The Akins Solution
“It’s not the child that needs killin’.” Rob Roy MacGregor, Rob Roy (1995)
That statement was fine for Hollywood, in 1995. Perhaps it’s even an historical fact that MacGregor and his wife accepted a child conceived through the violent act of an enemy. In the film, even the wife admitted she’d tried to “get rid of it” but couldn’t. Mary MacGregor was perhaps very noble, but it’s a good deal to expect of a modern woman who’s been violated.
Even if on some level Akins may be right a la Rob Roy, as a politician he should have kept such sentiments locked away in his own breast. As a Southeast Missouri blogger notes: “Akin’s uncompromising brand of social conservatism…might lead him to say something that may give political moderates – the same moderates who don’t like the economic policies advanced by Obama and Senate Democrats – pause in the Senate race."
The blogger’s example of an Akinism is: “America has the equivalent of the stage III cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in.”
As a matter of fact, it was a bold statement, but one Conservatives would agree with. This hardly on a level with his admittedly off-the-wall statement about abortion in the case of “legitimate” rape. Moderates give Conservatives just as much "pause."
According to the New York Times, “Asked in an interview on a St. Louis television station about his views on abortion, Mr. Akin, a six-term member of Congress who is backed by Tea Party conservatives, made it clear that his opposition to the practice was nearly absolute, even in instances of rape.
“’It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.’”
It would be interesting to know what this female biological process is, that can discriminate between rape and making love, and so “shut down” an unwanted pregnancy. Millions of women are eager to hear, although pharmaceuticals companies would probably withdraw their campaign donations.
The Democrats spent over $1.5 million towards his campaign in his three-way primary, hoping he would say something like that. Congressman Akins needs to return to his high school biology class. The New York Times leapt on his statement and made sure they informed their readers that he is backed by the Tea Party
The interview was on a St. Louis television station, which asked him about his views on abortion. Had he shortened his answer to the Rob Roy version, he might have survived the debacle with less political damage. “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt,” goes the old Abe Lincoln saw.
As for protecting the innocent, unborn child; well, that’s the harrowing legacy of rape. There, Akins’ stance is a little more sympathetic (at least towards the child, if not the mother) and understandable. In such a crime, there is no “good” solution. Spare the child and you torture the victim, its mother, who must for nine months carry a reminder of the violent attack against her. Abort the fetus and, in the view of some, you commit murder, the taking of an innocent life. You also add fuel to the fire of pro-abortionists who reason that if the rape victim should not have to carry an unwanted child, why should they?
Akins deserves 100 lashes with a wet noodle for his ignorance of biology and making a stupid statement to prove it. But perhaps he deserves a pass for his concern, if somewhat misguided, for the unborn children of a violent act. If we had the death penalty for rapists (sexual criminals have a high rate of recidivism; some psychologists say they can’t be “cured”), such “unwanted” pregnancies would be “rare.”