Todd Akin, Paul Ryan, The Morning After Pill, And ‘Self-Terminating’ Pregnancies
Rep. Todd Akin wants to ban the “morning after pill,” that prevents — not terminates — pregnancy, which is sadly ironic since some women are forced to use the morning after pillÂ — and pry it works — to ensure after they’ve been raped they don’t get pregnant. Also sadly ironic,Â Congressman Todd Akin, a Tea Party Republican, thinks that the bodies of women victims of “legitimate rape,” as he called it Sunday, can automagically prevent getting pregnant — all by themselves — without the morning after pill that Congressman Akin wants to ban.
WATCH:Â US Congressman: Rape Victimsâ€™ Bodies â€˜Shut Downâ€™ Pregnancies Automatically, No Need For Abortion
Akin, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Senator Claire McCaskill, was leading in the polls by about eight points. The New York Times think that race may now be now McCaskill’s to lose, after Akin’s comments exploded on the Interwebs yesterday.
Akin, who by some miracle of Republican science, sits on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee,Â of course, is totally wrong on every single point — the most important one, perhaps, his meddling in the personal medical decisions women make, often with their doctors and their families.
For the record, since no doubt — sadly, given the huge rate of rape in America –Â some young women will actually hear Akin’s atrocities and think they might not get pregnant because their rape was real, it should be pointed out that women can and do get pregnant by rape, some 32,000 women each year, according to some reports.
For those who think Congressman Akin’s comments aren’t a big deal, (or will quickly blow over or not affect his Senate race greatly,) over the course of their lifetime, approximately one in six U.S> women will be victims of rape. According to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, each year, there are well over 200,000 victims of sexual assault in the U.S., 80% of whom are under 30, 44% are under 18.
(And also for the record, men are not immune from rape either, although the numbers are reportedly far less.)
Senior Political ReporterÂ Robin MartyÂ atÂ RH Reality CheckÂ noted earlier this month:
Speaking on a local radio show, Akin tells the host that he believes the morning after pill should be made illegal, because it causes an abortion. Confusing emergency contraception with RU-486, he claims it causes abortions, and abortions are always wrong. Except maybe, he allows, in cases where there is a tubal pregnancy, since in that case the woman’s life is in danger.
“Representative Todd Akinâ€™s false statement illustrates exactly why politicians should not be meddling in womenâ€™s personal medical decisions,” said Planned Parenthood Missouri Advocates via email statement.
The fact is that emergency contraception prevents pregnancy. Abortion ends a pregnancy. Missouri women and families rely on all forms of contraception to prevent pregnancy and stay healthy.
Of course, the more insidious issue, too, is that Congressman Akin thinks that women who are raped actually want it. That’s where the “legitimate rape” concoction comes in. If your “that couldn’t be true” Â sixth sense is kicking in, read on.
“This isn’t the first time Akin has expressed fringe views about rape in the context of the abortion debate, Nick Baumann, writing for Mother Jones, says. “The idea that women who are ‘legitimate’ rape victims can’t get pregnant has currency in some corners of the fringe right. Akin embraces it. Does he embrace the conspiracy theory about the need for the ‘forcible rape’ language, too?”
Last year, Akin, vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and most of the House GOPÂ co-sponsored a billÂ that would have narrowed the already-narrow exceptions to the laws banning federal funding for abortionâ€”from all cases of rape to cases of “forcible rape.”
After I reported on the “forcible rape” language in January 2011, a wave of outcry from abortion-rights, progressive, and women’s groups led the Republicans to remove it. But a few months later, in a congressional committee report, Republicans wrote that they believed the billÂ would continue to have the same effectÂ despite the absence of the “forcible” language.
But Akin’s comments Sunday are going to cause a problem for the Romney-Ryan 2012 GOP ticket, as Ian MillhiserÂ atÂ Think Progress explains in even more depth:
Last year, Akin joined with GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as two of the original co-sponsors of the â€œNo Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,â€ a bill which, among other things, introduced the country to the bizarre term â€œforcible rape.â€
Federal law prevents federal Medicaid funds and similar programs from paying for abortions. Yet the law also contains anÂ exception for women who are raped. The bill Akin and Ryan cosponsored would have narrowed this exception, providing that only pregnancies arising from â€œforcible rapeâ€ may be terminated. Because the primary target of Akin and Ryanâ€™s effort are Medicaid recipients â€” patients who are unlikely to be able to afford an abortion absent Medicaid funding â€” the likely impact of this bill would have beenÂ forcing many rape survivors to carry their rapistâ€™s baby to term. Michelle Goldberg explains who Akin and Ryan would likely target:
Under H.R. 3, only victims of â€œforcible rapeâ€ would qualify for federally funded abortions.Â Victims of statutory rapeâ€”say, a 13-year-old girl impregnated by a 30-year-old manâ€”would be on their own. So would victims of incest if theyâ€™re over 18. And while â€œforcible rapeâ€ isnâ€™t defined in the criminal code, the addition of the adjective seems certain to exclude acts of rape that donâ€™t involve overt violenceâ€”say, cases where a woman is drugged or has a limited mental capacity. â€œItâ€™s basically putting more restrictions on what was defined historically as rape,â€ says Keenan.
