The Pro-Life Movement Must Disavow Akin Comment

Rep. Todd Akin has, unwittingly to be sure, harmed the pro-life movement, his senatorial race in Missouri, the Republican Party, and therefore quite possibly the nation.

Every person who speaks or writes for the public will make an occasional faux pas, and sooner or later, will write or say something inappropriate. The game of “gotcha” that the media play — especially with regard to Republicans and conservatives — is what makes so many politicians sound robotic when they speak.

But Congressman Akin said something that cries out for condemnation and retraction — and necessitates an explanation.

On a Missouri TV program Sunday, he was asked his position on abortion in cases of rape. Akin responded, in part, that “from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

While he should not have used the term “legitimate rape,” he could have explained later that, given the expanded definitions of rape, not all claims of “rape” are truly rape. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry for Feminist Perspectives on Rape states, for example, that “we must recognize that, in some cases, ‘yes’ also means no … The man may threaten to sue for custody of their children, to derail her green card application, to evict her, or simply to sulk and make her life miserable for days should she refuse to have sex. Which (if any) of such nonviolent coercive pressures should be regarded as rape, either morally or legally, is a matter of some controversy.”

That would have largely ended the issue. And he could have further noted that Republicans generally incline toward harsher penalties for violent crime than do Democrats.

The far greater problem was Congressman Akin’s other comment: “From what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy is] really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

As one wit put it about such a comment: that was worse than wrong, it was stupid.

Akin should say so.

And so should the pro-life movement.

Unless — and this would be upsetting — he, and the movement, don’t think this comment was stupid.

Pregnancy from rape is rare because a “woman’s body shuts down”?

Who told Akin this? And why would he believe it, even if some doctor did tell him this?

Here is my theory.

I have spent a good part of my life showing what an intellectual bubble the left lives in. That is why so many could believe that boys don’t really prefer trains to tea sets or girls dolls to army soldiers. Those who believe such nonsense usually live in an intellectual bubble. They are raised by liberal parents, taught by left-wing teachers from high school through graduate school, watch left-wing MTV and news, listen to liberal NPR, go to movies produced by leftists, etc. Their whole world is left-wing. They don’t watch, listen to, study under, or socialize with conservatives.

Bubbles tend to produce nonsense. When the only people you talk to, read, and socialize with agree with you, it is easy to abandon critical thinking.

And when you are morally right — and those who argue for a right to life of unborn human beings (or human fetuses, if you prefer) are morally and even scientifically right — a bubble can make critical thought even more difficult.

I wonder if that is not the case with Rep. Akin’s comment. If I were at a dinner party with Akin, and he said what he said in his Missouri television interview, as much as I consider the vast majority of abortions in America to be immoral acts, I would have respectfully asked the congressman whether he was aware of the marauding armies throughout history that raped women. Did he assume that very few of them — like the German women raped by Soviet soldiers at the end of World War II — got pregnant? Did he not know how many raped slaves gave birth? Was he not aware of the tragedy of the women of Darfur who, after being raped by Sudanese Arab soldiers, are abandoned by their families for getting pregnant out-of-wedlock?

This country is on the verge of an inexorable moral, social and economic decline. The left is doing to America what it has done to almost everything it has deeply influenced — the arts, the university, religion, culture, minorities, Europe: ruining it. It is therefore morally incumbent on conservatives to do everything in their power not to give the left legitimate targets.

Therefore, the pro-life movement should announce that the comment on pregnancy has no basis in truth. And since truth is a supreme conservative and religious value, the movement neither espouses nor condones untruths. The Republican Party has said this. And since Todd Akin has not said this, his candidacy is no longer viable.

Morality, truth, and the most important elections on our lifetime demand no less.

  • jujubeebee

    What Akin said is forgiveable.  He is the better candidate over Claire McCaskill.   Claire put Obamacare into law and Akin is committed to overturning every single word of it.  Claire hid her airplane to avoid taxes and got caught.  This is worse than the comment Akin made which may have been stupid but was not devious. 
    There was complete over-reaction to this statement.   Akin apologized.   The establishment GOP was out for blood because they do not like those who side with the Tea Party caucus in congress.  Akin voted against raising the debt ceiling.  Akin didn’t tow the line for Republican establishment on every vote so they were happy to dump on him,   He can win against Claire McCaskill but it will be extremely difficult without funds to counter her ads.  The GOP and the Carl Rove superpacs abandoned that State of Missouri.   This could be the vote needed to overturn Obamacare.  Shame on all of them for dumping this guy over one stupid statement.  

  • terry



  • Wil

    Hey Prager, you schmuck — first rule is never get in bed with the political party who wouldn’t have let your parents into the country club.

