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article imageRep. Phil Gingrey's defense of Todd Akin draws GOP backlash

By Can Tran     Jan 12, 2013 in Politics
GOP Representative Phil Kingrey of Georgia came to the defense of former GOP Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri in regards to legitimate rape. As Kingrey said that Todd was "partially right," Republicans, Democrats, and other groups pounced on his words.
The issue about rape and abortion has been a sharp thorn at the side of the Republican Party. It's a thorn that has been pushed in deeper during the 2012 United States Election cycle with former Representative Todd Akin (R-MO) running for the Missouri US Senate Seat and Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R-IN) running for the Indiana US Senate Seat. When they made their respective comments about rape, their ratings have taken a dive. As a result, they both lost their respective races for the US Senate. While Mourdock hasn't been mentioned much in the media, Akin is still mentioned in the media.
Akin became notable for talking about “legitimate rape” and how the woman's body has the means to terminate the pregnancy. Despite calls from the GOP leadership, Akin refused to drop out of the race. Those words would be Democratic ammo against Akin and the rest of the GOP. Representative Phil Gingrey (R-GA) stepped up to give his defense for Akin.
In Akin's defense, Gingrey said that he was “partly right.” However, Gingrey didn't agree with Akin in talking about a pregnancy never resulting from rape. He would bring up his experience as an OB-GYN. In regards to the partly right part, Gingrey meant the part of a woman's body having a way to shut down the pregnancy.
However, Gingrey's defense of Akin didn't bode too well with the Republican Party. This is due to the fact of another Republican talking about rape let alone trying to defend Akin's comments. Kevin Madden, a GOP strategist who worked as a senior adviser to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign against incumbent President Barack Obama, weighed in. To Madden, the GOP should stop talking about rape if used in a context other than a brutal crime.
In a Politico article, it was reported Gingrey's defense of Akin has provided ammo to use by the Democrats. There are Republicans quick to pounce on Gingrey. One former GOP representative, as reported, said there's no way to even defend what Akin said.
MSNBC reports of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund also attacking Gingrey saying that his words were both “ignorant and offensive.” Other groups also sounded off against Gingrey's defense of Akin. Back to the Politico article, on page 2, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said there's nothing legitimate about rape.
In Akin's defense, Gingrey talked about telling women to “relax” and “not be tense” in regards to adrenaline which plays a factor in ovulation. The national infertility association called RESOLVE attacked Gingrey's words. According to what the group says, people can be infertile for many different reasons. The group found Gingrey's words to be belittling.
This is an example of how Akin, in some ways, means, or form, will remain in headlines. In short, defending Akin is not a good idea for any Republican politician or any future Republican candidate. One simply has to look at the GOP losses during the 2012 Election cycle. Back in November, Digital Journal reported about the GOP making one major change: keep candidates such as Todd Akin from becoming the chosen nominees for the general election cycle.
More about Todd Akin, Rep Todd Akin, richard mourdock, phil gingrey, rep phil gingrey
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