Politics

Obama group uses Todd Akin against Republicans in abortion fight

Patrick Howley Political Reporter

A group that supports President Obama is trying to link an anti-abortion measure passed Tuesday by the House of Representatives to Rep. Todd Akin’s comment last summer that women cannot become pregnant after a “legitimate rape.”

Organizing for Action, a nonprofit group assembled from the remnants of President Obama’s 2012 campaign, tied Akin’s comments to a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks in a fundraising email Tuesday evening.

“This just actually happened: The House of Representatives passed one of the most unbelievable, unconstitutional attacks on women’s health in a long time. It’s a bill written by Republican Arizona Congressman Trent Franks, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks, except in extremely limited circumstances — a direct legislative challenge to Roe v. Wade. And 228 members of Congress just voted for it,” wrote OFA national director of issue campaigns Lindsay Siler. “This bill made it out of the House Judiciary Committee thanks to the votes of 23 Republicans — all men, of course.”

“And Rep. Franks objected when opponents tried to raise the issue of rape, saying, ‘…you know, the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,'” Siler wrote.

“You know, before, when my friends on the left side of the aisle here tried to make rape and incest the subject — because, you know, the incidences of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” Franks said in a House Judiciary Committee last week.

Franks later said that his comment was “taken out of context,” and that he meant that the number of abortions after 20 weeks that result from rape-inflicted pregnancies are low. Franks also amended his bill to provide an exception to victims of rape and incest.

Nevertheless, OFA linked Franks and his likeminded colleagues to Akin.

“Women made their voices very clear last year when it came to the extreme positions that some elected officials took on women’s health. But that hasn’t stopped conservative politicians from trying to repeal Obamacare, block the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, and push an agenda that uses terminology like ‘legitimate rape,'” wrote Siler.

Akin’s comment was widely denounced by Republicans at the time. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus called on Akin to drop out of his Senate race in Missouri and said he “would prefer” that Akin not attend the Republican National Convention.

Franks’ abortion bill, meanwhile, passed the House of Representatives Tuesday by a 228-196 vote, but has little chance of passing the Democrat-controlled Senate.

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