Richard Mourdock is Not Todd Akin or a Misogynist





Richard MourdockLast night in a debate for Indiana’s U.S. Senate race Republican candidate Richard Mourdock was asked whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest.  Mourdock answered, “”I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Mourdock after the debate clarified in a statement, “God creates life, and that was my point. God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that He does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick.”

The Associated Press was quick to bring up another Republican candidate, Todd Akin, who has taken fire over his comments on rape and pregnancy.  Tom LoBianco wrote:

Mourdock became the second GOP Senate candidate to find himself on the defensive over comments about rape and pregnancy. Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin said in August that women’s bodies have ways of preventing pregnancy in cases of what he called “legitimate rape.” Since his comment, Akin has repeatedly apologized but has refused to leave his race despite calls to do so by leaders of his own party, including GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

He’s already being painted as a misogynist by the left.  Akin’s comment made erroneous claims about when pregnancy could occur and made it sound like there was such a thing as legitimate rape.  Mourdock’s comment goes no where near that territory.

As a Christian here is how I see that statement.  I see it as a reflection of Romans 8:28 in that God has the ability to work out good – regardless of the situation.  Life is a gift, it is precious.  That baby is not at fault for what happened.  The act of rape is horrible, but life is good.  God can use even a horrible situation like rape to bring about good.

If liberals don’t believe that good can come out of horrible circumstances then not only are they in error, but hopeless as well.  Mourdock did not defend rape.  Rather He pointed out that God doesn’t make mistakes.  I understand that a U.S. Senate debate is a poor place to have a theological discussion.  Rape occurred because of our broken world.  Not by God’s design.  God however can bring out His purpose and plan even in horrible circumstances like that.

Mourdock should have said something like this… This is a horrible situation for the mother, but what does adding a second victim to the crime do?  How does this bring about justice?  Why is it we can’t talk about other alternatives with mothers in circumstances such as these and how can we provide support for them if they choose to keep their child or adopt.  I understand that it is a hard situation, I believe that abortion will take a tragic situation and make it even worse.”

Regardless Richard Mourdock is no Todd Akin, and I’m disappointed in GOP candidates that have joined the bandwagon of criticism without thinking this through.  He didn’t make a misogynistic statement.  He held forth the truth that life is precious and should be protected.

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Comments

  1. says

    You should not have suggested that Todd Akin said anything wrong either. His words were twisted from his intended meaning, as well as Mourdock’s. Why throw either of them under the bus or to the wolves?.

    • says

      I’ve defended Akin, and while I understood what he meant it was the wrong thing to say. I think people twisted his words further than what he ever intended and I believe the way he was treated by the party was wrong. The only reason I mentioned it was because of how Mourdock was being portrayed in the press. I don’t mean to throw Akin under the bus, but I wanted to point out that the two statements are not equivalent

      • SJ says

        That’s fair. I thought Akin’s statement was very poorly phrased–far more so than Mourdock’s. At the same time, the criticism Akin received was vastly blown out of proportion, and most of the calls for him to drop out were dripping with hypocrisy. :P

      • says

        Inaccurate is not the same thing as unproven. He was perhaps unwise to broach the subject, because it added nothing to his argument (even if only baby a year was conceived in rape (or i million) it makes no difference). But even so, he had made that clear. The bigger crock is suggesting that the use of the word “legitimate” was unadvised. You, I, and everybody else knows what the word meant in the context. I could take any word you use and show how inappropriate it is – the story of Mourdock should reinforce our support of Akin, not used as an opportunity to take another shot at him.

      • Argon says

        If one claims that something happens by unproven means then one is being inaccurate. Similarly, if one claims that something happens by *disproven* means then one is also being inaccurate. Akin’s claim falls into the latter category. Forcible rape doesn’t cause a woman’s body to ‘shut things down.’ It isn’t a significant factor in the proportion of rapes that result in pregnancies.

      • SJ says

        Actually, David, I puzzled over what Akin meant by “legitimate rape” for a good while. I didn’t have any idea. At best, I found the term very confusing.

        I could take any word you use and show how inappropriate it is…

        Huh? I suppose it’s possible to take just about any word someone says out of context and unfairly term it “inappropriate.” But that’s not entirely the case here. True, liberals were distorting things the way they always do, but even many well-meaning conservatives were greatly taken aback by Akin’s choice of words.

