The XX Factor

Women Making Bad Arguments Defend Mourdock and Akin

Todd Akin speaks to female supporters at a fundraiser.

Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, who both gained national prominence by revealing their crazy, misogynist theories on rape and abortion, have decided to hit back in the waning days of the election. New ads out defending the two candidates feature people you meet in the anti-choice testimonial circuit: those who claim to have been conceived in rape and women who had abortions in the past but want to ban it for you. For enthusiasts of bad arguments, it’s a veritable feast of delights.

Akin’s ad features two women singing his praises. One of the women is from Russia, and her position appears to be that banning abortion is our last great hope against the coming communist takeover. (I bet Romanians wish they had known about the magical communism-repellent properties of an abortion ban!) The other woman, named Kelly, claims to have both had an abortion and survived a rape in the past, though it’s unclear if they’re linked. 

Her reason for voting Akin? He “defends life,” which is anti-choice code for “wants to ban abortion,” because it certainly doesn’t mean someone who defends the lives of women. Kelly seems pretty proud of herself for someone who claims to be confessing to murder on camera. Sadly, anti-choice activists who claim to have had abortions but regret it and want to ban it for everyone else tend to speak only inside the protective bubble of other anti-choice activists, making it hard to ask the necessary questions, like: Kelly, if you believe you are a murderer, should you go to jail? If the ban you want passes and other women go to jail while you walk free, does that seem unfair to you? Would you turn yourself in to the authorities and give up your right to vote, as other murderers have to do, if that were an option? Why, considering your past as a child-killing monster, shouldn’t the state take away your child? Curiously, no one asks these questions in the Akin ad.

A new pro-Mourdock ad features a woman defending Mourdock’s belief in forced childbirth after rape on the grounds that she was conceived in rape. The “but I was conceived in rape!” “argument” is a particularly gross and heartless version of the anti-choice stoner’s gambit of asking, “But what if you had been aborted?” From the Associated Press report:

Women born as a result of rape are defending Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock in the waning days of a campaign that has been shaken up by the Senate candidate’s comments on rape and abortion.

The women call Mourdock a hero for opposing abortion in cases of rape and incest in a new video from the Chicago-based One Nation Under God Foundation.

Good thing these are women, not men, featured in the ads. At least, by their very gender, they protect the candidates against charges of misogyny.