Politics
2:54 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Yoder Presses Young Over Akin 'Legitimate Rape' Comments

In Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District race, Democratic challenger Shelli Yoder is calling on Republican incumbent Todd Young to denounce Missouri Congressman Todd Akin’s controversial comments.

But the GOP lawmaker has already spoken out against the recent statements in a televised interview earlier this week.

Akin made national headlines for saying that women who are "legitimately raped" rarely get pregnant. Other Republicans have urged him to drop out, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said Akin’s Senate campaign "has no future."

Yoder says Hoosiers of all political backgrounds have come up to her on the campaign trail and are disgusted with Akin's remarks.

"I want to know why hasn’t Todd Young come out with a statement on something that’s really deplorable in thought," she says.

But when Young was asked out against Akin’s comments he called them "knuckleheadded" in an interview with WHAS-11's Joe Arnold. The Young campaign says their candidate takes those remarks very seriously.

Yoder is also calling out Young for supporting a bill last year that sought to put further restrictions on federal funding of abortion. The legislation came under fire for redefining rape by making a distinction of "forcible" rape that outraged many pro-choice groups.

Yoder says there should have never been a distinction in the first place because rape is by definition a forcible act.

"I think he needs to tell us what exactly is the difference between rape and forcible rape. We would like to know. Give us some examples,” she says.

But Young campaign manager Trevor Foughty argues that the congressman co-sponsored the bill on February 8, five days after that language was amended out.

"The facts are that he only signed onto H.R.3 after the word 'forcible' was removed, and the version of the bill he voted for did not change the definition of 'rape'," he says.

In May 2011, however, House Republicans attempted to use a congressional maneuver to reintroduce the language that only women who are victims of "forcible rape" are eligible for federal funding if they seek abortions.

From Mother Jones:

The backdoor reintroduction of the statutory rape change relies on the use of a committee report, a document that congressional committees produce outlining what they intend a piece of legislation to do. If there's ever a court fight about the interpretation of a law—and when it comes to a subject as contentious as abortion rights, there almost always is—judges will look to the committee report as evidence of congressional intent, and use it to decide what the law actually means.

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