Romney Offended by the Guy Who Came Out and Said It

POLS UPDATE: FOX 31’s Eli Stokols drives home the local angle:

Congressman Paul Ryan sponsored House Resolution 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act”, which, for a time, included Akin-like language limiting the definition of rape and incest in certain cases as it relates to whether a woman could get an abortion with federal Medicaid funding.

Ryan wasn’t alone.

Three of four Colorado Republicans in Congress also added their names to H.R. 3 as co-sponsors: Congressman Cory Gardner of Yuma, Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs and Congressman Mike Coffman of Aurora. [Pols emphasis]

Under H.R. 3, Republicans had proposed that the rape exemption be limited to “forcible rape,” effectively ruling out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible…


Mitt Romney is distancing himself from the “legitimate rape” remarks by Missouri candidate for the US Senate, Todd Akin (R-MO).

“Congressman’s Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable and, frankly, wrong,” Romney said. “Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.”


Oddly enough, Mitt Romney remains somehow unoffended by his running mate, who worked with Akin to introduce the term “forcible rape” to the legislative lexicon last year.

Federal law prevents federal Medicaid funds and similar programs from paying for abortions. Yet the law also contains an exception for women who are raped. The bill Akin and Ryan cosponsored would have narrowed this exception, providing that only pregnancies arising from “forcible rape” may be terminated. Because the primary target of Akin and Ryan’s effort are Medicaid recipients – patients who are unlikely to be able to afford an abortion absent Medicaid funding – the likely impact of this bill would have been forcing many rape survivors to carry their rapist’s baby to term.


Just like on race, poverty, labor, and immigration, the GOP nominee’s policy on women’s rights goes something like this: Act on the basis of your most regressive beliefs, but if any of you idiots slip up and talk about those beliefs, we’ll skewer the guy who said it. But if you can shut up and legislate, you’re on the presidential ticket.

Let’s get one thing straight, here: There is not ONE piece of legislation regarding rape that Akin would push as a Senator which Ryan would not cheerfully support as Vice President. Ryan believes that abortion should only be legal in cases where it is the only way to save the mother’s life. So what’s “inexcusable” about Akin?

Well, that he said it without coating it in sugary language about the rights of the fetus. His words were inexcusable–not his proposed treatment of women, which is exactly the same as Romney’s and his running mate’s.

Here’s something to give you the shivers:

Many United States rape statutes formerly precluded the prosecution of spouses, including estranged or even legally separated couples. In 1975, South Dakota removed this exception. In 1993, North Carolina became the last state to remove the spousal exemption. However, as of 1999, 33 of 50 U.S. states regarded spousal rape as a lesser crime. The perpetrator may be charged with related crimes such as assault, battery, or spousal abuse. There are other criminal charges that may be inapplicable to married couples. For example, in the U.S., there is a marriage exemption to the charge of statutory rape even if one of the spouses is under the age of consent in the jurisdiction where the sexual act takes place.


Let’s talk about those “legitimate” rapes. What could be harder to prove as a “legitimate rape” than spousal rape, which isn’t even legally defined as  “as bad” as other rapes in some US states? Even if anti-abortion laws contain rape exceptions, what do you think the chances are that a woman could prove in a court of law that her lawfully wedded husband impregnated her when he raped her, not on some other occasion when they had consensual sex? And do so before reaching the point of viability outside the womb, when she couldn’t abort anyway?

Mitt Romney isn’t offended that Akin would take women back to a day not so long ago–circa 1993, in fact–when all a husband had to do to win the “Should we have kids now?” argument with a reluctant wife was rape her while she was ovulating.

He’s just offended that Akin gave the game away before Romney and Ryan were in office to actually do it.


About ProgressiveCowgirl

Colorado native, young professional, progressive cowgirl. 4-term FPE (aka masochist).

22 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Lurker19 says:

    whose sperm are swimming upward.  This from a bunch of less than gifted idiots who throw a conniption fit at the word vagina.

    On a good note, a friend who is a lifelong Repub (female, of course) has decided that the R folks have gone too far in trying to roll back contraception to the fifties.  She’s voting for Obama.

  2. BlueCat says:

    the Dem fund raising off this is non-stop.  Seems like every other e-mail I get is about this and asks for contributions and sometimes petition signings.

    At the same time, Rs are asking Akin to withdraw and the Republican Senate campaign committee folks (NRSC? Not sure about the letters) have said they won’t give Akin funds.  Believe I saw something about five million being withdrawn from state.

    Still, As of just about an hour ago Akins has refused to withdraw:

    ST. LOUIS – Missouri Rep. Todd Akin apologized Monday for his televised comments that women’s bodies are able to prevent pregnancies if they are victims of “a legitimate rape,” but he refused to heed calls to abandon his bid for the Senate.

    He’ll get funding from the far right but the party will be forced to keep talking about this. Candidates in closer races will be forced to say they denounce his extreme views. Makes Joe Biden’s gaffes and the ensuing damage look pretty minor by comparison. Is Rush already saying obnoxious things that will keep this in the news?  


  3. When did Akin ask to look at his tax returns . . .?

  4. ClubTwitty says:

    Even Deatheater Karl Rove is running from this guy……  

  5. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    Why would I defend this reprehensible comment? What Rep. Akin said has no basis in medical science. This is not the view of Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan or anyone else. Akin is a crackpot and he must withdraw from the Missouri Senate race immediately.

