GOP senatorial candidate Todd Akins, who is admittedly pro-life, made a televised statement via the Jaco Report which has caused a hailstorm of criticism including calls for him to bow out of his race to be a senator in Missouri. Rape is always a sensitive subject, but when he shared his opinion about pregnancy being rare from rape and that if the rape is “legitimate,” the female body has a way to “shut that whole thing down,” an escalation came about. He further went on to say that punishment should be aimed at the rapist and not at the child.
In typical political fashion, Mr. Akins didn't come right out and say that he feels female rape victims do not have the right to make decisions with their own bodies when it comes to abortion. Instead, he skirted around the issue and talked about “legitimate” rape and the need for punishment against the perpetrators. Now, he did mention that the child should not be punished which seems to be the closest thing to an actual answer to the question posed.
When one actually considers rape and the fact that, truth be told, some women do lie about getting raped, Mr. Akins use of the word “legitimate” may not seem as terrible. With that being said, I think there has been a little too much discussion around his use of the word legitimate taken at its face value. I think it is more so the part where he ties that word in with a woman's body being able to essentially prevent a pregnancy from occurring due to what I can only assume he meant the actual shock caused to a person's body after going through such a traumatic experience.
I am politically a middle-of-the-road type of democrat. In terms of abortion, particularly that of dealing with the aftermath of a rape, I'm a pro-choice individual. If someone doesn't want to have a child, that baby is not going to start off in this world with a fair shake at a decent upbringing. The child will either have apathetic parents or be put into an orphanage where decent parents hopefully may notice him or her. Regardless, I think the conservative religiously-bound outlook of many in the Republican Party is archaic and unnecessary and has no place in government.
In fact, according to wikipedia.com, in June of 2011 Akin was quoted as saying “at the heart of liberalism is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God.” I don't believe that government should replace God, but government should absolutely be separate from God! It amazes me that anyone in our government, whether local, state, or federal, isn't chastised to the fullest degree to the point of being removed from office for making such a treasonous statement. This country was founded on a separation of church and state in order to allow common sense and reason to prevail via a general consensus. Good moral lessons can be drawn from religion, but that is as far as it should go. Akin acting on what he thinks God would do is not a proper justification as to why a woman should or should not be permitted to have an abortion.
In my opinion, if a woman discovers that she is pregnant after a rape, it should always be her ultimate decision about giving birth or having an abortion. What right does anyone have, especially a politician bound by decades of religious beliefs, in regards to telling a female rape victim that she will have to carry a baby for 9 months--a constant reminder of a horrific sexual assault. Even still, what is to happen when the baby is born? Is he or she going to be given up for adoption? Will he or she grow up without a father, and what will happen when that child finds out that his or her real father was a rapist? Will this child be a recipient of social security payouts for the first 18 years of his or her life? Who is going to pay for the healthcare of the child if they are living in an orphanage? Public welfare? Let's hope not, because I'm sure that if Mr. Akin remains an advocate of GOP agenda and has his way years down the road , public welfare for these children and their families would be cut while millionaires would enjoy “much needed” tax cuts. After thinking about all of this, I dare say that I don't believe Mr. Akin is a “legitimate” politician in the least, and punishment shouldn't be taken out on the Republican Party, but only on the ones that make its members look like fools.