As an orator, Representative Todd Akin of Missouri may stand out for his clumsiness. But as a legislator, Mr. Akin has a record on abortion that is largely indistinguishable from those [sic] of most of his Republican House colleagues, who have viewed restricting abortion rights as one of their top priorities.In one sense, Akin may be more sensitive than most in the Republican Party. If he believes what he said on Sunday--scientific bilgewater though it is--he implicitly admits that rape followed by pregnancy is trauma followed by tragedy. Those in the party who have denounced him for his inaccuracy do not, apparently, care about that: they would forbid abortion for rape victims even though they know that pregnancy can, indeed, result.
Akin's crime is not his ignorance so much as that he brought attention to just how inhumane the Republican position on abortion has become; that could lead to more voters taking note of how inhumane the party is on other issues.
Worse yet, Akin has shown bad timing: his remarks came just before the Republican Party platform committee voted to support--as the party has in the past two presidential election years--a constitutional amendment that would outlaw abortion, with no reference to exceptions even for rape or incest.