Streams

The Akin Fallout

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rep. Todd Akin, who is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, made controversial comments about abortion. Rep. Todd Akin is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri. (flickr)

Michelle Goldberg, senior contributing writer for Newsweek and The Daily Beast and author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism and The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power and the Future of the World, discusses the political fallout from Congressman and Senate candidate Todd Akin's inflammatory comments on rape and abortion.

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Comments [102]

Calls'em from McLean, VA

The Dems are going to lose the Senate seat from MO no matter who is running against her including this dope; and MO is going Republican - big time.

Aug. 24 2012 03:46 PM
Test@WNYC

Thats Meaty.

Aug. 23 2012 06:44 PM

For all the guys complaining about men's paternal rights being violated:

No one is forcing you to stick your junk in a pro-choice vajayjay.

Aug. 23 2012 05:47 PM
Michael

The only punishment that would be suitable for such an offense is public stoning, with Rep Paul Rian throwing the first stone.

Aug. 23 2012 05:27 PM
dlmc

By all means keep the government OUT of the bedroom. Women should make their own choices and pay the monetary cost of those decisions. Pro-Choice is anti-Obamacare.

Aug. 23 2012 05:09 PM
Barbara from Brooklyn

What is wrong is to impose one's own moral view upon others. Period. Again, this is a private moral decision to be made by a woman by herself. The question of when life begins cannot be answered by science, by Democrats or Republicans. It is a moral question beyond the purview of legislation. Freedom of choice is included under this country's RIght to Privacy. If you're against abortion, no one is asking you to get one, and nor is anyone forcing you not to.

Aug. 23 2012 02:09 PM
lazy-watch

in 2008 i really enjoyed the bl show because there weren't too many pundits.

it was informative and thought provocative because new information was presented.

advising interns/producers to go back and review that pedigree?

Aug. 23 2012 12:41 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Leo from Queens,

When you read the comments you will see that your charge against gary from queens is wrong.

Leo from Queens, You need to apologize to gary from queens.

Aug. 23 2012 12:29 PM
Leo from Queens

APOLOGIES Gary. I mistook you with: jgarbuz from Queens.

Apologies again

Aug. 23 2012 12:27 PM
John A

It's likely that the Republicans became 'the tax giveback people' because they needed a gift to voters to offset that of the Democrats 'the freedom of choice' people. Both can be viewed as indulgences to the voters. Both parties need to learn how to get votes with legitimate concerns - perhaps the Dems are there, they almost never mention Abortion like they did 1, 2 decades ago.
But your statement "the attempt to legislate morality ... is morally wrong" reads as a self cancellation. If legislative morality is wrong then why is a morally wrong thing to be of concern to me? Of course morality and ethics intersect. And if the UsSupCt waves its hand and offends half the population, as with Citizens United and this, it will be beset with Moral effort (not! The Moral Majority) for as long as it takes.

Aug. 23 2012 12:24 PM
Leo from Queens

Shereen from Brooklyn: you are right on and I could not agree with you more. We are not talking about pro-choice as an individual right. The conversation has shifted to what restrictions to impose on women..
The sad thing is that we need to step back from what you want to talk about and discuss some basics: the underlying premise from these religious hacks that women are inferior (less than) men and therefore their decisions have to be controlled by men. Unless that is addressed you will not be able to talk about pro-choice.

Aug. 23 2012 12:24 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

We keep hard drugs illegal even though that means a great deal of lawbreaking, because as a society most believe that legalization of drugs will be more deleterious to society overall than the crime that keeping them illegal creates.

Yes, banning abortion will lead to return to illegal abortions and abortionists, as was once the case, but I promote the idea of both state and religious and private orphanages to take and care for the unwanted babies.
I came firmly to believe that legalization of abortion, which allowed over 50 million abortions over the last 4 decades has been a lot more deleterious to our economy and national security than banning it. And if the state creates orphanages to take care of these saved children, it will be better off overall in the long run. Much better off.

Aug. 23 2012 12:05 PM
gary from QUUENS

LEO

I NEVER MADE THE STATEMENT YOU ARE QUOTING HERE:

Leo from Queens

Gary From Queens quote: "the country must have an adequate supply of native born children" for national security issues.