        Besides, we’re not talking about any John Smith or Jane Doe here. If you or I use a word inappropriately in an informal setting, how many folks are going to care? But when you’re in the spotlight and your words can potentially reach millions, you’d better be extra careful about the way you say things, or else you will end up paying the consequences. When the cameras are on, loose lips really can sink ships. ;)

      • Argon says

        And that’s probably why many in the GOP wanted Akin out of the race. He’s turned a seat that was a certain win into a toss up. His comments were so ridiculous and inflammatory that even his national party felt they had to withhold funding to minimize the PR damage in other races. Other GOP leaders moved rapidly to excoriate Akin. What this scuffle showed is that the GOP establishment is just as two-faced as any other party.

    • Argon says

      David, Akin posited that rape induces a change in the female victim’s physiology that prevents pregnancy. That claim is pretty much off the rails, and particularly unsettling coming from someone who serves on the House science and technology committee. Rape is certainly not its own contraceptive.

      As for calls within the party for Akin to step down, I think much of that had to do with the establishment’s worry that he was not a strong candidate against McCaskill, turning a sure win into a contested seat. With Akin out, they could have installed a more competitive candidate.

      • says

        You may say his claim is “off the rails” but it is mostly just a claim, just as Akin suggested that some doctors may believe that. Akin retracted his claim, and I am still waiting for those who say it is off the rails to back up their claim. There may be some evidence that foreplay plays a role in facilitating higher fertility rates, this alone would support Akin’s claim. He never claimed that it would prevent all pregnancies. It turns out that the :”establishment” is more worried about electing people who fit in with the “me-too” agenda of the GOP.

      • Argon says

        Others cited quacks later. That claim doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, being more folklore than anything else. Akin simply didn’t know what he was talking about. The female body does not respond to ‘legitimate rape’ by trying to shutting things down. Akin, got caught saying something stupid. Period. His scientific and medical information was lacking.

        FWIW- Foreplay generally doesn’t dramatically increase fertility and Akin certainly never cited any study about that. Rape is not its own contraceptive. A few percent difference related to foreplay times does not make his case about rape, David. Women get pregnant with no foreplay and they get pregnant using turkey basters. Apologists are trying to weave a silk purse of a sow’s ear from Akin’s ridiculous statement and it doesn’t fly.

      • Argon says

        Running through the published studies…
        The numbers run around 5% per rape incident, which seems to be a higher rate than consensual sex. There’s some squishiness because of the difficulty surrounding rape reporting but it’s clear that pregnancies resulting from rape are not ‘rare’ as Akins suggested nor is there good data to demonstrate that these actually less likely due to rape. John Wilke’s writings have often been cited in the right-to-life circles (probably because he uses his influence as the former president of the National Right-to-Life organization as a dissemination platform), to bolster the ‘rare’ and contraceptive claims people like Akins have used but Wilke’s claims and calculations are contradicted by evidence. Wilke’s assertions largely fall into the ‘disproven’, not the ‘unproven’ category.

        If one doesn’t believe that abortion is right even in the case of rape, one should stick with that. That’s a straight-up moral issue. Don’t push bad science as a justification. It blemishes one’s case and opens the argument to easy ridicule.

  2. SJ says

    Let’s see. If a GOP candidate on the under-ticket ever makes a clumsy statement–especially one implying the sanctity of life–he gets mercilessly crucified by his “fellow” Republicans. But Mitt Romney can say the moon is black, the stars are green, and the citizens are moochers, and then he will always be staunchly defended with: “Well at least he’s better than Obama!!!!”

    And isn’t it moronic — don’t you think? ;)

    As for those ten thousand spoons, I’d like to gag the GOP candidates you mentioned above with all of them!! :)

    • Argon says

      I think you’ve got a fair assessment of Mitt. If you want two-faced Establishment as usual, vote Mitt. If you want to show that you really want change in the GOP or want candidates who say what they mean, there are others for whom to vote in order to send that message. Romney only wants to be President and he’s been this way since his first run for Senate in Massachusetts. All else secondary, just the sales pitch. This is the ‘elephant in the room’ that nobody in the GOP speaks about. It’s kinda remarkable when you think about it.