The video: Just when Rep. Todd Akin's Senate campaign was regrouping after his disastrous "legitimate rape" gaffe, a new video has surfaced to shine more harsh light on his hardline anti-abortion views. (Watch the video below.) In a speech on the House floor in 2008, the Missouri Republican, who's in a tight race against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), says "abortionists" are "terrorists." He adds that abortion doctors foster a "culture of death" that leads to "all kinds of other law-breaking," from cheating on their taxes to "giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant." Akin goes on, saying abortion is so contrary to what America stands for — the right to life and the pursuit of happiness — that people will wonder how we "ever supported something so un-American," just as they now wonder how Americans ever allowed slavery.
The reaction: Akin really outdid himself in this speech, says Dan Amira at New York. First of all — unless you're a wizard, maybe — it's impossible to give an abortion to a woman who isn't pregnant. He's apparently alluding to a few isolated cases where doctors have lied to patients about their being pregnant to "make some money off of a phony abortion," but "such treachery is rare and far from 'common practice,' as Akin puts it." Akin tried to recover from his scandalous claim that "legitimate rape" can't cause pregnancy by insisting he misspoke, says Amanda Marcotte at Slate. This speech proves that it was far from an anomaly, though. Akin is a volcano of "right-wing paranoia" who believes that stem-cell research will lead to the harvesting of human organs and that pregnant women are nothing but suppliers of "food and climate control" for the embryos inside them. It's not exactly news that abortion-rights supporters think Akin is off his rocker, says Page Winfield Cunningham at The Washington Times. He's keeping up with McCaskill, though, because much of the Right "still holds him in high regard" because of, not in spite of, his conservative views on abortion.
Watch Akin's House speech for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- Russia's giant spy ship was a high-tech disaster waiting to happen
- On ISIS, neocons and liberal hawks have a 'boy who cried wolf' problem
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How Harry Houdini escaped death
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- 10 things you need to know today: September 2, 2014
Subscribe to the Week