Many of the people and organizations rushing to support Rep. Todd Akin are not doing so by saying “He just misspoke, he obviously doesn’t hold those atrocious and ignorant opinions, it was a mistake, he was quoted out of context.” I don’t think that anyone can even honestly say that about him and his opinions at this point. No, they are supporting the original, medieval-era concepts of rape, pregnancy and abortion that he ignorantly spewed, and their main complaint is that he is being criticized for holding them.
You have to remember these ill-informed, harmful opinions every time a new bill is introduced that defines “personhood” as beginning at conception, every time a new law is passed requiring a new restriction on choice (medically unnecessary trans-vaginal ultrasound, anyone?), any time there are attempts to redefine “rape” or “pregnancy”. The majority of GOP Presidential candidates this season don’t even believe in allowing abortion in the case of rape and incest; the GOP VP candidate co-sponsored a bill with Todd Akin to differentiate “forcible rape” from “non-forcible rape” when banning abortion funding.
There are valid, considered, intelligent, nuanced and reasonable arguments to debate the pros and cons of abortion: but these are not the arguments or reasoning behing these bills proposed by this group of people. Akin’s comments boil down to “if she got pregnant, then she’s lying about being raped, therefore she can’t have an abortion”. That’s the ignorance behind his proposed bills.
Ignorant opinions have no place in law, and ignorant politicians have no place in politics.