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
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 17, 2014
Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

 
Dec 17, 2014
Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment
 
Quinn Sullivan, LIVE In Our Studio
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

More »
Comment