Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Romney Camp Rejects Akin’s Abortion Comment

PJ Media’s Rick Moran had it right when he said this is one of the “most ignorant and damaging” comments he’s ever heard from a politician. Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s statement that women can’t get pregnant in cases of “legitimate rape” is beyond offensive, and it’s hard to see how Akin possibly survives this. The Romney campaign, to its credit, denounced it immediately:

“Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg wrote.

Earlier Sunday, Akin said he “misspoke” when he claimed “legitimate rape” rarely resulted in pregnancy.

Answering a question about whether or not he thought abortion should be legal in the case of rape, Akin explained his opposition by citing unnamed bodily responses he said prevented pregnancy. …

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Akin continued. He did not provide an explanation for what constituted “legitimate rape.”

There’s an ongoing dialogue within the pro-life community over whether or not abortion is acceptable in certain instances, but Akin’s argument is so medically ignorant and absurd that it doesn’t even warrant debate. Not only did Akin poison his own political campaign, he also gave Democrats ammunition to portray the entire Republican Party as anti-women. The Romney campaign denounced Akin immediately, but don’t be surprised if his remarks show up in a Planned Parenthood or super PAC general election ad anyway.

The entire dustup did, however, produce some substantive news. It forced the Romney campaign to clarify that it doesn’t support an abortion ban in cases of rape, contrary to what the Obama campaign has alleged.