Aug. 23 2012 12:02 PM
Kat from Astoria

Brian I'm disappointed. This would have been a better discussion if...
1.You had a counterpoint person
2.Your guest hadn't painted the entire GOP as backwards religious extremists. There are plenty of prominent Republican politicians who firmly believe in the separation of church and state and won't touch this issue because it's the law.
3. There was better context about Akin. Had you or anyone from your audience ever heard of this guy before his gaffe? He doesn't sound like a high-level Republican. I believe his name and soundbite is just passing through the news cycle this week.
4. Your guest had addressed women's reasons for obtaining abortions outside of rape, incest and harm of the mother. It IS true that many women forgo condoms, the pill, IUDs, and other preventative birth control and use abortions as their "birth control." This is truly lamentable in a 21st century society. But perhaps this part of the debate lies in sex education in the home and schools. Can we ALL AGREE that if you're having sex without the intention of having children you can at least have a few condoms around?
5. I wish you had gone the whole hog and instead of asking listeners who believe in outlawing abortion how they would punish the women, you would have asked women who've had abortions to speak out on its politics. From how the discussion was going this wouldn't seem like TMI.
6. A disclaimer about Cardinal Dolan. He represents the theoretical side of Catholicism, not the practical. Ask the Roman Catholics you know what they think about contraception and birth control and you will likely get a very different answer from what the Cardinal says. Also, Catholicism is about so much more than what we think about birth control it's silly to keep bringing it up.

Aug. 23 2012 12:02 PM
Barbara from Brooklyn

John A: Both are valid, indeed. Every individual is free to take action based upon their values and moral stance. If one is against abortion, one may choose not to have one; one may choose to try influencing their own daughter or grand daughter against having one; one may choose to speak freely about their moral views. But the attempt to legislate morality and deny females the right to choose accordingly is morally wrong, and will never work. Have we forgotten the history of how abortion came to be legalized? Does any rational-thinking person truly believe that legislation against abortion rights will not lead to "back door" abortions and increased death? Could it possibly be the we are collectively so blind that we will actually have to repeat this history over again?

Aug. 23 2012 11:33 AM
Roger Witherspoon from Cortlandt Manor, NY

Ms. Goldberg was incorrect about the origins of the notion that women who are raped don't get pregnant. I interviewed Chris Smith, then head of NJ Right to Life as he ran for congress -- where he still is -- back in '78 for the NY Daily News. He stated the same thing -- that women's bodies shut down during a legitimate rape and they don't get pregnant. That ignores, of course, the history of children born as a result of the wholesale rapes of women during war. But it has been a staple of that movement for at least 40 years.

Aug. 23 2012 11:31 AM
Leo from Queens

Gary From Queens quote: "the country must have an adequate supply of native born children" for national security issues.

Do you recommend we setup harems all over the country with young girls and have men come in at will and do their 'patriotic' duty and breed like rabbits?

hmm.. last I heard you were against providing government support to mothers who can't support their children with their income or can't make an income since they need to stay at home to take care of their kids..

Also, your ideas are reminiscent of other views.. Middle East, Germany come to mind...

Aug. 23 2012 11:28 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

This is not a religious issue. This is a national security issue. The country must have an adequate supply of native born children or we will be inundated by childless old people and immigrants. We need native born children.

Aug. 23 2012 11:03 AM
John A

Both terms pro-Choice and pro-Life are slogans, marketing terms really, designed to hide having to say the terms pro and anti-abortion. To deny only one and keep the other is to show unfair bias I believe. Both or Neither are valid.

Aug. 23 2012 10:59 AM

Looking for "Reason" in what is a religious belief is itself absurd. There is no light between the position held by Right to Lifers, Paul Ryan, Romney, Akin et al. and it is the same as that of religious Talibans everywhere. The overarching philosophy which says that the woman is immediately LESS a "person" than the fertilized egg she now houses is completely unacceptable in a society which claims separation of church(es) and State. No "person" should be subject to state intrusion into her body and her life -- no exceptions. Furthermore, ours is a secular government -- as soon as it supports through law the notions of particular churches (rather than the positions of the majority of the population) it is, ipso facto, no longer legitimate. Don't support abortion? Don't have one -- but don't impose your position on others who don't hold your religious view.

Aug. 23 2012 10:57 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The main point is, that women alone cannot be allowed to single-handedly determine the demographic future of the nation just because they fell children to be a nuisance or interference in their personal careers, etc. Children must be born, and if necessary raised in orphanages because the nation needs native born children regardless of what women want. Children are the future. Abortions kills off that future.

