In 2007, Romney Touted Endorsement of Doctor Who Pushed “Legitimate Rape” Junk Science

Yesterday, Todd Akin talked about “legitimate rape,” and did some mansplainin’ on how women who are “legitimately raped” really wouldn’t need abortions in any case because their magical lady powers prevent them from getting pregnant in case of real assault. Anyone else is just lyin’ about how they got pregnant.

This lesson in faniciful reproductive biology finds it basis in a long line of witch doctors willing to make things up out of thin air in their quest to control women’s bodies. One such “doctor” is John Willke. It turns out that Mitt Romney is tied to Dr. Willke through a campaign umbilical cord.

Mitt Romney himself welcomed and touted the endorsement of Dr. John Willke in 2007.

According to a 2007 campaign press release:

Today, Dr. John Willke, a founder of the Pro Life Movement, endorsed Governor Mitt Romney and his campaign for our nation’s highest office. Dr. Willke is a leading voice within the pro-life community and will be an important surrogate for Governor Romney’s pro-life and pro-family agenda.

“Unlike other candidates who only speak to the importance of confronting the major social issues of the day, Governor Romney has a record of action in defending life. Every decision he made as Governor was on the side of life. I know he will be the strong pro-life President we need in the White House,” said Dr. Willke. “Governor Romney is the only candidate who can lead our pro-life and pro-family conservative movement to victory in 2008.”

Welcoming Dr. Willke’s announcement, Governor Romney said, “I am proud to have the support of a man who has meant so much to the pro-life movement in our country. He knows how important it is to have someone in Washington who will actively promote pro-life policies. Policies that include more than appointing judges who will follow the law but also opposing taxpayer funded abortion and partial birth abortion. I look forward to working with Dr. Willke and welcome him to Romney for President.”

So its also doubly odd that today, Mitt Romney released a statement saying:

“Gov. Romney and Congressman (Paul) Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape,” Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said.

Cuz you see, not only was Romney lovin’ on Dr. Willke in 2007, both Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan support legislation that would ban abortions without exception, as well as many forms of contraception and other medical interventions.

Hmmm… is there some secret right-wing male secretion that foils clear thinking and honesty?

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  • pamelack

    Sorry, this is really a stretch. I knew it would be a matter of seconds before Democrats would be trying to connect this nutjob Akin with Romney. Romney does not share this guys views….in fact it’s safe to say that 99.99 percent of republicans don’t believe in Legitimate rape!

    This really sickens me. 

  • epw

    OK but Voodoo is a real, living religion and the reason it acquired the “patently false and ridiculous” definition is because of racist colonialists who thought other people’s religions were primitive and scary compared to the “obviously superior” Christianity. I guess it’s one thing if you think all religions are equally ridiculous, but the West has such a bad track record with Voodoo and the people who practice it and even now most of what Americans “know” about Voodoo is false so I’m not convinced you can use it that way without invoking that racist history.

  • colleen

    ….in fact it’s safe to say that 99.99 percent of republicans don’t believe in Legitimate rape!


    In January of 2011 Paul Ryan, Todd Akin and 255 other Republicans co-sponsored a bill that redefined rape and tried to limit abortion coverage to cases of forcible rape. If 99.9% of Republicans don’t believe in legitimate rape than why have they been electing people who disagree with them so consistently and loudly. Stop lying.

  • crowepps

    The phrase “legitimate rape” was a misstatement and most people have never heard of it.

    What 99.99 percent of Republicans believe is that there are rare cases of real “forcible rape”, which involves bruises, broken bones or missing teeth, and which doesn’t result in pregnancy because of “psychic trauma”,  and then there are tons and tons of false rape accusations made by promiscuous sluts who are willing to ruin innocent men’s lives in order to selfishly get abortions.  The stink of misogyny is overwhelming.

  • ack

    There seems to be a media black hole on this issue. The SAME people who are calling for him to step down supported the sentiment he espoused; that there’s “real” rape, which means they think there’s a huge number of women who were “not REALLY raped” but just THOUGHT they were.


    This is about political strategy. They need the seat, so they’re scapegoating his remarks as a reason to push him to the side. If he steps down, the Republican Party in Missouri gets to choose his replacement.


    That’s right. The party gets to choose ANYONE. That person didn’t even have to run in the primary.

  • ack

    I totally agree with you. Personally, I think religions based on a god or gods are equally ridiculous, but as a result, I also have a problem with branding one as more ridiculous than another. (I also really don’t care what anyone else believes, as long as they’re not legislating their religious beliefs or trying to convert me.) I think you make a good point about colonization and marginalization perpetrated by white Europeans, and I’m sure you’d agree it goes far beyond voodoo. I’ve been reading Jodi’s pieces for a very long time, and I’m sure that wasn’t her intent. But pointing out how ingrained racism and colonialism is in our society is an act I’ll always support. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-thought language because someone informed me of a history I wasn’t considering, or I looked something up and thought, “Huh. I really shouldn’t say that. It doesn’t align with my values.”


    This is completely off the OP topic, but I’ve always found the conflict between Mormons and mainstream Christians interesting. Both books make similar claims about prophets, pilgrimage, and finding the Word of God on tablets, but mainstream Christians snicker, essentially because Mormonism isn’t 2000 years old.

  • msobelmarcsobelcom

    “Hmmm… is there some secret right-wing male secretion that foils clear thinking and honesty?” 

    Seems to be related to Sperm, which as we know is helpless against a virtuous uterus. 

    From an evolutionary point of view, this would make sluttishness a advantageous adaptation.

    Luckily, we know that it didn’t evolve but was intelligently designed. 

    Ergo. God Loves Sluts.

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