TRENTON – Trenton Democratic lawmakers are not going to let the “legitimate rape” comments of Missouri congressman Todd Akin fade into the background.
Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, (D-15), Ewing, said today she will introduce a resolution when the Assembly reconvenes in September to condemn the “idiotic language’’ that Akin used.
Speaking to Missouri television station KTVI regarding his opposition to abortion being legal in the case of rape, Akin said, “From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” he said of rape-induced pregnancy. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Although he since has tried to distance himself from those comments and acknowledged there is no such thing as legitimate rape, the firestorm has not died down, with Democrats and Republicans alike calling for him to step down.
However, Coleman said Akin’s comments are indicative of similar thinking of others in the Republican Party. “We are fighting against idiocy, against mean-spirited rhetoric,” she said.
And Sen. Linda Greenstein, (D-14), Plainsboro, said “few would deny the radical right is engaging in an insidious war against women.’’
The legislators were gathered today to back U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez’s re-election bid, and sought to link his opponent, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, (R-13), Middletown, to that wing of the GOP because he voted against family health funding and would not support paycheck equity.
In the aftermath of Akin’s remarks, Kyrillos said he was “outraged” over what Akin said. He also said Akin’s remarks have no place in public discourse. “Not only are Representative Akin’s comments about a horrific act of violence wrong and inappropriate, he and I disagree on the issue of abortion, generally,” Kyrillos said.
Coleman said the resolution she intends to introduce will serve as a notice to the Republican Party that it can’t dictate to women as second-class citizens.
“We won’t go back,’’ she said.