Although a version of this bill passed the GOP-controlled House, the â€œforcible rapeâ€ language waseventually removedÂ due to widespread public outcry. Paul Ryan, however, believes that the â€œforcible rapeâ€ language does not actually go far enough to force women to carry their rapistâ€™s baby. Ryan believes that abortion should beÂ illegal in all casesÂ except for â€œcases in which a doctor deems an abortion necessary to save the motherâ€™s life.â€ So rape survivors are out of luck.
And, of course, as we learned today, Akin isnâ€™t even sure that â€œlegitimateâ€ rape survivors can get pregnant in the first place.
Of course, Democrats will be using this to remind votes that the GOP is living in the 17th century.
FLASHBACK: Rep Todd Akin
#legitimaterape claim like @paulryanvp support for HR 3-redefined rape as only “forcible rape” hrld.us/ebJfoF
â€” D Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) August 19, 2012
Akin: I Wonâ€™t Apologize For Rape Comment. Now Letâ€™s Talk About Unemployment.
Breitbart Editor Dana Loesch Is (Of Course) Defending Akin On Rape Comment
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Trump Desperate to Keep Any Possible Criminal Evidence From Supreme Court: Legal Expert
Donald Trump’s decision to allow one of his lawyers to speak before a grand jury on Friday morning, instead of appealing all the way to the Supreme Court, may have been made out of fear of what the justices on the nation’s highest court might see if they reviewed the case.
According to MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin, under normal circumstances, the former president would have dragged out a legal fight over attorney-client privilege that would have kept attorney Evan Corcoran from testifying under oath about Trump’s possession of government documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort that led to the FBI showing up with a warrant.
As Rubin notes, the fact that Trump let Corcoran testify over three hours raised eyebrows.
“For one, yes, it is indeed unusual, if not unheard of, for a lawyer to be litigating against a party one day and then testifying under court-ordered examination by that same party the next one,” she wrote before suggesting Trump and his legal team were looking at the long game when he might need the predominantly conservative Supreme Court to lend him a helping hand.
RELATED: Revealed: Emails show how Trump lawyers drove Michael Cohen to turn on the president
Writing, “Trump has made clear he believes this Supreme Court — controlled by conservative justices, three of whom he appointed — owes him one,” she added, “My hunch is that Trump’s team let Corcoran’s testimony happen because of what’s likely involved in any request to pause, much less, review a crime-fraud-related ruling: the evidence.”
“Put another way, if Trump had petitioned the Supreme Court to stay Corcoran’s testimony and document production, the justices would have seen some, if not all, of what Judge Howell and the three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit have already reviewed: proof that Trump misled Corcoran and engaged in criminal conduct,” she elaborated.
Rubin went on to note that Trump would likely appeal any conviction to the Supreme Court, writing, “And for someone whose one last hope, if he is ultimately charged or tried by any of the multiple entities now investigating him, is that same Supreme Court, letting the justices see evidence of his alleged crimes now would be a bridge too far.”
“Trump can’t afford to lose the Supreme Court yet,” she suggested.
You can read more here.
No TX Congressional Republican Will Say If They’re Attending Trump’s Rally in Waco – Will He Have Trouble Filling Seats?
Donald Trump‘s Saturday campaign rally in Waco, Texas, falls during the 30th anniversary of the 51-day siege that community is known for, when 86 people died after a failed ATF raid on an anti-government religious cult suspected of illegally stockpiling firearms amid allegations of sexual abuse, statutory rape, and polygamy.
Experts have been warning for a week that Trump’s choice of Waco, synonymous with violent anti-government extremism, was no accident. His rhetoric this week, including most recently Friday when he warned of “potential death & destruction” should he be indicted, has been seen as encouraging violence.
