published Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

The GOP anti-abortion plank

Whether or not he steps down from his Senate race in Missouri, Rep. Todd Akin's absurd anti-abortion notion that women can somehow "shut down" their body against pregnancy in cases of "legitimate" rape suggests the mindset of Republicans who would ban abortion entirely. That group includes the members of the Republicans' presidential convention platform committee. They voted Tuesday, with little debate, to renew the platform plank calling for a constitutional amendment banning abortion for any reason. Period.

Never mind the general exemptions of rape, incest or risk to the life of the mother that GOP politicians generally say they would allow when they're out stumping for votes on an anti-abortion platform.

Given the power to defeat a Senate filibuster against them, in fact, most Republican incumbents in the House of Representatives would vote again to approve legislation seeking such a no-exemptions constitutional amendment. They made that clear last year when a heavy majority of their members approved a legislative attempt to amend what's known as the Hyde Amendment as they debated the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R.3).

They ultimately approved the H.R.3 bill, but only after proponents of a more restrictive bill lost their battle to restrict the definition of rape under the Hyde Amendment to "forcible rape." Many of those who sought that new definition mainly wanted an anti-abortion amendment that allowed no exemptions. That extremist view, a mirror of the platform committee's no-exception anti-abortion plank, couldn't hold support in a full House vote. But both initiatives still underscore just how rigid and inhumane the GOP extremists would make the party if given free rein.

Their argument over whether to recast the Hyde Amendment -- which since 1976 has allowed exemptions for federal funding for abortion in cases involving rape, incest and the health of the mother -- centered on limiting the rape and incest exemptions to "forcible" rape. In that debate -- and as Akin has since sought through a redefinition of "legitimate" rape -- they made, and continue to make, a flurry of irrational arguments.

They generally contend that abortion exemptions under the Hyde Amendment should not be allowed for pregnancies from statutory rape, or from rape perpetrated through the use of date-rape drugs, alcohol, threats and coercion. Rape without a brutal struggle, they essentially argue, is not really rape.

Several Republican House members also groused that allowing exemptions for statutory rape of underage females, or rape of women through coercion or drug-induced impairment, might allow females of any age to later claim that consensual sex was actually rape. In their view, women's word that they were raped in circumstances where they were not documentably beaten, bound and brutalized generally could not be trusted, and do not merit an exemption for an abortion.

The root of such conjecture and mistrust of women is founded in a chauvinistic view that has long been wrongly used by males to victimize women. It also wrongly disregards the broader sentiment of Americans about abortion. Most Americans reasonably do not favor an unfettered right to abortion, but neither do they favor an absolute rule against abortions under any circumstance.

The nation's more humane centrist view is already reflected in incremental restrictions on abortion in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. The extremist attempt to prohibit abortion in any circumstance, however, is now driving the party's agenda. Akin is hardly alone: Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's vice presidential candidate, was an early advocate of the effort to ban abortion entirely in all circumstances. Voting for such candidates would propel their views and wrongly jeopardize the right of women to control their reproductive needs.

24
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
joneses said...

The idea the fool that wrote this article believes that all Republicans condone Todd Akins stupid comment is absurd. That would be the same that all dummycrats condone hiring male prostitutes like Barney Frank did. It is ridiculous and is another attempt to take peoples mind off all of Hussein Obama's failures. This country has more important issues that need to be addressed than how one man misspoke but Hussein Obama and his puppets refuse to address the issues of Hussein Obama's failures. Why has Hussein Obama not said one word on his failed economy, his high unemployment rate, the massive debt he is making worst. The reason Hussein Obama refuses to talk about these issues is he is a failure of a leader. Vote his ass out.

August 22, 2012 at 6:03 a.m.
joneses said...

Obama is lying and soldiers are dying.

Obama’s Watch: 39 Months, 69 Percent of Afghan War Casualties (CNSNews.com) - Although President Obama has only served 39 months in office, 69 percent of the U.S. military fatalities in the more than 10-year-old war in Afghanistan have occurred on his watch.

Through April 30, the Defense Department had reported that 1,844 U.S. military personnel have been killed in and around Afghanistan while deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom, which was launched in October 2001 after al Qaeda terrorists attacked the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon.

According to CNSNews.com’s comprehensive database on Afghan war casualties, at least 1,275 of the 1,844 U.S. troops killed in the Afghanistan conflict have been killed since Jan. 20, 2009, when Barack Obama was inaugurated as president.

