As Rape Victims Step Forward and Akin Stays in Race, More Republicans Make Insane Remarks on Rape and Pregnancy
Todd Akin is staying in the race for Missouri Senate, and the controversy over his remarks is swirling harder than your local Frozen Yogurt shop on a hot Saturday night.
This morning my colleague Lauren Kelley and I published a piece about 8 crazy things the GOP has said about pregnancy, rape and abortion that begin before and go beyond Todd Akin-gate--but if we could add to the list, it would keep expanding by the minute.
Yes today, the crazy has continued--but so has something beautiful. Women are stepping forward to speak about their experience with rape, some keeping their pregnancies, some choosing not to. As always with these issues of reproductive choice, such personal tales are a strong rejoinder to myth and madness.
But first, let's recount the myth and madness.
Ultraconservative Rep. Steve King has this to say:
King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.
“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”
A Democratic source flagged King’s praise of Akin in the KMEG interview to TPM. But potentially more controversial for King is his suggestion that pregnancies from statutory rape or incest don’t exist or happen rarely. A 1996 review by the Guttmacher Institute found “at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.”
Science. It's a thing, Rep. King. And then there was Sharon Barnes, a member of Missouri's GOP Central Committee, who stood by her man Akin:
Ms. Barnes echoed Mr. Akin’s statement that very few rapes resulted in pregnancy, adding that “at that point, if God has chosen to bless this person with a life, you don’t kill it.”
“That’s more what I believe he was trying to state,” she said. “He just phrased it badly.”
I wish Mr. King and Ms. Barnes could read some of what's being written out there.
There are several open letters to Rep. Akin, including Eve Ensler's moving piece about working with pregnant rape victims, and this letter at XoJane from a woman who decided to carry her rapists's baby and discovered that the legal system might give him paternity rights. There's the new Facebook page "legitimate survivors" and stories everywhere of women who are being done a real disservice by these heinous myths.