Pregnancy

Still Clueless About Female Anatomy, Todd Akin Says Non-Pregnant Women Are Getting Abortions

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You can’t keep an ignorant man down. Todd Akin may have become a national figure of mockery for the sheer stupidity of his comments about rape and abortion, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to avoid those topics. Oh no. Akin is going to keep on pushing his misinformed views, possibly because the more the media criticizes him, the more a certain part of his electoral base supports him.

In fact, the Akin campaign hasn’t seemed to shy away from the topics that got the candidate in trouble at all. Todd Akin’s wife Lulli compared her husband’s treatment by the party establishment to that of rape in an interview recently. Now, Akin is standing by statements he made in 2008 that abortion providers are so horrible, they’re performing abortions on women who aren’t even pregnant.

I’ll give you a minute to wrap your head around that idea. Abortions performed on non-pregnant women…

During a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives in 2008, Akin said this about abortion providers.

“Who wants to be at the very bottom of the food chain of the medical profession? And what sort of places do these bottom-of-the-food-chain doctors work in? Places that are really a pit. You find that along with the culture of death go all kinds of other law-breaking: not following good sanitary procedure, giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant, cheating on taxes, all these kinds of things, misuse of anesthetics so that people die or almost die. All of these things are common practice, and all of that information is available for America.”

Some diligent folks like RHReality Check and Buzzfeed went out to find all this readily available information. Mostly they came up with a news story from 1978, and a book written by a former Planned Parenthood employer whose beliefs on abortion changed over time and who is now a passionate pro-life advocate.

Even better, Buzzfeed contacted the Akin campaign to see if the candidate was still concerned with the idea of non-pregnant women getting abortions. And instead of not returning the call or giving no comment, an Akin spokesperson doubled down on the 2008 remarks. “There’s ample evidence that abortion doctors on any number of occasions have deceived women into thinking that they’re pregnant, and then collect money for a procedure that they don’t perform,” said Rick Tyler. And by ample evidence, they still mean that news story from 1978. When asked for more recent evidence, Tyler said that no one is reporting on it anymore. He further explained, “I don’t want Todd to be held to some standard because there’s no accurate reporting on abortion, because there isn’t.”

I have to say, there has been much more reporting on abortion thanks to Akin’s ignorant comments. Maybe that was the plan all along, to say really awful things to get the topic some more attention. And I can understand why Tyler doesn’t want his candidate held to a standard of accuracy, because that could create real problems.

We already know that the Missouri Representative and Senate candidate has earned back some good graces within his own party. The GOP has agreed to start advertising on his behalf again. He was endorsed by the likes of Rick Santorum and Senator Jim DeMint. And it’s not because he quietly apologized and then never spoke of abortion or pregnancy or rape ever again. These are subjects which he continues to talk about in really troubling, misinformed ways.

(Photo: Gergely Zsolnai/Shutterstock)