Paul Ryan And Todd Akin Are Abortion Soulmates
Isolated comments from a political candidate — even remarks as incendiary as Rep. Todd Akin’s suggestion that “legitimate rape” doesn’t cause pregnancy — usually deliver only a glancing, temporary blow to other members of the candidate’s political party. But there are reasons to think the Missourilawmaker’s bombshell interview could harm the Republican presidential ticket.
Akin, of Missouri, and Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, who are House GOP colleagues, share a voting history on abortion rights, including mutual support for a controversial measure that would define an embryo as a person. They cosponsored another measure, subsequently withdrawn, that would distinguish “forcible rape”in banning abortion funding. Akin, Ryan, and Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney also back less-controversial measures, such as defunding Planned Parenthood.
The broader links between Akin and the presidential ticket give Democrats a chance to push a debate about abortion rights and women’s health into the presidential race’s limelight, putting the GOP on the defensive over an issue it would rather avoid and with a group of voters, women, it has struggled to attract.