August 22, 2012 at 6:41 a.m.
moon4kat said...

The current Republican Party has a very perverted view of freedom. While the party bosses try to push Akin out for being so blunt, they are hammering at the same platform he espouses. The GOP has forgotten that the USA was founded on the notion of freedom and justice for all. (Justice is a topic for another day.)
It's clear that the GOP likes "freedom" only when they can get exactly what they want (lots of guns, enforced religion, uncontested plundering and polluting of land, water and air, and no taxes for anything). They don't want freedom for unions, struggling workers, women, agnostics, gays, minorities, the elderly, or anyone with the capacity for logical thought, an education, or critical thinking skills.
The GOP's view of freedom is thoroughly UN-American.

August 22, 2012 at 10:39 a.m.
Walden said...

The condemnation of Akin coming from all corners of the Right has been so absolute and so complete, I see no basis for this editorial.

August 22, 2012 at 10:49 a.m.
dao1980 said...

I figured joneses would be all over this one.

He has allot of experience with abortion..

He continually aborts common sense with every wigglin conniption of a post.

waka waka

August 22, 2012 at 11:03 a.m.

Gee, Walden, all corners of the Right? Such as the FRC, Pat Robertson, Bryan Fischer, and even Mitt Romney's tepid response? Which he later claimed was leading, into the evening of the day.

Sorry, no, the "condemnation" you allege is as void as Akin's apology, which as I said already, he claimed was just misspeaking.

Not that he was saying something utterly and completely false, just that he messed up in the words he used. That's all.

August 22, 2012 at 1:59 p.m.
JustOneWoman said...

dao1980 said... I figured joneses would be all over this one.

He has allot of experience with abortion..

He continually aborts common sense with every wigglin conniption of a post.

waka waka

LOLOLOLOL! Simply Excellent! Thanks dao

August 22, 2012 at 3:48 p.m.
JustOneWoman said...

Walden said... The condemnation of Akin coming from all corners of the Right has been so absolute and so complete, I see no basis for this editorial.

Except that now the GOP has added it to their platform. Gee, I wonder why?

August 22, 2012 at 3:50 p.m.
PinkSalmon said...

According to several online media outlets, Akin didn't get his advice on rape from a certified medical doctor. The wacko "legitimate rape" idea is actually said to have come from a spiritual mentor, and a wacko one at that who is well known and preaches on national TV. The Anti-Defamation League has declared this wacky dude a religious supremacist.

This "spiritual mentor" is said to have claimed 1. women sometimes invite rape. 2. women who do become pregnant after a rape and seek an abortion are hysterical. 3. Some women can be responsible for their own rape. Need we go on?

These people actually have followers?

August 22, 2012 at 4:22 p.m.

JustoneWoman, all they did was add it to their platform, that's hardly definitive proof that they actually intend to pursue it as an agenda!

PinkSalmon, I heard it was Doctor Jack C. Willke.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/20/news/la-pn-todd-akin-rape-theory-origins-20120820

He does seem to have an MD. From 1948.

August 22, 2012 at 4:31 p.m.
PinkSalmon said...

That maybe another source of Akin's conclusion on rape, but wilke is not his spiritual mentor from what I've been told. just do a search on akin rape and spiritual mentor. You should recognize the individual immediately.

August 22, 2012 at 5:27 p.m.
tipper said...

You also should know that Willke is highly regarded by Mitt Romney as a religious advisor for his campaign. Of course as Gov. McConnell says that the GOP platform is not Romney's platform, so I'm not sure what party Romney belongs to if the GOP platform does not reflect his ideology. Very confused group of politicos. I guess you really can run and hide at the same time.

August 22, 2012 at 8:19 p.m.
joneses said...

Why do you liberals continue to bring up the killing of unborn babies when it is legal? You have gotten your way. The president cannot change this. Are you that scared of saving an unbron child? You must be.

August 23, 2012 at 6:52 a.m.
lightkeeper said...

If Joneses were a woman (AND HE IS) he wouldn't want anyone telling him what to do with his womb!

August 23, 2012 at 9:02 a.m.
lightkeeper said...

The more this idiot Joneses post, the more he makes intelligent conservatives look like complete dummys.

August 23, 2012 at 9:25 a.m.
fairmon said...

Legitimate rape? Rape meaning forcing another person to engage in sex which is illegal. Legitimate means lawful therefore the two words cannot be used together unless someone is saying rape can occur without it being unlawful?. This idiot Akins needs to be castrated and not elected to congress.

