Target: National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn
Goal: Stop all support for congressman’s Senate bid in light of his disparaging remarks about rape victims
In August of 2012, Representative Todd Akin from Missouri stated in an interview that a woman’s body shuts down to prevent a pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.” Both the Republican and Democratic parties immediately called for him to step down from the senatorial race, with the influential National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) quickly withdrawing all of its support. But the NRSC has recently recommitted its support of his candidacy. Tell the NRSC to withdraw its support again and to no longer support candidates that see women in such a negative and detrimental light.
Rape is a violent, abhorrent crime that deserves punishment no matter the circumstances. It demeans, violates and scars the victim. Republicans and Democrats alike both agree as to its horrors and devastation. So it came as no surprise when an overwhelming response of hurt, anger and disbelief were unleashed from both parties and the American people when Congressman Todd Akin described some rapes as legitimate, implying that others were not. To further expound on this ridiculous comment, he stated that pregnancies from rape are rare because the female body “shuts down” and will stop a pregnancy from occurring during a “legitimate rape.”
Congressman Todd Akin not only showed a deep disregard for rape victims everywhere, but displayed his ignorance by qualifying his statement as a fact that is supported by the medical community. Thankfully, he has since apologized and deserves a second chance. But a second chance does not have to mean supporting his candidacy again. Character is to be tested and when a major flaw is revealed, a time of stepping away to reflect is helpful and wise. It appears that Congressman Akin may have apologized only because of the immediate backlash and withdrawal of support, and not because he had taken the time to reflect on and re-evaluate his beliefs and statements.
Endorsing Todd Akin’s bid for the Senate again would send out a message that the Republican Party supports “illegitimate science” and also stands by Mr. Akin’s “legitimate rape” statement that discredits pregnant rape victims everywhere. Please sign the petition below asking the NRSC to withdraw its support from Congressman Akin’s senatorial bid once again until he earns back the public’s trust and is able to prove that he will be a good candidate.
Dear National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn,
Congressman Todd Akin recently created a firestorm of controversy when he stated that a woman’s body shuts down and prevents pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.” You did the right thing by immediately withdrawing all of your support, financial and otherwise, from his senatorial bid. However, you have flip-flopped on your original position, issuing a statement recently that you supported his campaign bid again. Please withdraw your support immediately, waiting until a future time when Congressman Akin has a proven track record of supporting women and empowering them.
After Congressman Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments in his interview, several Republican and Democratic organizations called for him to step down. NRSC repeatedly stated that it would no longer be involved with Mr. Akin’s campaign. It was the right thing to do then, and it is the right thing to do now. But instead of sticking to your convictions, you have decided to support him once again, sending the message to voters everywhere that a person can verbally and emotionally attack rape victims and still should be elected to serve in one of the highest positions in government.
A good way to support Congressman Akin at this time would be to encourage him to volunteer at a rape crisis center or to spend some of his time with female victims of violence or sexual assault. These actions would help show a genuine effort on his part and yours. But just supporting him with no evidence of actual change shows indifference and gives the impression of a spineless political party that is willing to back ill-informed candidates for the sake of a party win.
Please withdraw your support now of Congressman Todd Akin’s bid for the Senate, sending a message to men and women everywhere that you will not stand by candidates whose views are divisive, hurtful and still stuck in the Dark Ages.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Orlin Wagner via AP Photo