Jeff Flake sent this tweet on Sunday, trying to get himself in front of the Todd Akin mess:
I oppose abortion, but exceptions must be made for rape, incest and to protect life of the mother. Cong. Akin’s comment was wrong. #azsen
I’ll say it again, as bad as what Akin said was, what’s worse is when folks like him try to write laws based on the notion that some rapes are different from others. And, sorry Jeff, you are one of those folks.
Some of you may already be familiar with HR 3, which was the bill that differentiated “forcible rape” from others. Flake was one of the co-sponsors, so it’s nice of him to argue for exceptions to rape and incest, but then he wants to redefine rape and incest.
It isn’t the only bill where he did this. In 2011, Flake was one of the co-sponsors (along with his friend Mr. Akin) of HR 358, another bill that included the words “forcible rape,” different from other kinds of rape. The language was later taken out, but Flake was happy to sponsor it when those words were in.
Once again, words are words. If Akin’s words are so offensive, why the heck would Flake want to put them into law?
I’ve had another thought about what Akin said now that he is
backing off “clarifying.” Even though I’m pro-choice, I understand why someone who is pro-life would not want to carve out exceptions for rape. If you believe that an unborn life is one worth saving, you wouldn’t be concerned about how that life was created.
The defenses of Akin coming from pro-life groups center around that notion. He’s only thinking of the children, they argue.
The trouble is, that wasn’t his argument. The mention of a child came as an incidental footnote in his statement, squeezed right next to his assertion that the rapist ought to have “some punishment.”
(“Some punishment.” Gosh, really?)
What Akin did was misogyny disguised as pseudoscience, and it’s some ugly stuff. If anti-abortion activists are tired of getting caricatured as woman haters and slut shamers, they may want to cover Akin’s mouth with duct tape rather than praise him.