Aug. 23 2012 10:51 AM
Barbara from Brooklyn

It never ceases to amaze me how a moral question becomes a political sensation, particularly during campaign season. A woman's right to control her own body (the right to privacy) is protected under the U.S. Constitution. When exactly a fertilized egg crosses the line into becoming an autonomous being will never be answerable. Opposing arguments will never end. The earlier male caller who said, "I don't know what she might be going through," is exactly right. He has no idea what the "she" is going through. The decision about giving birth is between a woman, her conscience and her creator. There is no other relevant participant in this decision. In my opinion, the amendment proposal peddled by the "right to lifers" is just another tentacle in the gathering cloud of extremist thinking in this country. I have a feeling this group of vociferous "lifers" are populated with many who fear Islamists while mirroring the same brand of oppression.

Aug. 23 2012 10:50 AM
gary from queens

@nina from new york

you are reading from the NOW playbook, The supreme court is not going anywhere near this issue. they've all said it. Stary Decisis and all

Aug. 23 2012 10:49 AM
John D from Yonkers

Although I do not believe in abortion. I would never impose my views on others especially while the Republican party strips the support systems that a woman would use if they decide to keep a unwanted pregnancy.

Aug. 23 2012 10:47 AM
Shereen from Brooklyn

And here's another missed opportunity for us to analyze our abortion rhetoric. To be pro-choice means to be pro-choice WITHOUT conditions. It doesn't matter how the pregnancy happened. It doesn't matter how many times a person has had an abortion. It doesn't matter if people CHOOSE abortion as their form of birth control. To be pro-choice means one supports safe, legal abortion ACROSS THE BOARD. It is ethnocentric and misogynist to draw lines about what is and isn't ethical if the person having the abortion isn't you.

The opposite of pro-choice is anti-choice. NOT pro-life. Using the word pro-life to describe anti-choice beliefs employs the "master's" language to make a point. And as Audre Lorde said: "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house." It would be revolutionary if so-called liberal US media understood that language is power.

Aug. 23 2012 10:46 AM
gary from queens

"He mentioned on the floor of the House that the 'health of the mother' exception is so big you can drive a truck through it. "

Yes Leo, I would agree with Ryan on that one point. But i dont hold to either pro life or pro choice extremes.

Aug. 23 2012 10:45 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Tom

The government already warehouses kids in public schools for the general welfare, so raising unwanted kids in state orphanages is just an extension of it. We are already paying much to assist single mothers who don't want the father around. It is time to bring back state orphanages as the best solution to the abortion problem which means increasing immigration to get sufficient young people into the country. We need native born kids even if they have to be raised by the state.

Aug. 23 2012 10:45 AM

Rape is not rape.

Enough Americans actually believe this that it has actually become the campaign platform for one of America's most powerful elected officials.

What if he wins? That's what I'm wondering.

Aug. 23 2012 10:44 AM
Bill from New Rochelle

Beth, just belw has a good point. And, if a fetus is a persion, why do we not charge them with failing to file income tax?

Aug. 23 2012 10:41 AM
Jim in NJ from N NJ

If a fertilized egg is considered a "person" then it has to be given a "birth certificate" and a name and a social security number, and if it fails to develop it will have to have a "death certificate" issued and how will its "remains" be buried or disposed of? Lots of "unintended consequences" would follow such a change in law and custom.

Aug. 23 2012 10:41 AM
gary from gary

@hjs11211

I was not taking a position. i was making an ad absurdem point. absurd being that only women should decide public policy

Aug. 23 2012 10:40 AM
jawbone

1) Sue asked when they will come after contraception pills. They already have, just haven't succeeded yet.

2) Think about "The Handmain's Tale," or read it. This is about controlling women.

3) "If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacred rite." From back in the pre-Roe days.

Aug. 23 2012 10:39 AM
Andrew

Somehow our constitutionally devout politicians have forgotten one of the main guiding principles of our Founding Fathers: separation of church and state. Let women do what they think is right and leave your biased opinion to yourself.