    We can have debates about the issues, but what Akin said was beyond the pale. Paul Ryan is the first to agree.

    • caroman says:

      The “debate about the issues” was already conducted in the MO GOoP primary and Akin won (handily, I think).

      The guy isn’t accused of a felony. He just said something stupid which should not come as a surprise given his positions on this and other matters.  

      So, you want to overturn a valid election? Coupled with the GOoP efforts to disenfranchise and/or make it more difficult to vote, I must say you are one scary dude.  Why do you hate American democracy?

      The voters have spoken!  Deal with it.

      • ClubTwitty says:

        Just because your party is so whacked it selects Jared Wright–a less-than-30-something that has already run up over $74k in consumer debt for a large house, three cars, $7,000 in jewelry; and who lied while siphoning off taxpayer funds as a pubic employee–doesn’t mean you can just ask him to quit now.  Sorry, your party chose him, just as it did Dan ‘mileage check’ Maes.  

    • Old Time Dem says:

      Akin spouted a supposed medical rationale that made it clear that heis a blithering idiot.

      Ryan, as shown by his “forcible rape” bill, holds the same policy goal.  He has never explained why he thinks policy needs to distinguish between forcible and other kinds of rapes.

      So why does Ryan think there is a difference?

    • 3:00 pm . . . “throw this lame idjut to the wolves (we got a whole flock of idjuts you people need to be protecting.)”

    • Ryan and Akin were close buddies in the anti-abortion legislation game.  And H.R. 3 directly addressed Akin’s statement – it redefined “rape” as “forcible rape”.  Which, if you follow Rep. Akin’s further remarks in an attempt to unbury himself from the pile-on, is what he meant by “legitimate rape”.

      So, while I’m glad to hear you say that Akin’s statement was reprehensible, you are still defending your VP candidate who holds the same basic – reprehensible – beliefs.

    • As of last week, the Romney-Ryan platform on abortion was a Federal Personhood Amendment, which would not allow exception for rape.

      As of this weekend’s shitstorm, the Romney-Ryan platform includes and has always included an exception for rape.

      It is, of course, BS, one way or the other. But I suppose that’s what happens when you write your platform with an etch-a-sketch.

    • ClubTwitty says:

      How did the Earth get here again?

      And this thing called ‘Climate Change’ I am now assuming you concur with the vast majority of science in concluding this is seriously exacerbated by human activity?

      Glad to see the new standard of a ‘basis in…science.’  Sorry that you will have to find another job now.  

  6. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    HR 3 was not an objectionable piece of legislation. Federal law forbids federal funds to pay for abortions. HR 3 sought to ensure that this prohibition was only excepted in severe cases. In all other cases, there are AMPLE private funds to cover abortions for women who need them.

    One thing HR 3 did not do is give Akin license to say what he said this weekend. They are not the same issue at all.

    • See, I sometimes encounter victims of sexual assault. If you have the inside line on funds to cover abortions if they become pregnant and their rape is not judged “forcible,” can you send the info to me? Seriously — even anonymously. If you’re not just bluffing to cover for Ryan, please do inform me, because of the three organizations I’ve volunteered with in the past five years that deal with sex assault, not one has had a way of connecting women who need abortions with ample private funds willing to cover those procedures for women who cannot afford them.  

    • Lurker19 says:

      dreaming audibly (well, visibly) in TechnoColor and Dolby Sound.

      Ample private funds for anything, especially abortions, are a figment of your admittedly vivid imagination.

      How you can defend these unceasing attacks on women boggles me.

      Are you a phallocrate?  Look it up, it’s French.  (Thought that using French would annoy, you rightie, you.)

    • ClubTwitty says:

      Akin’s sin, or ‘boner’ if you will, was that he dared speak it.  He had no ‘license’ to say that!  It is his job to keep his extremest positions under wrap until he helps the GOP achieve their singular goal–power at the expense of governance.  

  7. OldAuroraDem says:

     I think that I have broken the code in Rep. Todd Akin’s comments. Like many in the Tea Party movement Rep. Akins seeks a return to America’s historical past — a return to our roots. In this case, he harkens back to the Puritans penchant for throwing a suspected witch into the water. If she floated, she was a witch — if she drowned, she was innocent. By Rep Akin’s logic, if a rape victim doesn’t get pregnant, her body fought it off, and therefore she is innocent, it is a “legitimate rape.” If on the other hand she gets pregnant, it couldn’t have been a “legitimate rape,” who knows — maybe she enjoyed it. One of these propositions makes as much sense as the other — both were, are, and always will be wrong, and those who believe them have no rightful place in American public life. I hope that Representative Akin remains in the race, so that Missouri voters can send him a clear message on this issue.

  8. ClubTwitty says:

    This is today’s GOP.  They can run, they can lie, but they cannot hide.

    Last March, in a discussion in the Kansas House about whether women purchase separate abortion-only policies, Republican state Rep. Pete DeGraaf suggested women should plan ahead for rape the way he keeps a spare tire. A few weeks later, Indiana state Rep. Eric Turner, a Republican, said some women might fake being raped in order to get free abortions.

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