Since Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) outrageous assertion that “legitimate rape” doesn’t lead to pregnancy, Mitt Romney has been trying to distance himself from Akin’s far-right views on women’s issues. Unfortunately for Romney, however, the running mate he selected for his presidential ticket isn’t actually far removed from Akin’s radical anti-choice positions at all.
Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan agrees with Akin that rape is not a valid reason to seek an abortion, a position he has publicly held as far back as 1998. Ryan actually has a slightly more extreme record on anti-abortion legislation than Akin does, earning an 100 percent pro-life rating from the National Right to Life Committee for his anti-choice votes in Congress while Akin earned a 90 percent rating during the same time period. Every single piece of anti-abortion legislation that Ryan has supported has been a bill co-sponsored by Akin. And the two have co-sponsored a considerable number of radical anti-choice measures together:
Despite the fact that Republicans want to pretend that Akin is the exception rather than the rule, his deeply anti-choice views permeate the widespread policy positions of the GOP party. Romney chose to align himself with a far-right lawmaker who has helped Akin lead the way in Congress to restrict women’s rights, and it’s not a stretch to imagine that a Romney-Ryan ticket would take steps to legislate women’s health based on Akin’s woefully misguided junk science.