Aug. 23 2012 10:38 AM
Leo from Queens

OK. I give in to the Lunatic Republicans. Let's ban all abortions but it would have to be an amendment to the Constitution with the following clauses:
1. Outlaw abortions under all circumstances
2. Castrate every man accused of sexual abuse of rape - no excuses
3. Institute a 15% tax on ALL males to support unwanted children and large families with more than 2 children
4. Institute a 10% tax on ALL Churches to support, educate all children
5. Create a network of orphanages to be fully funded by men and the church to provide shelter, education and healthcare to all unwanted children through college.
6. Create a federal fund to pay the medical and burial costs of all mothers dying from pregnancies

Aug. 23 2012 10:38 AM

gary from queens & Janine from Manhattan

u are both wrong. everybody has a voice in a democracy

Aug. 23 2012 10:37 AM
Pat Hough

the Akin effect on the GOP campaign is almost like that of a third party candidate.

Aug. 23 2012 10:37 AM
AliveinNJ from NJ

We, including the male bloggers, no doubt, decry the Chinese government for its intrusion into the private lives of its citizesn regarding the birth of girls, yet some, especially the men on this blog, have no problem with our government inserting itself into women's wombs. Help me understand, guys!

Aug. 23 2012 10:36 AM
gary from queens

Janine from Manhattan says

"Males should not weigh in on this matter since they are not able to bear children."

Then that means that women should not have a say in going to war, since most of the fighting is done by men.

Aug. 23 2012 10:35 AM

if the only way to save a woman's life were to perform an abortion and a doctor refused for fear of prosecution would the doctor be held responsible for her death?

should the people who are anti-abortion be held responsible for her death?

or is this God's plan?

Aug. 23 2012 10:35 AM
Amy from Manhattan

And what does sodomy--"the worst kind" or any kind--have to do w/abortion? Did the person who said that actually think a woman can get pregnant from being raped anally? Or did he mean abortion should be allowed only if a woman was sodomized in addition to being raped vaginally?

Aug. 23 2012 10:35 AM
Bill from New Rochelle

1) Not being a major sodomist, I an only aware of two sodomies, (there may be more, I don't know) in the eyes of people like Paul Ryan, which is that "worst sodomy" that might qualify for an abortion?

2) Suppose 'Rosemary's Baby' was a real occurance. Would Rosemary be eligible for an abortion?

Aug. 23 2012 10:35 AM
jgarbuz@netzero.com from Queens

The Republican party cannot regain power if it the majority of female voters believe in their exclusive "right to choose" i.e., the right to abort. Since power is more important than principles, those who speak what they really believe have to be suppressed.

Aug. 23 2012 10:35 AM
Beth

So if a fetus is a full human being, does that mean it's eligible for medicare? Can we take the tax deduction at conception?

Aug. 23 2012 10:35 AM
Sean from Brooklyn

Right on Michelle. If the Republicans want to make abortion illegal, they then have to be willing to pay for that child until that child can take care of themselves.

Aug. 23 2012 10:34 AM
g from staten island from staten island

Regarding the caller "Wayne" and all others believing no abortions, no exceptions. If Wayne,or any other man is married, and his wife is forcably raped and forced to give birth, the baby is legally the husband's child. The husband gets to support that child until it is an adult. How are the Right to Life" men feeling about that?

Aug. 23 2012 10:33 AM
gary from queens

@Tom

Both parties go for the extreme and ignore the legitimate conflicting interests. That is, the right of the woman to control her body, and the right to life of the unborn when it reaches some level of sentience or awareness.

I dont hear pro abortion women saying that there's a limiting stage of pregnancy under which ending the life of a fully developed fetus. So the pro choice crowd are no better than the religious crowd in republican circles.

Aug. 23 2012 10:33 AM
Leo from Queens

Right on Becky "The Truth from Becky":
In order to expand on your point, this was not a one time gaff, this is an extension of his views and speeches to his constituents and the numerous bills he has sponsored and voted on which try to redefine rape to be only 'forcible' rape and has been spewing this crazy ideology that women lie about being raped and that only get pregnant when they want to. it's to convince people that Abortion is not necessary since women have 'tricks' they can use to not get pregnant regardless of the situation.

This guy is a lunnie and those here claiming this is an isolated lunatic and that this was a slip of the tongue are being disingenuous.

Aug. 23 2012 10:32 AM
Tom

"...all unwanted children should be raised in state orphanages..."

that would be a lot more bigger government. not smaller govt at all. weird that a republican would want that.

Aug. 23 2012 10:32 AM
John A

So a Fetus at 12 weeks is 1/10th of a human being. After we've aborted 50 million of them, which we have, then you get a Holocaust. Just one example of the moral mess this is.

