Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) says he won't drop out of the race to unseat Democratic… (Orlin Wagner / Associated…)
Re "GOP hadn't planned on this debate," Aug. 22
Is The Times kidding? The GOP and the tea party elements that have taken it over have been spoiling for this debate ever since they captured the House and numerous state legislatures in 2010.
After running on the economy and jobs, the Republicans have instead introduced bills seeking to limit women's access to reproductive health services, to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood, to put women's clinics out of business and even to restrict access to contraception. The GOP's no abortions, no exceptions plank is just the latest manifestation of its continuing war on women, and women are paying attention.
The Republicans may be very sorry Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) said what he said, but no one should be surprised that he said it. Now that the terms have been set, let the debate begin.
I hope voters don't think that Akin is representative of the Republican Party, because he is not. He does, unfortunately, represent a religious fringe of the party.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are not part of this fringe. They are more centrist and do not share these extremist views. They have both already denounced Akin's remarks and asked him to resign.
Please don't judge the presidential candidates by this isolated nut case. Every organization has a few wackos.
As a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist with a specialty in reproductive health, I have taken care of many women with pregnancies as a result of a rape.
I wanted to alert readers to a study that was published in 1996 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The study followed 4,008 women in a three-year longitudinal survey and found that the national rape-related pregnancy rate is 5% among victims of reproductive age. The data are consistent with the same rate for pregnancy in non-rape victims for a single, random act of intercourse. The data suggest that about 32,100 pregnancies result from rape each year.
Rachel Steward, MD
Means testing, Salem witch trials, circa 1692: If an accused witch was bound hand and foot and drowned after being thrown into water, she was innocent.
Means testing, GOP, 2012: If a woman is raped and gets pregnant, she wasn't really raped.
"You've come a long way, baby."
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