If you think that Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin’s comments about their being “legitimate” rape, and that womens’ bodies have some sort of magical powers to prevent themselves from getting pregnant when raped, were just some sort of wild aberrations, exclusive to him but having nothing to do with others in the Republican Party, well think again. In fact, it turns out that presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan (pictured at righ with Todd Akin), has worked with Akin (and numerous Virginia Republicans) for years on measures restricting a woman’s right to make her own reproductive decisions. In addition, the Republican Party’s 2012 platform – the one that Romney and Ryan will be running on – is about as hostile to women’s reproductive freedom and women’s reproductive health as it can possibly be. You want details? Well, you’ve come to the right place, cuz boy do I have details!
1. Romney and Ryan have both supported banning abortion in all instances and Ryan even tried to narrow the definition of rape (“to cases of ‘forcible rape’ and, for incest, cases involving minors”).
1a. More on #1 here.
2. Mitt Romney touted the endorsement of Dr. Jack C. Willke in 2007 – the same doctor behind Akin’s original claim that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate” rape.
3. Ryan and Akin wrote a letter asking Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to withdraw from all future cases having to do with abortion because of her affiliation with the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.
4. Ryan and Akin cosponsored legislation called the “Sanctity of Human Life Act,” defining life as beginning at conception, thus effectively outlawing abortion (including in cases of rape and incest), as well as embryonic stem cell research and many types of contraception.
5. Ryan and Akin cosponsored legislation to amend title X of the Public Health Service Act to “prohibit family planning grants from being awarded to any entity that performs abortions.”
6. Akin praised Ryan’s selection as Romney’s running mate as “a fantastic choice.”
7. The 2012 Republican Party platform “is once again set to enshrine into its official platform support for ‘a human life amendment’ to the Constitution that would outlaw abortion without making explicit exemptions for rape or incest, according to draft language of the platform obtained exclusively by CNN late Monday.” The question, of course, is whether Romney and Ryan will demand that their party’s platform explicitly include exceptions for rape and incest, or will they go merrily along with the Republican War on Women, as enshrined in their party’s official platform? This should be fascinating.
Meanwhile, although Romney and Ryan have said they find Todd Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape” to be objectionable, what they have NOT said is that they find his entire worldview when it comes to women’s reproductive freedom to be objectionable, or in fact that they disagree with it in any way. Again, though, given that Paul Ryan cosponsored numerous, draconian – not to mention extreme! – pieces of legislation with Akin on this issue, it’s going to be pretty hard, barring outright lies (but they would NEVER do THAT, right? heh), to put any serious daylight between Akin and them on this issue. Meanwhile, the Republican Party continues to wage a relentless war on women’s health and reproductive freedom, while pretending they’re not doing so (and, in fact, expressing outrage – OUTRAGE I tell you! – that anyone would even suggest such a thing; can we say “doth protest too much?”).