Todd Akin’s ‘War on Women’ Started Seven Years Ago

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., ignited a firestorm Aug. 19 when he claimed women who are the victims of "legitimate rape" biologically don't carry a baby to term. Voters in Missouri had a heads-up moment seven years ago when Akin made an ultra-conservative speech on the floor of Congress regarding embryonic stem cell research. Three years later, the representative made odd remarks about abortion doctors.

Akin's so-called "war on women" didn't begin in August. It may have started seven years ago.

What exactly did Akin say on the floor of the House of Representatives?

Slate.com found two videos of the representative speaking before his fellows in Congress. In May 2005, Akin slammed embyronic stem cell research. The representative claimed to be telling a story his daughter wrote about how a child is named "5-25-61-B" instead of a human name. Akin further likened a mother's womb to "climate control" for the "unique information that defines a person."

A second video Slate found on C-SPAN was from January 2008. Akin slammed abortion doctors as people who have a "culture of death" along with "all kinds of other law-breaking: not following good sanitary procedure, giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant, cheating on taxes misuse of anesthetics so that people die or almost die."

What has been the reaction to these videos?

Dan Amira of New York Magazine found a Chicago Tribune story that seems to corroborate Akin's testimony on abortion doctors . Arnold Bickham had his license revoked for 18 months beginning in 1979 for performing abortions on women "not pregnant and sometimes not fully under anesthesia."

The Slate article notes Akin or his daughter may have read a book entitled "Never Let Me Go ." The novel focuses on children who grow up to be clones designed to be harvested for their organs. The piece, written in 2005, is by Kazuo Ishiguro. Akin's speech denouncing cloning and stem cell research was made the same year "Never Let Me Go" was published.

How do these new revelations change the Missouri Senate race?

Slate published an article Tuesday evening regarding Akin's chances of winning the statewide vote. Despite his comments, voter Dee Eukel supports Akin even though she was the victim of rape. Eukel told the media outlet, "I understand [legitimate rape] because I was a victim. And our local prosecutor told me: We best accept a plea bargain because we can't get a prosecution on rape."

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Todd Akin’s ‘War on Women’ Started Seven Years Ago

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