Although Republican lawmakers are attempting to distance themselves from Todd Akin’s (R-MO) false assertion that “legitimate rape” doesn’t lead to pregnancy, the uncomfortable truth is that Akin’s extreme views are very much in line with the mainstream Republican party’s.
Just as the official Republican Party platform corroborates Akin’s belief that abortion should be illegal even the case of rape or incest, top Republican lawmakers have aligned themselves with Akin on countless pieces of legislation that seek to restrict women’s access to abortion and contraception. In fact, over the past decade in Congress, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has co-sponsored 32 abortion-related bills that Akin has also sponsored or co-sponsored. Here are a few anti-choice bills that both Akin and Cantor supported:
- HR 3: The 2011 No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, first introduced in 2011, included language about “forcible rape” in its early versions that set a dangerous precedent for Republican attempts to narrow the definition of “legitimate” forms of sexual assault.
- HR 5276: The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2010 would require doctors to describe “the pain experienced by the unborn child” to women seeking an abortion.
- HR 649: The 2009 Ultrasound Informed Consent Act sought to force women to look at an ultrasound of their fetus before being allowed to continue with their decision to have an abortion.
- HR 2752: Akin was the primary sponsor of the Parents Right to Know Act of 2009, which sought to strip funding for health clinics like Planned Parenthood that provide FDA-approved contraceptives to minors without first obtaining parental consent.
Akin’s anti-abortions views are not, in fact, too radical for the top Republican in the House. Akin’s fellow Republicans want to claim they disagree with his offensive views behind the GOP’s stance toward women’s health, but their voting records say differently.