'Legitimate Rape' and Other GOP Attacks on Women


By Bessy Reyna
I wonder what would possess any man, and particularly a politician, to believe they are the chosen ones who have the right to control what a woman does with her body, or to enact laws enforcing their religious and/or sexist ideas limiting women’s rights. I thought we lived in the 21st century.
The latest in a long-string of absurd and malicious comments coming out of the mouth of yet another Republican, was the recent one made by U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican Senate nominee for Missouri, who, amazingly enough, happens to be a member of the House Science, Space and Technology committee. Turns out that Akin believes that pregnancies resulting from “legitimate rape” are rare. Apparently, for this man who (sorry, I have to say it again) is a member of a Science committee, women’s bodies have extra-magical powers to defeat the unwanted sperm resulting from a heinous crime.
I have no idea how Akin could twist the horrible experience of a rape to justify his opposition to abortion. Sadly, Akin is not alone. Congressman Paul Ryan, the GOP Vice-Presidential nominee has been a strong advocate against abortion and women’s rights.
The most outrageous part of this constant attempt to erode the rights that women have won in the courts is that while some of these politicians continue to do everything in their power to turn back the clock on those rights, they try to do so by skillfully mixing religious and obsolete ideas about who should control women’s bodies.
It is hard for me to think that the upcoming presidential election is about jobs and the economy. This is an election about ideology, in which women and “protecting the unborn” are yet again being used as an excuse to impose an ideology that will result in forcing women to seek unhealthy and dangerous ways to terminate a pregnancy.
In 1973, in Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court decided a woman’s right to an abortion. Listening to the rhetoric in the political arena, and observing the constant attempts to limit a woman’s right to an abortion, regardless of circumstances, one would think that decision was never rendered.
The issue of abortion is just one of the many affecting women’s lives and well being, which are at play during this election. While Latinos are being courted as the new power in politics, I hope that, more than ever, Latinas will pay attention to which candidate they support, and make sure they know how they have voted to jeopardize their rights in the Senate and Congress.
The war against women is found everywhere right now. In radio commentators who call strong women “sluts” or “feminazis” and in voices of so many men who disrespect and denigrate women just because they have been given the power to do so.
When is enough, enough?