Aug 20, 2012
Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan seek distance from ‘legitimate rape’ remark, but records show narrow support for abortion
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan say they disagree with Missouri Representative Todd Akin’s opposition to abortions for rape victims, but Akin’s reference Sunday to “legitimate rape” recalled the “forcible rape” language contained in a bill Ryan co-sponsored last year.
Last year, Ryan joined Akin as one of 227 co-sponsors of a bill that narrowed an exemption to the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortions. The Hyde Amendment allows federal dollars to be used for abortions in cases of rape and incest, but the proposed bill — authored by New Jersey Representative Christopher H. Smith — would have limited the incest exemption to minors and covered only victims of “forcible rape.”
House Republicans never defined what constituted “forcible rape” and what did not, but critics of the bill suggested the term could exclude women who are drugged and raped, mentally handicapped women who are coerced, and victims of statutory rape.
On Monday, the Obama camp charged Romney and Ryan with “contradicting their own records” as they rejected Akin’s comments. In a statement, Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith referenced Ryan’s co-sponsorship of the “forcible rape” bill and Romney’s stated support of a Human Life Amendment, which she said “would ban abortion in all instances, even in the case of rape and incest.”
To read more about the GOP attitude toward women, please click here