Akin’s comments about “legitimate rape” went against science and reality, but that’s par for the course when it comes to an anti-choice movement that ignores the lives and feelings of women in order to paint them as reproductive objects who deserve no say in how they’re used.
When public officials make statements that are scientifically inaccurate, it plants a bad seed.
The GOP platform committee did not amend language from the 2004 and 2008 GOP platforms, which “assert the sanctity of human life,” and provide no exceptions to abortion in any case whatsoever. The committee add language opposing drugs such as mifepristone, but members agreed that this platform amendment did not apply to EC.
What we need to constantly keep in mind is how we are deciding who is most in need of help, and reevaluating how that fits in with our values. Are we ok with only helping certain kinds of people who need abortions? Can we strategize for a future in which we don’t have to make these tough decisions? How can we get there?
The real question that needs to be addressed is not whether rape can cause pregnancy. The question is: will measures that ban women who have been impregnated by rape from having abortions be enacted, enabling rapists, with state support, even greater power to deprive women of their dignity and personhood?
Thanks to the Akin outburst, the extremist positions taken by anti-choice politicians are now finally becoming more visible to a larger public.
Akin’s statement and the GOP’s anti-choice positions aren’t just an election year “war on women” narrative. They are part of a reactionary, fundamentalist backlash to modernity. It’s a war on science. It’s a war on facts. It’s a war on critical thinking. But, really, consider it a war on democracy.
A woman with a pregnancy as the result of rape is facing one of the most difficult and confusing situations imaginable. Indeed, the larger problem remains, which is that Rep. Akin and his conservative allies in Congress and state legislatures stand by their desire to limit the health care options a pregnant woman has available to her.