Aug. 23 2012 10:32 AM
Leo Brereton from United States

For women who get abortions...bring back STONING, of course. In for a penny, in for a pound, I say.
*sarcasm, in case there was a doubt*

Aug. 23 2012 10:32 AM
Rick Evans from 10473

" The Truth from Becky

"There are no 'levels' to rape, sex against your will is rape. What the courts will prosecute on is another story."

Of course there are 'levels'. That's why the term statutory rape exists. If forcible rape (It's a legal term) was the same as statutory rape, every 18 year old boyfriend who gets his 15 year old girlfriend pregnant would be arrested. We all know the legal system rarely treats this as a crime but as a problem to deal with by family and social services.

Aug. 23 2012 10:31 AM
nina from ny

gary from queens: not true...presidents of the US have the authority to elect Supreme Court Judges. The only reason we're having this discussion and, yes, WAR on Women's rights is b/c of a Supreme Court Ruling.
It's extremely important that Ryan/Romney express their views on Abortion! It matters

Aug. 23 2012 10:31 AM
Tricia from nyc

As a party the Republicans and their members get up in arms about government being too big and Bloomberg regulating salt and soda size claiming it is intrusive and wrong and taking away personal freedoms. Their hypocrisy is showing. It is about women and women's issues as well as religion in government.

And finally, men need to get out of this discussion but most of all the Republican party needs to get out of my body.

Aug. 23 2012 10:29 AM

The point made by a prior commentor highlights the mendaciousness of the anti-choice folks "compromising" even an iota with this cynical "forcible rape exception." Rape is a notoriously difficult crime to report and prosecute. Police work if any is often sloppy. The victim is traumatized. There is but a short window of time during a pregnancy when an abortion can/should be done safely - in the first or second trimester. If a rape victim is not simply given RU486 within a day or two of the crime (and this can certainly be HER choice), but instead has to wait a week or two to get a reliable pregnancy test, then go to court to prove any aspect of how that pregnancy came about, it would cost a fortune and potentially take years... this is all just the saddest sickest form of men trying to turn the clock back to control women's lives and bodies. Really upsetting.

Aug. 23 2012 10:29 AM
john from office

We dont need more unwanted children born to unprepared parents.

Aug. 23 2012 10:29 AM
Janine from Manhattan

Males should not weigh in on this matter since they are not able to bear children. End of story! I doubt many WANT to do this, it's a choice many women have to make because men are not taking care of their children! It will be done in back rooms if not allowed in hospitals.

Aug. 23 2012 10:28 AM

how many abortions are done each year in the us/ world? i seem to recall it was very high, like in the many millions.

is there any legislation or other strategy acceptable that could reduce that number -- that is acceptable to pro-choicers?

Personally I am pro-choice but i was very shaken when I heard the huge number of abortions done.

I am pro-choice because I acknowledge that life can be hard and cruel for the living, and death is always near. But using abortion simply as birth control & lesson-learned does seem beyond the pale.

Aug. 23 2012 10:28 AM
ethan from bk

it's such a disgusting crime that i don't even like to type the word. and what akin said was irredeemably ignorant. but there *are* differences between statutory rape, violent rape, rape by a stranger, rape by a relative, sexual abuse, false allegations of rape, and so on. these are eventualities, however uncomfortable to discuss, that need to be recognized and differentiated by the law. rape can't be treated as akin does; nor can it be put on a pedestal as a sacred claim never to be assailed or proven.

Aug. 23 2012 10:27 AM
John A.

Bravo to Michelle Goldberg for describing early on the concept of '''illegitimate rape''' including its motivation.
-
{Add joke about Republican voter ID laws applied to legitimize a rapist.} jk

Aug. 23 2012 10:27 AM
The Truth from Becky

There is NO WAY we can move on to a conversation of abortion, when we have not brought everyone to the understanding of rape!

Aug. 23 2012 10:27 AM
aliveinNJ from NJ

Have you noticed--how easily the Republicans shifted from denying rights to poor women to denying rights to all women? There is an object lesson there--we are all connected; an abuse of my rights is an abuse of yours. Let's protect everybody's rights and freedoms (that includes the right to a living wage and the right to vote as well).

Aug. 23 2012 10:27 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I've heard references several times, on this segment & on other shows, to some people who want to ban *all* abortions. Does this mean w/no exception even when the woman's life is in danger? That used to be the official position of the Catholic Church.

