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
Mar 2, 2015
In this Tuesday, March 4, 2014 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, right, speaks before the screening of the television documentary "Israel: The Royal Tour" at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. (AP)

On the eve of Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s controversial address to Congress, we look at the US-Israel falling out over Iran nuclear negotiations.

Mar 2, 2015
This image provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows an artists rendering on how a gamma ray burst occurs with a massive star collapsing and creating a black hole and beaming out focused and deadly light and radiation bursts. Astronomers and space telescopes in April 2013 saw the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed, a large gamma ray burst. (AP)

A super-massive black hole, newly discovered, deep in space. We’ll peer into the realm of the black hole.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 27, 2015
This image released courtesy of the Lead Belly Estate shows folk and blues musician Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter never had a hit record before he died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 1949. (AP)

Going back to Lead Belly. The blues legend is back. His influences, as big as ever.

 
Feb 27, 2015
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ChairmanTom Wheeler, center, joins hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, left, and Jessica Rosenworcel, before the start of their open hearing in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.  (AP)

A US-Israel rift. A win for net neutrality. “American Sniper” verdict. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment
 
Two Congressmen Weigh In On DHS Funding
Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland present their views on the ongoing Congressional budget fight over Department of Homeland Security funding. (Spoiler: They do not agree on a resolution of the crisis).

More »
1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February
Friday, Feb 20, 2015

We explain what happened with the old podcast feed this week and last, share some other Oscar categories and reminisce about the golden days of Double Rainbows and Honey Badgers who just don’t care.

More »
Comment