Tag Archives: legitimate

DesJarlais Rejects Akin Remark, But No Regrets on Abortion Bill

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., on Tuesday rejected controversial assertions made by a House colleague, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., that “legitimate rape” doesn’t result in pregnancy, according to Andy Sher.
“As a physician there is no medical basis that could or should have led anyone to make such insensitive statements,” said DesJarlais, who considers himself pro-life, in a brief email statement to the Times Free Press.
But the Jasper physician is making no apologies for his support of a 2011 House Republican bill, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”
The measure, which passed the GOP-controlled House last year but went nowhere in the Senate, sought to further toughen restrictions on federal funding of abortions. It did that by substituting the phrase “forcible rape” for “rape,” which is part of the current ban.
“I have been a consistent supporter of pro-life values,” DesJarlais said. “This bipartisan bill simply prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to perform abortions. Human life is sacred and taxpayer funding of abortion is counter to the values a great many Tennesseans hold.”
Critics say the bill would exclude statutory rape and also instances where women felt threatened to have sex or where they had been drugged.

Note: Democrats have a different view. Previous post HERE.

Democrats Try Tying DesJarlais to Todd Akin ‘Legitimate Rape’ Turmoil

News release from Eric Stewart campaign:
Missouri Congressman and Republican Senate Candidate, Todd Akin, has been denounced for his controversial comments on rape from politicians all across the country, including the Republican’s own presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. Akin has even been asked by many GOP leaders to resign. Scott DesJarlais’s campaign, however, seems to be coming to Akin’s defense, even going so far as directly encouraging Akin to stay in the race.
At noon today, DesJarlais’s political director, Corey Lester, posted on his public Facebook page a message that was directly tagged to Rep. Akin. The message read, “Congressman Todd Akin, Do NOT withdraw from your Senate race.”
A screenshot of the aforementioned Facebook page and post can be found by Clicking Here.
The comments that caused a national uproar from Akin were in regards to what he believed medically distinguishes between a woman being “legitimately raped,” or “raped.” DesJarlais, a licensed medical doctor, and member of two caucuses with Akin has yet to rebuke the remarks that Akin made, or clarify whether they are medically accurate.
“The comments made by Rep. Akin are one of the most disgusting things to be uttered in this year’s political cycle. Congressman DesJarlais has bragged many times about being a doctor in Congress. One would think he would have been one of the first to both rebuke Akin and correct what was said from a medical perspective,” said Avery Poor, communications director for Eric Stewart.
“It seems rather clear now that Congressman DesJarlais hasn’t spoken out against his colleague in Congress because his campaign is actually supporting Akin in his Senate race,” said Poor.
At the time of this release, it appears that DesJarlais’s political director has since deleted both his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

News release from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:
Congressman Todd Akin’s outrageous claims this weekend that some rapes are “legitimate” has prompted outcry from both Republicans and Democrats but when Republicans like Congressman Akin pushed a bill to redefine rape in Washington, Congressman Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) was right there with him. Congressman Scott DesJarlais is a sponsor of a bill that sought to change the definition of rape and incest and limit health care options to women who are victims of “forcible rape” only. Congressman DesJarlais joined Akin and the far-right wing of the Tea Party to claim that that some kinds of rape and incest are consensual and women’s access to health care should be restricted accordingly.
“What’s so appalling about Congressman Akin’s efforts to redefine rape is that he’s far from alone – in fact, Congressman DesJarlais and the Tea Party Congress pushed to redefine rape and limit victims’ access to health care,” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It is shameful that Congressman DesJarlais abused his power in Washington to suggest that rape could be consensual and to marginalize victims of rape and incest in the process. Tennessee families should be able to trust their elected voice in Congress, but how can they when Congressman DesJarlais would try to qualify these outrageous crimes in the name of the Tea Party ideology that’s inaccurate and out of touch.”