Last year, Republicans likely lost two U.S. Senate seats because their candidates claimed “legitimate rape” is a form of contraception and that pregnancies resulting from rape are a “gift from God.” Last week, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) again demonstrated the GOP’s frequent willingness to belittle rape by claiming that former Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) legitimate rape comments were “partly right.”
In the wake of these toxic statements about a horrific crime, a leading anti-abortion group is now leaping to the Republican Party’s rescue with a training program to teach GOP lawmakers how to speak about this subject:
Gingrey’s lengthy explanation of what Akin meant was quickly circulated by Democrats, repudiated by medical groups, and had some Republicans smacking their heads in frustration.
And it may have added new urgency to a training program that’s already being launched by an anti-abortion group — the Susan B. Anthony list — to keep candidates and lawmakers from continually making the same kind of comments that may have helped ruin Republicans’ chances of winning the Senate.
It’s amazing that anyone would need a training program to figure out how to talk about rape. In the words of former Romney adviser Kevin Madden, “[t]his is actually pretty simple. If you’re about to talk about rape as anything other than a brutal and horrible crime, stop.”