Ryan and Akin: Two Peas in a PodPosted: August 27, 2012
By Becka Wall
Guys, forget Todd Akin. Paul Ryan is the real horror story for American Women.
At first, when the entire “legitimate rape” faux-paux of the century fell out of Todd Akin’s mouth, I was thrilled. I think I clapped and danced with glee (for future reference – my happy dance looks like Gob’s chicken dance in Arrested Development).
Political parties aside, I was just excited that we were finally – FINALLY! – going to have a real, open national conversation about rape and rape exceptions. And for a moment, we did. Mainstream media outlets looked at how rape is discussed around the world, the language we use around rape, incest and abortion. We talked about it as a contraceptive option (even if I hate the idea of circumstantial legal abortion – how about, what business is it of yours how I became pregnant, hmm? WHATEVER). President Obama even came out and strongly said “rape is rape”.
We’re talking about it! We’re discussing sexual abuse and violence, contraception, abortion – and the conversation seems to be going our way! Plus, even just talking about it PERIOD is a good thing, right?
But as the news cycle moved on to the Hurricane and the GOP convention, something MAJOR was able to escape the attention of the biggest news outlets:
When attention was first called to Akin’s comments, Republican politicians went on the defensive – particularly the party’s Presidential ticket. Paul Ryan came out saying that “rape is rape” in the face of comparisons to him and Akin – but what nobody caught was that Ryan turned right back around a couple of days ago, saying that rape is “just another means of conception” and that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life, and basically admitting that if he were numero uno up on that ticket, he’d be criminalizing abortion left and right. Which you could try to write off, until you realize – he’s going to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency.
Ryan and Akin are two peas of the same pod – co-sponsoring the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which would give legal rights to fertilized eggs from the moment of conception, and Ryan supported the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which allows exceptions only for “forcible rape” – and that’s just the start of a laundry list of items designed to make it more difficult for me to get an abortion if I need one. How is it possible that this hasn’t gotten more media play!?
It’s great that we’ve started up a national conversation around rape, and called attention to the disgusting opinions a bunch of dudes in ties seem to have regarding my vagina and uterus. But it’s not enough to only pay attention and dig deep for a couple of days – we need to continually call attention to these things. Because if we don’t, sadly, the news cycle will simply move on and the topic will fade away.