Don’t get me wrong I find Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments morally reprehensible, ignorant and totally and decidedly pre-modern but there is a silver lining. The fact is that the comments could not have come at a better time because while Republicans would rather focus on the pomp and pageantry of their convention, Mr. Akin’s vile words shed unwanted light on the ugly core of today’s Republican Party.
According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center more people are interested in finding out more about the GOP platform than are interested in Romney’s convention speech. Todd Akin’s spilling of the beans has made abortion the highest-profile issue on the plank. That is not a good thing for the Republicans but is a good thing for this country.
For the record, Mr. Akin did not mis-speak; what he did was articulate what has become mainstream Republican thought. This delusional thinking has even found it’s way on to the Republican platform, which calls for a Constitutional amendment repealing Roe v. Wade. In essence, they want to BAN abortions in all cases even incest, rape and to protect the life of the mother.
While Mitt Romney says he would make exceptions for rape and incest, his running mate, Paul Ryan, has been a staunch advocate of banning all abortions by any means necessary. In fact, he cosponsored a bill with Todd Akin that would have changed the definition of rape and would make federal abortion funds accessible only in the narrowest of circumstances. Part of this bill would have allowed for hospitals to refuse in providing abortions even in cases where a woman’s life depended on it.
Abortions, much like homosexuality, will not be stamped out because Republicans wish it so. The truth is that people will still have abortions whether it is legal or not. The problem is that women of means will still be able to have abortions that are for the most part safe if a bit secretive. Unfortunately, that is not the case for poor and working-class women. As Rebecca Rosen succinctly puts in her must-read missive for the Atlantic, Consider the Coat Hanger, “those with more power suffer less, and those with less suffer more.”
Do not get it mixed up; this is an all-out assault on the hard won rights of women that must be fought tooth and nail. As least now, the general public knows what is afoot and won’t, hopefully, be bamboozled. It is quite literally a matter of life and death.
Must Read: Consider the Coat Hanger
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