Representative Todd Akin sure to lose junior senator election

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., has been making headlines across the country during the last few weeks for a very important reason. For those of you who have not had the luxury to leave the college bubble, even over summer vacation, let me give you a quick run down of his great failure. Akin is serving in the United States House of Representatives for the second district of Missouri and is currently in the race to become the state’s junior senator. When addressed recently on the topics of pregnancy and rape, he responded with “if it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut (pregnancy) down.”

Mr. Akin, you do realize this is an election year, right?

Even if he some how missed that memo, did he forget that enough constituents voted for a Democratic senator six years ago? More bad news for Akin, there is video evidence of him speaking the quote. Anyone with access to the online world can find him talking about “legitimate rape,” from different news outlets to links on Facebook, Twitter and all over YouTube. Access to his bewildering statement is everywhere.

As my father told me growing up, once something is out on the Internet, it will be there forever. Unfortunately for Akin, he must not have gotten the chance to speak with my father before he spoke on television.

This election was already going to be difficult for him and the Republicans. He does not have the benefit of an open election — there is a Democratic incumbent standing in his way. While Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), has only served one term so far, the election is usually tipped in the incumbents favor. Adding to that fact, she holds the backing of her own party.

Now poor Akin does not even have the backing of the Grand Old Party, an election they were recently quite excited about. This is sure shaping up to be a fun election for him in November.

Plenty of people are calling for his withdrawal from the race, but he wants to bunker down and continue on. After all, the Missouri representative did claim that his words were being used the wrong way. However, I find it difficult to interpret his statement any other way because I took basic biology and anatomy in high school. Silly me.

While the GOP might have pulled money from his senate race, it does not change the fact that he is representing the Republican Party and said pregnancy can not happen in a legitimate rape. I find it quite ironic that there are many far right-winged conservative Republicans who are so gung-ho about stopping the advancement of women’s rights in the 21st century. Last time I checked, I thought a goal of the Republican Party was to reduce the size of a intrusive government instead of impeding on personal issues. I would like to think my own body is my personal issue, then again, I’m not an elected official in Congress.

There are even some states in this country like Mississippi that have tried to pass vaguely worded abortion laws. The problem with that was many interpreted it to include banning the use of contraception, like the birth control pill. Many females rely on it all over the country, not just as a protection from pregnancy, to help prevent certain cancers, lessen certain menstrual-related pains and, hey, it even treats acne. Try banning that here and watch just how quickly the student population cares about a law. It would be SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) all over again.

While it is highly unlikely the state of Illinois would ever attempt to pass an abortion ban that would extend to eliminating the use of birth control, it is still quite important for students to know what has been attempted recently throughout the country. For many of us, this may be our first election ever. Students need to be aware of people like Rep. Akin, so we do not vote people like him into office and, instead, vote for someone who has at least taken their basic freshman biology course.

_Joanna is a senior in LAS. She can be reached at [email protected]_