The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

August 20, 2012

Our View: Akin's comments spark legitimate outrage

Two weeks ago, Claire McCaskill’s prospects for a second Senate term looked dubious. Moderate St. Louis Republican and private businessman John Brunner was leading in the Republican primary and preliminary polls showed him likely to beat McCaskill in a general election matchup.

But then things began to happen on the way to the forum. In full defiance of the “Buckley Rule” (vote not for the most conservative candidate, but the most conservative candidate who can actually get elected), Missouri Republicans bypassed Brunner, bypassed Sarah Steelman and made U.S. Rep. Todd Akin their choice.

On Sunday, Akin showed his party the wisdom behind Mr. Buckley’s “rule.”

During a KTVI-TV interview on Charles Jaco’s “The Jaco Report,” Akin was asked if he would support abortions for women who have been raped.

Akin said: “It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Akin added that if “that (the body shutting down), didn’t work or something, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

Later Sunday, Akin released a statement saying that he “misspoke” during the interview, though the statement did not say specifically which points he “misspoke” about, what doctors he was citing or what he meant by “legitimate” rape.

Abortion is a very polarizing topic. We find absolutely nothing legitimate regarding Akin’s comments. We find Akin’s understanding of the human anatomy and the depth of ignorance in such a thought process outright offensive.

There was a time in this country when a man’s word was his bond and his honor sacred.

If it were up to us, Mr. Akin would reach deep into his soul and do the honorable thing. He should drop out of the race and open the door for a legitimate candidate.

But it’s not up to us. It’s up to the voters of Missouri, and it will be they who ultimately decide.

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