Also, "forcible rape" is usually used to describe rape by physical force, so it doesn't include rape in which the woman has been drugged (roofies) or is too drunk to object or resist.

Aug. 23 2012 10:27 AM
AG

Ann from NYC... you are right that it takes 2 to make a baby... which is why it is VERY hypocritical that a woman doesn't need the man's consent to abort the child he helped produce!!!

Aug. 23 2012 10:26 AM
Edward from NJ

Reason extreme abortion opponents don't include exceptions is that, once you make exceptions, you're accepting the notion that an fetus/embryo/fertilized zygote is different from a born human being. I'm saying this as someone who is pro-choice. I don't think abortion is the same thing as killing a person, but they claim they do.

Aug. 23 2012 10:26 AM
John from Clinton Hill

Isnt it an interesting observation that in all this conversation, it's male politicians' viewpoints we are focusing on? Where are the female politicians and leaders?

Aug. 23 2012 10:26 AM
Leo from Queens

Gary from Queens: Have you looked at Ryan's record in the US House of representatives? He has submitted and sponsored several bills - and had voted about 10 times already in this Congress - to restrict access to abortion and to redefine abortion and to force women (primarily poor women) to carry a pregnancy to term even if caused by rape or incest or even to protect her health. He mentioned on the floor of the House that the 'health of the mother' exception is so big you can drive a truck through it.

Aug. 23 2012 10:26 AM
Robert from NYC

If you think abortion is wrong then YOU shouldn't have one. But you are an idiot and that's because you are a man, probably.

Aug. 23 2012 10:25 AM
Debra

if they outlaw abortion and contraception.
we better outlaw ED (viagra type) medication as well.

Aug. 23 2012 10:25 AM
Suzie from Manhattan

Gary, Joe,... This isn't supposed to be a debate. Just a discussion of the potential practical outcome of some views and goals of politicians, who are very close to being elected. This is serious stuff.

Aug. 23 2012 10:24 AM
Ellen D

This is an interesting discussion but I wish you would not counterpose the positions as "pro-choice" and "pro-life." The opposite of "pro-choice" is not "pro-life"; it is "anti-choice" or "anti-abortion." Many of those who oppose abortion support our current wars and the death penalty--hardly positions I would characterize as "pro-life."

Aug. 23 2012 10:23 AM
Katherine from Westchester, NY

Legally speaking, if a personhood amendment were introduced (and somehow ratified), I think that would be it. The states can grant more protections, but they can't provide less, and if the US Constitution said that fetuses were people, then I'm not sure how a state could not keep abortion legal.

I think the same would go for abortion amendment.

Aug. 23 2012 10:23 AM
Jennifer from Westchester

For a party that is calling on the concept of freedom and smaller government-why do these guys insist that a woman would not have the freedom to decide if she could raise a child responsibly herself? Or seek reproductive health services? And then cut the social programs that support women with unplanned children. What does this have to do with freedom? Does anyome else find this ironic?

Aug. 23 2012 10:23 AM
RPost

To Brian Lehrer's question on if abortion was illegal what a woman should be charged with if she got an illegal one. Well you could look at legal precedent in other cases. In cases where men have assaulted women in order to try to cause a mis-carriage what has the charge been (when those cases were reported)? Or have there not been cases where in homicide cases that a woman and her fetus were counted separately in charges?

Aug. 23 2012 10:23 AM
gary from queens

Goldberg is playing fast and loose with the facts.

Ryan, just like Santorum, have personal views on abortion, based on their faith.

But neither one ever introduced legislation to for a rape victim to carry a pregnancy.

There's public policy, and there's an individual's personal beliefs. But democrat demagoguery is purposely merging the two for cheap political gain.

Aug. 23 2012 10:23 AM
Tom

Gary,
"which allows abortion for rape / incest" -- that is NOT what the republican platform says, but feel free to correct me.

Aug. 23 2012 10:22 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I believe that abortion should be banned and all unwanted children should be raised in state orphanages, as once was the case. The country needs native born children, and demographic control and life and death should not be decided by women alone. It is a national problem, not just an individual problem.

Aug. 23 2012 10:22 AM
Mike In Brklyn from Brooklyn

Since most Republicans are pro death penalty. Then by extension a woman aborting a fetus or embryo, who the pro-lifers consider is a life, should receive the death penalty, no?

