Just two weeks ago, U.S. GOP Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R) was enjoying his primary victory in Missouri. He made many public appearances after the win to set up his showdown with the incumbent Sen. Clair McCaskill (D).
With some polls putting Rep. Akin (R) ahead in an early lead, he was in position to possibly pull off an upset in November.
Then came his recent KTVI-TV interview in St. Louis and in a split second in an internet world, Rep. Akin found himself on the verge of being pushed out of the race from even Gov. Mitt Romney, GOP candidate for President.
Reporter Charles Jaco asked Rep. Akin if abortions should be legal in the cases of rape.
“..From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” he said. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
While Jaco didn’t have anything from Rep. Akin’s sound bite keep him from going to his next question, Rep. Akin’s comments hit the internet and came back to haunt him in less than a day.
Whether one agrees with Rep. Akin or not, he is not alone in his belief on women’s bodies and their “ability to shut a pregnancy down.”
It is possible that as Rep. Akin prepared himself to answer a tough abortion question regarding his Pro-Life history, he might have learned a response tip from Dr. Jack C. Willke, the former president of the U.S. National Right to Life Committee.
Dr. Willke and his wife once wrote in their book “Why Can’t We Love Them Both: Questions and Answers About Abortion” that “assault rape” rarely results in pregnancy due to the woman’s traumatic experience. The book reportedly goes on to note that the experience makes the woman’s body “less habitable.”
Dr. Willke reasserted his claim this week in a Los Angeles Times interview.
In the 1990s, the Journal of American Obstetrics and Gynecology noted that five percent of rapes; however, involve a pregnancy.
Since some people like Dr. Willke believe what he does with his credentials, Rep. Akin might have truly believed his stance.
His biggest error was his choice of the unfortunate phrase, “legitimate rape.”
This one phrase might derail his political career forever. This is why every time a political candidate walks in The Vandalia Leader office for the first time or visits every so often, I try to thank them for their willingness to put their name on the ballot. The scrutiny a candidate faces is insane. While most of us will sit and complain about political candidates on both sides of the aisle, we still should take the time when we see them and thank them for putting their name on the line. In this internet world, every statement is fair game.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.