By Leslie Marshall
Leslie Marshall is a nationally syndicated radio host heard nationwide weekdays from 7-10pm Eastern time on radio and streamed live at www.lesliemarshallshow.com. Leslie is also a Fox News contributor seen weekly on The O'Reilly Factor, America Live, monthly on Hannity and she sits in for Bob Beckel as one of the co hosts on The Five. She lives in Los Angeles.
Todd Akin. It's a name all Americans know today due to his remark that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant. This offended me and so many others. But perhaps even more so, victims of rape and victims who were impregnated by their attackers.
So after Akin made such a disgusting remark, you think he would apologize? Clarify? This is what he said: There isn't any legitimate rapist…."I was making the point that there were people who use false claims, like those basically created Roe v. Wade..."
[Take the U.S. News Poll: Should Todd Akin Drop Out of His Race After 'Legitimate Rape' Remarks?]
Despicable. He never accepted responsibility for what he said, for what he meant. Akin shouldn't have been a politician, he should have dug ditches for a living as he's just dug himself into a deeper hole. Who would have thought in an election year where the economy is No. 1 on America's mind and all you will hear the candidates speak about, that Roe v. Wade, abortion, and rape would take center stage?
Now we all know that there are many prolife conservatives on the right who want Roe v. Wade and abortion to take center stage daily, and now they got their wish. But this is not what Republicans want at this time. This has left many, including presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, in the uncomfortable position of distancing themselves from Congressman Akin. And for Romney, a reminder to all, especially voters, that he was once prochoice and 'changed his mind' to be prolife...all for votes. Republicans had and continue to have an agenda to overturn Roe v. Wade. Don't let House Speaker John Boehner's denouncing of Akin's remark fool you. Republicans even now are calling for a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion with no explicit exceptions for cases of rape or incest. Even Romney supports exceptions to allow abortions in cases of rape; perhaps he'll flip flop on that position as well.
[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]
For the past week the spotlight has been on Romney's VP pick Rep. Paul Ryan. And now the spotlight is on Ryan again. Ryan has voted alongside Akin for 10 abortion-restricting measures including cutting off all federal funds to Planned Parenthood and restricting financing for family planning overseas. And of course, there is the plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. And let's not forget that Ryan cosponsored an anti-abortion measure with Akin where there was an exemption made for victims of "forcible" rape (that word had to eventually be removed). What rapist didn't force themselves on their victims?!
And the idea that women would falsely claim to have been raped to have access to abortion rights?! Yes, it has happened. Yes, it will happen. But those numbers are very, very, very low. Very low in comparison to the one in 10 rapes that are reported, meaning that nine out of 10 of those go unreported. And low in comparison to the number of times a rapist rapes before being caught. The number of times a rapist might continue to rape if their victim doesn't report the crime. Low in comparison to how many women have been raped in America, just this past year.
[See a collection of political cartoons on the Catholic contraception controversy.]
And I should know. I was the victim of rape at 19. And I never reported it. I am ashamed of my choice; I didn't do the right thing. And now Akin's not doing the right thing in refusing to step down...he should be ashamed of his choice.
And you know what is even more frightening and offensive to me? The fact that many agree with Akin and with his words.
And now I have a question for you: You still think there isn't a "war on women"?
- Read Peter Roff: After 'Legitimate Rape' Comment, Todd Akin Should Resign From Race
- Follow the Thomas Jefferson Street blog on Twitter at @TJSBlog.
- Check out U.S. News Weekly: an insider's guide to politics and policy.