  • Reillyscott42

    “That is why so many could believe that boys don’t really prefer trains to tea sets or girls dolls to army soldiers”

    I’ve heard Mr Prager talk about this a few times.  Can he, or anyone, point me towards some research whose results show that children, without any outside interference, show a natural tendency towards one or the other? Is he saying that if (if such an experiment were at all possible to arrange)  you put 20 boys and 20 girls in a room full of toys and crayons, and you could ensure that these children hadn’t been infulenced in any way by their parents, peers, television etc, that they boys would all go for the monster trucks and blue crayons and the girls for the dolls and pink crayons?

    This doesn’t seem logical to me. I’m not a scientist and don’t pretend to be, but it seems rational that we suppose that girls like pink and want to play house, not because liking pink and doing domestic chores is built into their DNA, but because these are the roles and preferences that society has chosen for them over the centuries. We wanted women to be submissive, arm-candy and the dolls, tea-sets and a preference for pink are just a reflection of that. If you see a young boy wearing a batman t-shirt and a girl dressed as a ballerina, surely it’s because their parents dressed them as such.

    I’m not at all advocating that boys and girls are the same. But I think the differences are naturally less acqute than Mr Prager believes.

    Am I wrong? If so, let me know why?

  • Artlouis

    I don’t think anybody but Akin needs to apologize for what he said. Nobody else said it, so why lay it off on them? And meanwhile he has apologized. 

  • Bob Hadley

    What is so troubling to the GOP about Akin’s remarks is that it lays bare the GOP’s difficulty with the abortion issue – a difficulty around which you navigated.  

    A solid block in the GOP wants to define (by law, if not by constitutional amendment) a human fertilized egg as a real live human being – just as much as a human being as you and I, and a one month old baby, a 12 year-old child and a 70 year-old adult.  A plank in the GOP platform has for at least two decades advocated something similar or identical to a “personhood” constitutional amendment.  Granted, there may be some variance here:  some may believe that a human embryo but not a human fertilized egg is a real live human being or that a human fetus but not a human embryo is a real live human being. 

    If a human fertilized egg is so defined then any and all abortions – even destruction or disposal of human embryos in fertility clinics – must subject to murder laws and be the subject of murder investigations by law enforcement.  The only defense to the charge of murder would be self-defense – that the mother had a well-founded reason to believe that she was, at the time, in IMMINENT danger of death or serious bodily damage. 

    Anyone who aided or abetted the abortion or disposal or destruction of human embryos must also be charged with pre-meditated murder under accomplice liability (similar to someone who pays to have someone murdered or who drives the get-away car).  This includes the doctors, mothers, receptionists, nurses and anyone providing payment for such services.

    There’s no way around it:  anyone who does not believe that any and all abortions or destruction or disposal of human embryos should trigger such law enforcement mechanism simply does not really, really believe a human fertilized egg is a rea live human being. 

    There are people who think that abortion is not murder but should nonetheless be made illegal.  But how can these people be true blue conservatives?  Granted, a true blue conservative believes in law enforcement (e.g. laws against murder), but how can he justify Big Brother from outlawing an act with which he simply disagrees, however vehemently?

    Here, Gov. Romney speaks with forked tongue.  Recently he said on Gov. Huckabee’s TV show that he favored such a personhood amendment to the constitution.  He also said as much in the republican debates.  Since the Akin flap, Gov. Romney has put forward that in cases of rape, abortion should be legal. 

    Don’t get me wrong.  I respect the views of anyone who really, really believes that the human  fertilized egg is a real live human being like you or me, i.e. he really, really believes that any and all abortions and destruction or disposal of human embryos should be subject to a murder investigation (such as set forth above, with the only defense being self-defense as set forth above) with all the principles and active enablers being charged with pre-meditated murder. 

    I personally think abortion is an extremely difficult and perhaps even ugly issue.  But I’m unconvinced of the hardline position described above.  I think the parameters set forth in Roe v. Wade, are troubling.  But, to paraphrase Churchhill, it is the worst solution, except for all the rest of them.

    I think it’s clear that Gov. Romney does not really, really believe that the human fertilized agg, or even the human embryo, or even the human fetus, is a real live human being like you and me.  I’m not sure what Rep. Ryan really, really believes in this regard.  But, taking him at his word, he believes in a personhood amendment.

    This position points to some real cleavage in the GOP, and some real PR difficulty for the GOP.

  • Deny916

    Stick a fork in Akin…he is done!  I hope he drops out by 5:00 PM tonight.  He has done enough damage as it is.  For the record I am conservative, but I am also pro choice.

  • John Young

    This election, like the mid-term elections in 2010, is perhaps the most important in history.  Why, then, does the Republican party put up candidates like Akin, Christine O’Donnell, and Sharon Angle who are so clueless that they could never be elected? 

    • Artlouis

       Do you think Harry Reid was a more desirable candidate than Angle? The only legitimate  beef against Angle is that she didn’t win.