August 23, 2012 at 4:45 p.m.
Lr103 said...

Akin is the epitome of far right wing religious belief system and values. This is who they are. They'll take you right to scripture and show you. Their interpretation of scripture, of course. They're right up there with the likes of Robertson who said the earthquate that devastated Haiti so was God's punishment their having fought against French brutal enslavement of their people.

August 23, 2012 at 6:36 p.m.

The legitimate rape part isn't the problem.

It's the bit about the pregnancy that matters.

That's what he needs to apologize for, and no, Mike Huckabee, Akin has not shown an iota of recognition about that.

That's no gaffe, that's no wrong word choice, that's a completely bollocks idea that shows how backward your thinking is.

But Huckabee's ok with that, because he's still a committed pro-life candidate.

August 23, 2012 at 6:52 p.m.
rolando said...

In general, harp, I have agreed with your postings, but only partially on this one. Your definition of "legitimate" is an accurate one but there are four other definitions according to dictionary.com; two of those read:

quote

legitimate  -- in accordance with established rules, principles, or standards. And, -- in accordance with the laws of reasoning; logically inferable; logical: a legitimate conclusion.

unquote

For instance [and I have investigated many of these], a married woman is caught in flagrante and cries, "Rape!" to excuse herself. That falls under the other two definitions of Legitimate.

More properly, Akin should have used "actual" which would have had a clearer meaning. Once upon a time not too long ago, a woman's word was all it took to convict a man. Thanks to Women's Lib, those days are disappearing. Now if we can just get Family Law judges to come around...

In passing, in the '90s Antioch College near Springfield, Ohio had a strict policy toward sexual relationships and dating [the College no long exists]. At each stage in datings, from hand-holding to the full monte, the man had to ask if he could proceed. The girl had to verbally reply -- a nodding of the head was not "yes". At any point in the relationship, the girl could say "no" or "stop" and the man had to stop and withdraw immediately [so to speak]. If not, he was raping/molesting/harassing her -- this includes right up to and during male orgasm when full motor control is lost. [Doubt it? Try it sometime.]

August 23, 2012 at 8:26 p.m.
rolando said...

Physical force is not a necessary element of proof of rape. Lack of consent, a threat of pain or death etc, use of drugs/intoxicants/etc to impair reasoning, and/or under 10 years of age ARE elements. So lack of bruises/beating/etc doesn't mean a rape did not occur.

[Interesting that Model Penal Code 213.1 lists the age of consent at 10 years. Disgusting, to boot.]

August 23, 2012 at 8:37 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Rolando,

"this includes right up to and during male orgasm when full motor control is lost."

"Full" motor control is not lost during the male orgasm. I'm not sure what kind of orgasms you're having but they sound like seizures. You might want to consult a physician.

August 23, 2012 at 8:52 p.m.
rolando said...

Poor phraseology; mea culpa. Make that "loss of full motor control" meaning one suffers a partial loss. As I said, try it sometime...it can be done but with difficulty. Or, perhaps, you just aren't really "into it".

So...Antioch was the other end of the Women's Lib stick -- or schtick.

August 23, 2012 at 9:05 p.m.

Rolando, if you notice, the Model Penal Code also refers exclusively to the male as the rapist.

It's more than a touch out of date.

August 23, 2012 at 10:24 p.m.
rolando said...

I am well aware of the wording in the Code, bulbs. I am also aware of the wording in a number of cites. Until SCOTUS decided otherwise out of judicial activism, it was solely a male offense -- for what should be obvious reasons.

To paraphrase an old saw, "Ever try to put a wet noodle up a wild-cat's backside?" The wildcat may threaten, bite, claw, etc but without a stiff noodle, ain't nothing happenin'.

It also supports the concept of a "legitimate" or "actual" rape as opposed to a so-called "rape" when active participation and/or willingness is evident. When the "victim" in this [or any] case enjoys the act and becomes part of it, is it rape?

Unless the male "victim" is force-fed Viagra or something, an erection is a necessary ingredient BEFORE the act...in which case the male becomes an active participant.

Anything else is not rape but some other offense -- sodomy, for instance. If homosexual legal activism hadn't outlawed all laws dealing with sodomy, the term male rape would never have raised its ugly head [so to speak].

August 24, 2012 at 8:04 a.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.