NCRM was among the first news outlets to report experts’ concerns over Trump’s choice to hold a rally in Waco during the 30th anniversary of the deadly siege.
Not a single congressional Republican from Texas will say they are attending, nor has the town’s GOP mayor, according to a report from Insider, which contacted over two dozen Republican lawmakers and other elected officials.
“None of the 30 Texas Republicans Insider contacted about the event said they were going,” Insider reveals.
“Most of the 30 GOP members contacted about Donald Trump’s inaugural visit to the site of a 30-year-old standoff between cult leader David Koresh and federal authorities did not respond to requests for comment about whether they intended to rally with the scandal-plagued candidate and perhaps say a few kind words,” Insider reports.
“Rep. Pete Sessions, a Waco native who now represents the surrounding 17th congressional district, praised Trump for shining a light on his hometown but said he’d have to miss the spectacle,” Insider adds. “Aides to Rep. Troy Nehls, one of the four House Republicans from Texas who have formally backed Trump’s 2024 run, told Insider he wouldn’t be heading to Waco because of a prior commitment in Washington, DC, this weekend.”
READ MORE: ‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses
Meanwhile, in addition to guest list challenges – the campaign refused to tell Insider who the guest speakers will be – Trump may have trouble filling seats.
Mary Trump, the ex-president’s niece who opposes him, has been running a campaign to get anti-Trump Americans to “sign up” for tickets to the Saturday rally, in the hopes of being able to turn away supporters.
Let’s fill this venue with empty seats.https://t.co/3tGSfan5iw
— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) March 24, 2023
“Donald has a rally in Waco this Saturday,” she also said via Twitter. “It’s a ploy to remind his cult of the infamous Waco siege of 1993, where an anti-government cult battled the FBI. Scores of people died. He wants the same violent chaos to rescue him from justice.”
“But we can stop him. If we book the 50,000+ venue, we can make sure most of the seats are empty when the traitor takes the stage,” she said. “We can no longer fail to hold powerful men accountable for their crimes against our country.”
Image via Shutterstock
‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses
Countless GOP lawmakers over the years have professed ignorance over Donald Trump’s tweets as reporters ask them to respond, often claiming they hadn’t read them, but House Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan took that performance to a whole new level Friday afternoon.
NBC News senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur asked the Ohio Republican congressman to weigh in on Trump’s social media post threatening “potential death & destruction” if he gets indicted.
“Jordan said he hasn’t seen Trump’s post,” Kapur said via Twitter. “When I showed [it] to him on my phone, he said he can’t read well without his glasses.”
“He added he’s reviewing DA Bragg’s letter,” Kapur added.
READ MORE: ‘Big Shoe Drops’: Bad Day for Trump on Multiple Fronts in Special Counsel’s Grand Jury Probes
Jordan, who didn’t need glasses to appear on Fox Business just two days ago (photo) is getting blowback.
VICE News Deputy DC Bureau Chief Todd Zwillich explained the progression.
“The stages of ignoring incitement,” he tweeted. “2016: I don’t respond to tweets —> 2018: I havent seen the tweet —-> 2023: I literally can’t see the tweet.”
“Utter cowardice,” declared former GOP Congressman Joe Walsh. “Not at all the @Jim_Jordan I knew & served with in Congress 10 yrs ago. Or…maybe it is.”
“The sheer dishonesty and cowardice of these people,” lamented MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, echoing Walsh’s remarks.
Government watchdog group Citizens for Ethics said the “extent to which Trump’s backers in Congress are going to not condemn [his] calls for violence are ludicrous.”
RELATED: Ninth Wrestler Comes Forward to Say Jordan ‘Snickered’ When He Complained of Sexual Abuse: Report
Some tied Jordan’s inability to see the post to his apparent inability to see or remember all the Ohio State wrestlers who say they complained to Jordan when he was their assistant coach, about being sexually harassed or assaulted by the team doctor. To this day despite numerous reports and people publicly coming forward, Jordan denied it ever happened.
“Apparently, Jim Jordan is unable to see wrestlers being sexually abused or Donald Trump social media posts,” attorney and Republican turned Democrat Ron Filipkowski tweeted.
“Well, @Jim_Jordan has shown before that he has trouble seeing threats right in front of his nose, so this checks out,” tweeted historian Kevin M. Kruse.
But Jordan’s Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee may have served up the best response: “Why do you need your glasses to condemn violence @Jim_Jordan?”
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