow. His family home schooled, and he has helped prevent Missouri from requiring testing for all students, (I looked into home schooling my autistic child when the district we lived in was not following her IEP, so I think home schooling can be a good option. In Missouri, it has become a means to indoctrinate kids in narrow fundamentalism.)

    I am more worried that some Republicans will not allow abortion even to save the life of the mother.

    “The sleep of reason breeds monsters.”

  7. #7 Penny
    August 24, 2012

    Narad, why do you feel that the law should judge the rape victim in this world and have the rapist judged by God in the next world?

    You believe that the rape victim is doing a wrong in your scenario and you see fit to have her judged by man instead of God. You’ll forgive me when I say that seems an arrogant perch to be on.

  8. #8 Mark
    August 24, 2012

    The sorry sluts who do sleep around and get pregnant and choose to kill their baby out of conveneince may not havw to answer for it right now, but one day they will stand before God and they will answer for it then. So, sooner or later punishment is coming. They will not get away with murder in the name of convenience.

    And

    Say it doesn’t work? Ask Iran their about their drug problems compared with ours. Here if someone sell cocaine on the streets they get sentenced to 10 years, serve three, and get set loose. In Iran they get shot before a firing squad and their house burned down. Which place has more cocaine dealers?

    Wow, a misogynistic pig who dreams of a day when our country is more like Iran-a brutal oppressive theocracy run by mullahs that systematically abuses civil rights and the female sex. Sounds like a perfect fit. Why don’t you do us a favor and move there now?

  9. #9 Mark
    August 24, 2012

    Not to mention that saying abortion is okay in the case of rape completely dehumanizes every person born as the result of rape. Something like half of all women who are raped and become pregnant choose to carry their child to term. Do those people who were conceived by rape not deserve to live? Were the crimes of their father so terrible, that they should have died instead of being born?

    And fully half do not make the choice to carry. You’re constructing a straw man that I call for the abortion of all fetuses conceived by rape. I am not. I merely support the right of a woman to chose whether or not to continue such a pregnancy.

    Those in the pro-life movement believe that all human beings have a right to life. Every single one, from conception to natural death. You do not have to believe that, but don’t attack us as mysogynists and women-haters.

    See Narad above.

    Disagree with our beliefs. Show us why some humans deserve to be called persons and given the right to live, while others are consigned to death.

    We have done this multiple times and in multiple ways, however, pro-life advocates insist on a religious definition of personhood or life beginning at conception which makes no biological sense, and is rejected by those of us who have beliefs or conscience which takes us in a different direction. Accept there are those of us that understand that life does not begin. It is continuous. Sperm are alive, eggs are alive. The combination of the two is alive. There is no stage at which “life” does not apply from parent to offspring. The relevant question for us isn’t a false beginning of life but concepts of personhood that are frankly more advanced. We believe key components of personhood include things like agency, cognition, and a functioning forebrain. Hence, some previous persons – such as organ donors – who are now brain dead, are no longer considered living. Life to us is more than a pulse.

    Personhood, as defined by pro-lifers is simplistic, uninformed scientifically, and fundamentally inconsistent with established concepts in ethics and medicine of preserving the life and health of the mother first. It is inconsistent with organ donation. It is inconsistent with concepts of brain death. And that’s fine, if you don’t want abortions, or donated organs, or to be taken off a ventilator after a massive stroke, bully for you. But don’t tell me that your definition of a person is the only one, or the right one, or should be applied to everybody.

  10. #10 Narad
    August 24, 2012

    I would like to note that the poster using the pseudonym “Narad,” a peculiar choice to say the least, is not me, which is to say, a farily regular commenter on RI and occasional one on other SciBlogs, and I have the static IP address and email key to prove it.

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