If this sounds absurd then it is probably because the foundation from which it springs is equally absurd.

Aug. 23 2012 10:22 AM
Robert from NYC

Yes Gary, there are republicans who don't agree with Akin but, BUT the party bosses, as it were, have decided to make Akin's view THE party's view at the national convention. It is the view of the party.

Aug. 23 2012 10:21 AM
Ann from NYC

I'd be curious for Brian to ask listeners who believe in criminal charges, whether they also believe that the men who impregnated these women face criminal charges. Last I checked, it takes two to make a baby.

Aug. 23 2012 10:21 AM
TP

jgarbuz, when have republicans ever been after the "radical feminist agenda" vote??? that just does not make sense.

Aug. 23 2012 10:20 AM
Tricia from nyc

This is the kind of thing that parsing "rape" does
"A 17-year-old rape survivor in Kentucky was facing jail time after tweeting the names of her rapists, but after her story went viral yesterday the District Attorney decided not to pursue charges which would have carried a punishment of a maximum of 180 days in jail and a $500 fine."

read this:
http://feministing.com/2012/07/24/teen-rape-survivor-tweets-names-of-rapists-and-could-have-faced-jail-time/

But let's remember the women who have had children by a rapist and they asked for parental rights.

read this:
http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/22/opinion/prewitt-rapist-visitation-rights/index.html?c&page=2

In case cares about who voted for the "forcible rape" legislation otherwise known as HR3 that was co-sponsored by Todd Akin and voted yes on by 227 others here are the details.

This act was designed to defund Planned Parenthood as well as redefine and parse what a "rape" is by making it "forcible" or as recently stated "legitimate."

In case you don't get what is being said here, the basics are that if a woman doesn't fight back, which most women know from self defense classes is NOT ALWAYS THE BEST OPTION, than it is not "legitimate rape."

THIS IS NOTHING BUT A RUSE. It is meant to take away your choice. Just like the personhood legislation that Akin and Ryan and Romeny and most all of the GOP support.

read this:
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr3#

Aug. 23 2012 10:20 AM
John from office

The Republican party needs to get back to true science, not this nonsense. There is proof of evolution, global warming and the earth is NOT flat. We did not walk with the dinosours and the earth is millions of years old.

Abortion is the best thing to happen, it keeps down the population. People who would cut entitlements also want more people?? It makes no sense.

Aug. 23 2012 10:20 AM
Debra

As anyone thought about if the woman is raped by her husband/partner? He may have forced himself on her as well. I'm assuming that they are calling this "legitimate" rape.
It sounds to me that there is some kind of a scary undercurrent message to control the woman as some kind of "property". And that you would need to "declare" that you have been attacked.

Aug. 23 2012 10:20 AM
Michali Hyams (Mickey) from Columbus Circle

This debate has got to change course. Not only is rape rape, the right to choose is the right to choose. And the circumstances under which I get pregnant should be irrelevant to my constitutional right to decide what I want to do with my own body. While abortion rights are tied to a legal definition of rape, the legal definition of rape will continue to be narrowed. This not only denies women choice in regards to continuing a pregnancy, it removed the protections and services so desperately needed for the victims of sexual assault.

My rape was not forcible because he used a gun, a knife, threatened my life or the life of a loved one. My rape wasn't forcible because I was beaten, kidnapped, tortured or maimed. My rape wasn't forcible because I was under political or religious persecution. My rape was forcible because a person I did not want to have sex with forced his penis into my vagina.

I understand that there are those who truly believe they are saving the lives of the unborn, and they are passionate in that belief. But they need to stop putting that theoretical life and their imagined needs for that being before the very real needs of a victim of sexual violence. The issues of rape and sexual violence need to be removed completely from the abortion debate. My experiences have nothing to do with the constitutional right to choose. I am offended by republicans who believe they can qualify rape and organise it into easy to handle labels like "legitimate," "forcible" or "violent" and by democrats who exploit the horror of sexual violence as a litmus test for people's stance on abortion rights. You do not get to casually throw in "Even in the cases of incest and rape" like these experiences are yours to use.

Every woman in America has the constitutionally protected right to choose if she wants to carry a feotus to term. A woman who was raped does not deserve to preserve that right over anyone else. She does deserve kindness, compassion and access to services that will help her put her life back together. If you want to talk about rape, talk about helping those who want to put their lives back together. Educate young men and women about healthy relationships and pump money into mental health services.

