90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Rape, Abortion And Akin’s Remarks

Furor after Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin talks of “legitimate rape.”  And the roots of that remark.

In this May 17, 2011 file photo, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., announces his candidacy for U.S. Senate.   On August 19, Akin said in a TV interview that women's bodies can prevent pregnancies in "a legitimate rape" and that conception is rare in such cases. (AP)

In this May 17, 2011 file photo, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., announces his candidacy for U.S. Senate. On August 19, Akin said in a TV interview that women’s bodies can prevent pregnancies in “a legitimate rape” and that conception is rare in such cases. (AP)

And so we’ve got a firestorm over comments on women, rape and pregnancy by Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Missouri, Todd Akin.  His comments made you wonder if you’d heard right.  Akin said that in “legitimate rape” women rarely get pregnant.  That their bodies have “ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Now Democrats are in an uproar.  Republicans, too.  They want him out of the race.  Out of sight.  But Congressman Akin is not a space alien.  He’s worked very closely with Paul Ryan on abortion.  His comments didn’t come from nowhere.

This hour, On Point:  Todd Akin, the GOP, and the roots of the “legitimate rape” moment.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jo Mannies, political reporter for the non-profit news organization the St. Louis Beacon, and writer for the Beacon’s blog “backroom.”

Julie DeCesare,  professor and program director of the OB-GYN residency program at Florida State University.

Mary Kate Cary, contributing editor and blogger for U.S. News and World Report.  Former speechwriter for George H. W. Bush.

Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “In an effort to explain his stance on abortion, Representative Todd Akin, the Republican Senate nominee from Missouri, provoked ire across the political spectrum on Sunday by saying that in instances of what he called ‘legitimate rape,’ women’s bodies somehow blocked an unwanted pregnancy.”

CNN “Incendiary remarks by a Republican Senate candidate shifted the political focus Monday to abortion and women’s rights, while certain GOP nominee Mitt Romney and his conservative running mate kept their rhetoric trained on President Barack Obama.”

The Associated Press Since Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan as his running mate, the presidential campaign’s focus has largely centered on the Wisconsin congressman’s ambitious plan to transform Medicare and slash government spending. But President Barack Obama’s re-election team and its allies have also been highlighting the congressman’s staunchly anti-abortion stance, hoping to buttress its argument that the Republican ticket is hostile to women’s rights.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jan 28, 2015
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Pellissippi State Community College Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP)

The promise of free community college. What it might mean for our economy and our fraying social contract.

Jan 28, 2015
tasty

Did our sense of taste make us human? From evolution to culture, a new book explores the science and perception of flavor.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jan 27, 2015
As any ant knows, building a reliable team can be hard. (Flickr / Guildmn20)

From Silicon Valley to your office, some teams work better – and smarter – than others. We’ll look at the surprising reasons why.

 
Jan 27, 2015
Leader of Syriza left-wing party Alexis Tsipras speaks to his supporters outside Athens University Headquarters, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. A triumphant Alexis Tsipras told Greeks that his radical left Syriza party's win in Sunday's early general election meant an end to austerity and humiliation and that the country's regular and often fraught debt inspections were a thing of the past. (AP)

A leftist victory in Greece, and anti-austerity pushback across Europe. We’ll ask where this goes.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: January 23, 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

New thoughts on Facebook, new analysis of State of the Union twitter activity and new weekend excitement. New! And exciting!

More »
Comment
 
Meet On Point’s Interns: Spring 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

Good news! We have interns, and they are wonderful, and here they are for the spring term. Meet them digitally, right here.

More »
2 Comments
 
Caller To Author Ron Rash: ‘You Cared About People Like Me’
Thursday, Jan 22, 2015

An unexpected caller from South Carolina brings back guest Ron Rash’s years as a community college professor in a movingly real way.

More »
1 Comment