Mike Huckabee and Steve King defend Todd Akin, are the worst

Mike HuckabeeWhile many GOP politicians are trying to distance themselves from Rep. Todd Akin’s comments on rape and abortion (despite really advancing the same absolute anti-choice platform), Mike Huckabee and Rep. Steve King both decided defending Akin was a good idea. Hey, at least they’re being honest about where they stand on the issue. Let’s start with Huckabee:

In the furor over Akin’s remarks and increasing pressure for him to drop out of his race against Sen. Claire McCaskill, Huckabee used his syndicated radio program Monday to give the embattled candidate a safe venue to express remorse and his determination to remain in the race. Huckabee also took the opportunity to cast the best possible light on Akin’s awkward position. The former Arkansas governor and onetime GOP presidential contender suggested a couple of cases in which he suggested that rapes, though “horrible tragedies,” had produced admirable human beings.

“Ethel Waters, for example, was the result of a forcible rape,” Huckabee said of the late American gospel singer. One-time presidential candidate Huckabee added: “I used to work for James Robison back in the 1970s, he leads a large Christian organization. He, himself, was the result of a forcible rape. And so I know it happens, and yet even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come and sometimes, you know, those people are able to do extraordinary things.”

Chloe’s committed to civility, so it took her a minute to say “fuck you” to Todd Akin, but I’m not nearly that classy:

Fuck you Mike Huckabee. Fuck you for turning a complex part of real people’s histories into a political sound bite. Fuck you for turning their lives into the silver lining of their mother’s rapes. Fuck you for trying to guilt trip victims of rape into making the reproductive health decisions you agree with. Fuck you for being a spiritual leader without the empathy or basic human decency to realize you’re being a dick.

Huckabee’s comments are disgusting. But at least he acknowledged pregnancy can result from rape. Rep. Steve King thinks Akin has a point:

King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.

“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”

Steve KingTalking Points Memo cites a Guttmacher study that found “at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.” So King is wrong, you know, factually speaking. Not that the facts matter much – As Jessica points out, this is continuing a popular Republican trend of spouting completely wrong ideas about how reproductive and sexual health works. Wrong ideas that are leading to real world restrictions on access to reproductive health care.

Obviously, fuck you to Steve King, too, though it’s basically the exact same fuck you as the one directed at Akin. It just goes double for actually repeating that crap and making it clear that kids are also supposed to have magical abilities to prevent pregnancy from rape.

As Maya pointed out, the whole conversation around rape exceptions is bullshit. When I worked on an abortion funding hotline, everyone I spoke with had a special set of circumstances that meant they needed to access an abortion, and needed our help. Of course, all of these people deserved our help regardless of their stories. Republican politicians have knee jerk reactions to the issues of abortion and rape, but they’ve got zero relationship to the actual lived reality – or medical reality – in which people get raped, need access to abortion, and need to be able to make their own damn medical decisions.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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