Daily Archives: August 21, 2012

Rep. Steve King: I’ve Never Heard Of A Girl Getting Pregnant From Statutory Rape Or Incest

Rep. Steve King: I’ve Never Heard Of A Girl Getting Pregnant From Statutory Rape Or Incest

I always knew Rep. Steve King  was a loose cannon and part of the far right fringe in Congress, but is this statement worse than Rep. Todd Akins?

Is the guy just looking for publicity?  Are they trying to sabotage the Romney nomination next at the Republican National Convention?  Or is he just stupid?  What the heck is going on?

TPM2012

Rep. Steve King, one of the most staunchly conservative members of the House, was one of the few Republicans who did not strongly condemn Rep. Todd Akin Monday for his remarks regarding pregnancy and rape. King also signaled why — he might agree with parts of Akin’s assertion.

King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.

“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”

A Democratic source flagged King’s praise of Akin in the KMEG interview to TPM. But potentially more controversial for King is his suggestion that pregnancies from statutory rape or incest don’t exist or happen rarely. A 1996 review by the Guttmacher Institute found “at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.”

The tie between statutory rape and teen pregnancy has been the subject of ad campaigns from groups like United Way.

H.R. 3, the bill co-sponsored by King, Akin and Paul Ryan in 2011, originally called for an exemption in the federal ban on abortion funding only in the case of “forcible rape.” That language was dropped after pressure from women’s advocates and Democrats. At the time, the Republican sponsors of the legislation weren’t too interested in discussing their reasoning for the wording.

King’s comments offer a window into the thinking behind the language, as well as the general belief in the different categories of rape that provoked Akin’s recent controversial comments about “legitimate rape” and the factually wrong idea that a woman’s body can prevent a pregnancy from rape.

In the KMEG interview, King defended Akin as “a strong Christian man, with a wonderful family” and appeared to push back on those calling for Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race.

“I think this election should be about: How did Todd Akin vote and what did he vote for and what did he stand for?” King said. “In this case, I’m seeing the same thing, petty, personal attacks substituting for strong policy.”

Video of King’s statement…

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Filed under Rep. Steve King

Todd Akin: The man who said too much

Todd Akin: The man who said too much

I think David Axelrod was spot when he said that the Republican Establishment is not really upset with what Todd Akin said.  They are upset with Todd Akin for letting the proverbial “cat out of the bag”.

The GOP did not want to “broadcast” their true views during election season for fear of backlash from women and independents.

Salon

The Republican Party turned on Todd Akin because he made plain their creeping extremism and political strategy

When Missouri’s Republican candidate for the Senate said that  “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy, not only was Todd Akin echoing the extreme anti-abortion positions held by many in his party, he was exemplifying the creeping extremism within the Republican Party on women’s issues and far more.  In the new, extremist Republican Party, Akin is not an aberration.  He is merely the latest canary in a coalmine of crazy.

Along with Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, Akin was an original co-sponsor of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” — which, originally, narrowed the federal definition of rape to restrict the ability of women and girls to use Medicaid dollars and tax-exempt health spending accounts to terminate pregnancies resulting from rape. Akin has since said he “misspoke” in his “legitimate rape” remarks, but the legislation he and Paul Ryan sponsored similarly re-labeled rape as “forcible rape” — creepily suggesting there are other, more acceptable versions. What’s more creepy? These are not fringe opinions expressed by powerless lunatics at teeny right-wing organizations. These are the opinions of over 200 Republican members of Congress, one of whom is the party’s candidate for the United States Senate in Missouri and one of whom is the party’s candidate for Vice President.

Yes, the Republican establishment is condemning Akin’s remarks and distancing itself from his candidacy. But let’s be clear: Akin is only guilty of saying out loud what many Republican leaders think and legislate on the basis of.   Talking Points Memo has detailed other Republican leaders throughout the years who have questioned that rape can lead to pregnancy and prominent Republican leaders like Mike Huckabee and  Bobby Jindal oppose abortions under all circumstances, including rape. Both will be speaking at the Republican National Convention next week. Moreover, the many Republicans pushing back against Akin seem more concerned with preserving the dignity of the Republican Party than protecting the dignity and rights of women who have been raped.

Continue reading here…

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Filed under Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Todd Akin, Right-wing disinformation campaign

MIA: Akin Bails On Piers Morgan

Morgan Akin

I predict Rep. Todd Akin will resign by the end of the week.

The RNC has pulled their funding, Karl Rove has pulled his funding and big money donors are leaving in droves.  Time to say “goodbye” Rep. Akin…

The Huffington Post

Todd Akin’s bad week keeps getting worse.

The six-term Missouri GOP congressman, a candidate for U.S. Senate, apparently bailed on a planned interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, leaving the host to berate him as a “gutless little twerp” Monday evening.

Akin’s troubles began Sunday when he suggested during a television interview that women who are victims of “legitimate rape” are biologically unlikely to become pregnant — attributing the dubious science to “doctors.” Numerous Republicans have called on the congressman to withdraw from his challenge against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Akin has apologized for his remarks, and insisted he’ll stay in the race. However, the media firestorm shows little sign of abating after two days.

Staring at the empty chair, a nonplussed Morgan issued this challenge to Akin: “Congressman, you have an open invitation to join me in that chair whenever you feel up to it, because if you don’t keep your promise to be on the show, then you are what we would call in Britain a gutless little twerp.”

MSNBC’s “Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell faced similar circumstances earlier this year, when Craig Sonner, then-lawyer for Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman, fled the scene of a planned interview moments before it was set to begin. O’Donnell proceeded to lambaste Sonner while sharing the screen with a live feed of the attorney’s conspicuously empty chair.

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Filed under Todd Akin