Todd Akin: Roadkill on the Romney / Ryan Highway
No rational, intelligent person can even attempt to defend the science or the logic of what Todd Akin said about women and their mystical ability to block a rapist’s sperm. But I’d like to examine the underlying ideology that brings up this sort of pseudo-science, because in doing so, I think I can make a case in his defense against the critics in his own party.
The Republican Party has thrown Rep. Akin to the wall. They’ve publicly disavowed his ideas on how women’s reproductive systems work. Everyone and their republican dog has asked him to step down from the Missouri race. Meanwhile, in Florida, the Republicans are painstakingly building their party’s policy platform.
And this is what it says: No abortions, even in instances of rape or incest.
This had been Paul Ryan’s stance for many years. And Akin’s. Romney accepted endorsement by the head of Personhood, a movement that champions this position.
The only daylight between these three individuals and between Akin and much of the Republican party, is that Akin has fantasies that real rape pregnancies don’t actually occur. This sort of mystic thinking comes about because even many staunch Republicans are revolted by the thought that a government could force a raped woman to bear the child of her rapist, against her will.
With the natty phrase: “Punish the rapist, not the child” they conveniently leave out the horrific reality for the mother – victimized once by the rapist, and again by a policy which, if enacted, would force her to carry the physical repercussions of that traumatic event around for another 9 months, live with the concrete reminder of that violation, living and feeding off her for 274 days.
Akin would rather believe that something as awful as a pregnancy resulting from rape could not occur. He may be a very badly informed fantasist, but in a way, at least he has a heart, if a self-deluded one. It speaks of a man for whom there are places his imagination doesn’t want to go, even if it should when espousing policies like this.
The Republican platform, Romney and Ryan have all, at one point or another, taken the position that, yes, even in cases of violent rape, or systematic incestuous abuse, the woman should be forced to take the pregnancy to term. This is the Republican Party Platform now.
Akin’s only sin is in preferring fantasy to the horrific prospect of a state who forces an innocent victim of rape to breed against her will.
This doesn’t make Todd a party dissenter. It just makes him look weak and unable to swallow the jagged pill that others seem to find so much easier to swallow.
While the whole world is busy eviscerating Rep. Akin, there are are far more fanatical people, wholly lacking in imagination and compassion, who are coming off smelling like roses.
And that pisses me off.
The last country in the world to legally embrace the governmental right to force a woman to bear a child against her will was Rumania. In 1967, the communist government under the leadership of Nicolas Ceauşescu authorized decree 770, known as the Decreţei, which forced all pregnant women to carry to term. It legally monitored all pregnancies and jailed women who either sought abortions or attempted to abort the fetuses themselves. And even Decreţei allowed for exceptions in the case of rape.
In 1998, the International Criminal Court (ICC) became the first international criminal tribunal ever officially to criminalize forced pregnancy. What the Republican Party is advocating is, without a doubt, forced pregnancy.
When Margaret Atwood wrote ‘The Handmaid’s Tale‘ thirty years ago, people called it hysterical, far-fetched sci-fi. Who’s laughing now?
If you are a women, on the right or on the left, you need to speak up against this barbaric policy. We need to stop it now.