Mr Akin did not misspeak, he said exactly what he believes. I do not want him to imagine being raped or imagine hearing one of his little girls was violated. Those are horrors no one should ever imagine. I want him and his political part to stop trying to define something they clearly have yet to understand.

Aug. 23 2012 10:20 AM
Elle from Brooklyn

Here is what I have always wanted one of these geniuses to explain - is the woman supposed to wait until her rapist has actually been found guilty? The kid would be 18 by that time.

Aug. 23 2012 10:20 AM
The Truth from Becky

There are no "levels" to rape, sex against your will is rape. What the courts will prosecute on is another story.

Aug. 23 2012 10:20 AM

and when will they come after our birth control pills?

Aug. 23 2012 10:19 AM
Tom Pinch

Akin's problem is not his use of the word "legitimate". It's is caveman knowledge that someone women can "shut that whole thing done." That is just ignorant and offensive.

Aug. 23 2012 10:19 AM
The Truth from Becky

This was not a "gaff" or a "misspeak" this person believes what he said. I watched the words come out of his mouth! Stop making excuses for him. Don't look to the Democrats for a comparison to this statement, it is not applicable.

Aug. 23 2012 10:18 AM
gary from queens

@tom

This guest and your question is political demagoguery. ON ONE of stature in the republican party supports the "non conception from real rape" absurdity of Aiken.

The purpose of the Democrats and Brian is to merge Aiken's lunacy with a legitimate pro life position-----which allows abortion for rape / incest. Ryan and Romney hold that position.

Aug. 23 2012 10:18 AM
Larry from Brooklyn

If someone believes an embryo or fetus is a full human with human rights and, therefore, opposes abortion, they must oppose abortion regardless of how the pregnancy comes about. Those who make exceptions are looking for votes and are being hypocritical (because they know that would be unpopular). They should, of course, also oppose the death penalty.

Aug. 23 2012 10:18 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"I'm Barack Obama.....and I approve this gratuitous political extrapolation against Paul Ryan by Brian Lehrer here on Obama Public Radio."

Aug. 23 2012 10:17 AM
Tom Pinch

Martin, you are just out of legitimate debate, aren't ya? Just played out, so you resort to nonsense.

Aug. 23 2012 10:17 AM

seriously...is this show gonna do anti-republican stuff leading up to the election.
Are you gonna do any shows on the Fed, the wars, Aerican assassinated, QE3, the TSA, etc?

Brian good job making sure that MG said Ryan rather than a random republican.

Aug. 23 2012 10:15 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Tom

Women outnumber male voters, so Republican politicians have to kowtow to the radical feminist agenda like everyone else.

Aug. 23 2012 10:15 AM
Tom

so what's the deal, men want a smaller government that stays out of their lives, but they just don't want women to have the same? men want smaller government until it comes to women or building a trillion dollar fence on our southern boarder???

Aug. 23 2012 10:15 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Why should Tod Akin take sole responsibilty for his statement?

Didn't I hear a recent Barack Obama stump speech in which BHO stated-

"Tod Akin didn't say that! Someone else made that happen!!!"??

Aug. 23 2012 10:14 AM
gary from queens

Can we do a show on the vice president's MANY gaffs sometime, instead of some obscure congressman's one gaff?

Aug. 23 2012 10:13 AM
Jim

"Forcible" is not redundant because there are other qualifiers (statutory, date, etc.). Statutory, for example, is not always forcible.

Aug. 23 2012 10:13 AM
Tom

Gary, even the republicans are bashing Akin. It ain't easy to find anyone counterpoint on behalf of this guy. You know anyone???

Aug. 23 2012 10:12 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Yeah, it's all just part of the power struggle going on between the genders for a very long time. It's all about feminist supremacy and the seizure of the reins of power, not for the sake of equality, but to domineer and dominate.

There is no real legal definition of "rape." It's whatever the radical feminists say it is. The right of women to control the future of population demographics is astounding. The right of women to excluse fathers from any power-sharing is beyond belief. The whole package is a total coup detat that the politicians have allowed for their own power.

Aug. 23 2012 10:11 AM
gary from queens

Brian, where is the counterpoint? Where is the conservative view which disagrees with the pro abortion stand?

You are not being fair and balanced.

Aug. 23 2012 10:10 AM

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