Why Are The Republicans Afraid of Todd Akin?

He's behind me, isn't he.

By Bob Cesca: The last two days are unprecedented for the Republican Party. For the first time in memory, the Republicans have almost entirely condemned a fellow anti-choice congressman, Todd Akin, because he was too extreme on the abortion issue.

This could mean one of two things. Either Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape” and his ridiculous assertion that a woman’s reproductive organs tend to naturally reject pregnancies from rape were way, way, way beyond the Republican zero barrier for decency, or perhaps he just said out loud what most anti-choice conservatives say in private.

I really don’t think it’s the first one.

Republicans have no decency whatsoever when it comes to reproductive choice.

These are the people who stand on street corners, near schools and across from women’s clinics with signs and placards featuring unforgivably inappropriate photographs of aborted fetuses.

They routinely lie about the services that are provided by Planned Parenthood while simultaneously voting to de-fund the organization even though its services include cancer screenings and other important medical treatments. This is understating their campaign against the facility. The demonization of Planned Parenthood by the Republican Party has increased its visibility and level of scorn, making it an even larger target for militant domestic terror groups.

Speaking of which, you might recall how staffers from John Boehner’s office — the Republican Speaker of the House — invited domestic terrorist Randall Terry to the speaker’s office for a coffee clatch about abortion. Yep, rather than arresting Terry for his involvement in numerous cases of harassment and terror attacks against doctors and family planning clinics, he was asked for his obviously valuable input into anti-choice legislation and the Republican agenda.

One of the leading Republican spokesmen on television, Bill O’Reilly, spent countless segments on Fox News Channel (the PR wing of the GOP) accusing the late Dr. George Tiller of wantonly murdering babies — referring to the doctor as “Tiller the Baby Killer.” We’re all familiar with what happened to Dr. Tiller.

Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee ran for office in 1998 under the pledge that he would vote to ban abortion even in cases of rape. Paul Ryan has been endeavoring to make good on that pledge for his multiple terms in Congress — several notable times as a co-sponsor of legislation with Todd Akin.

Ryan co-sponsored a bill with Akin, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” that sought to strengthen the Stupak Amendment banning the use of federal fund for abortions. At one point, a section of the legislation only allowed federal funds to be used in cases of “forcible rape” — a term that ostensibly excludes date rape, incest and so forth. Obviously “forcible rape” was the term Akin was reaching for when he said “legitimate rape.” But most decent humans agree with President Obama that rape is rape.

Meanwhile, Ryan and Akin co-sponsored the infamous “personhood amendment” that would grant a zygote the same constitutional rights as a fully birthed citizen. If such a thing were to pass, abortion would be codified into the U.S. Constitution as murder. Women who attained abortions would be accomplices in homicide, along with the doctor who dared to perform the procedure — regardless of rape and the like.

And somehow Akin’s remarks were out of bounds for the Republicans? Not a chance in hell. In fact, Akin didn’t say anything that was outside of the GOP anti-choice wheelhouse. Even his medical ignorance isn’t nearly as ignorant as the wide array of scientifically ignorant things the Republicans say every day (I’m looking at you Senator Inhofe).

So why all of the sudden concern on the Republican side? The notion of “forcible rape” and its association with Paul Ryan wasn’t meant to be discussed on the national stage and certainly not front-and-center in presidential campaign leading into the general election. But the fact remains that until yesterday when the Romney/Ryan campaign distanced itself from Akin, Ryan was absolutely against abortion in cases of rape, forcible or otherwise.

And, if elected, the Romney/Ryan administration would appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court, which would proceed to unravel Roe v. Wade while upholding the flood of Republican anti-choice laws that would be passed and signed by a would-be President Romney. The nation would take an irrevocable turn to the right and women would absolutely be relegated to second class citizens. Akin shined a big spotlight on that agenda.

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