GOP can’t distance itself too far from Akin

Republican lawmakers and officials are trying to distance themselves from Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who said that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” But more than 200 U.S. House members, including Akin and vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (in photo), R-Wis., sponsored a bill last year that would have rewritten the rape exception in federal abortion-funding bans to cover only “forcible rape.” That sounds like “legitimate rape.” Under public pressure, the bill was rewritten to drop the “forcible” language, but another provision was added saying the government couldn’t “subsidize abortions in cases of statutory rape.” The bill passed the House, with all Republicans voting for it, but didn’t clear the Senate.