The Cullman Times
U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, a Missouri Republican fighting for a Senate seat, is living proof of why political forums and voter involvement are essential to the success of American government.
At this point, many Americans are aware that Akin caused an uproar when he declared that women are able to prevent pregnancies in cases of “legitimate rape.” Beyond his Democratic opponent calling the comments “reprehensible and inexcusable,” Akin’s own party is calling for him to withdraw so that a more suitable contender can be put into place.
On the factual side, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said a woman who is raped “has no control over ovulation, fertilization or implantation of a fertilized egg ... To suggest otherwise contradicts basic biological truths.”
While Akin has apologized and said he “used the wrong words,” pushing the candidate aside presents a political problem. Voters in the Republican primary clearly chose Akin as their candidate. While some of those voters may be regretting their decision, the proper action at this point is for Akin to voluntarily remove himself from the race to save credibility for his political party.
Akin’s regret over making such ridiculous statements is probably real. But do you believe the candidate is apologetic because he truly misspoke or because he caused such an uproar and endangered his chances of winning?
In essence, Akin’s views are a reflection of the calloused view that some segments of America carry toward women. Akin, through his poorly reasoned views, fails to recognize that rape is a heinous act that is solely the action of violent people. His fateful words came tumbling forward when asked if he would support abortions for women who have been raped.
Perhaps a “yes” or “no” answer would have saved Akin from ridicule. Instead he embarked on a rambling medical answer that was ill-informed and insensitive.
Voters, whether in favor of abortion or opposed, deserve to know more about candidates than was afforded in this case. To think that Akin has been sitting in Congress with such poor view of women and the crime of rape is alarming.
Akin stands as an example of why straight-forward, tough questions are necessary for all political candidates. We should all have the courage and desire to push candidates to answer legitimate questions about issues that affect our lives.