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Why Todd Akin Deserves More Credit Than the Rest of the GOP

Todd Akin may be criminally stupid and insensitive when it comes to understanding the mechanics of reproduction, women, sexual violence, and a host of other topics. But I give him credit for at least being honest enough to say why he believes women who become pregnant as a result of rape shouldn’t have access to abortion services. After all, that is the official position of the GOP—and has been for at least three decades—and yet most Republican politicians behave as if the stance requires no explanation. 

So thank you, Congressman Akin, for trying to justify your position. Your answer may have relied on imaginary medical theories and the offensive categorization of “legitimate” rapes and made-up rapes. But your party officially doesn’t care about any victims of rape—“legitimate,” “forcible” or otherwise.

Amy Davidson drew up a list of seven questions yesterday that she suggested should be asked of those conservatives calling for Akin to quit his Senate race. Her point was to highlight the fact that party leaders are not so much appalled by Akin’s remarks and beliefs as by the fact that he could hurt the party’s chances of retaking the Senate and the White House in November.

Let’s make it easier. I think there are just two questions that should be asked of Republican politicians and other conservatives who are bemoaning Akin’s “dumb” comments:

1. Do you support the abortion plank in the GOP platform?

2. If so, why do you believe a constitutional amendment to ban abortion shouldn’t contain an exception for women who become pregnant as a result of rape?

We’ll wait.