Todd Akin said something stupid. Barack Obama supports after-birth abortion. Which is worse?

Can anyone explain to me why Todd Akin deserves more condemnation than Barack Obama?

Todd Akin, A congressman running for Senate who said something really stupid about rape and conception has pretty much dominated the news cycle lately and merited myriad calls for him to step aside.

Akin was talking about whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape. As is true with many pro-lifers, he does not believe it should be. But in his discussion he wandered into some truly confounding notions about “legitimate” rape and rates of conception. The overall stand he was making was correct—that the child conceived in rape should not be punished for the father’s crime—but the discussion he wandered into was a bizarre minefield of his own making, and he seemed to dance a jig right on through. Boom!

His comments were denounced roundly and immediately from all corners, including those inclined to share his overall conservative and pro-life stances. He’s staying in the race despite heaps of criticism, myriad calls to drop out, and a total loss of support from his own party and erstwhile national supporters.

In other words, his comments, which were a puzzling and maddening riff on what is actually a fairly easy case to make have gotten him shunned. Not considered right for polite, or even partisan electoral, company. He’s been ostracized.

Note, however, that he was not, at root, advocating for any strange and unheard-of position. He was not charting new policy proposal territory. He did not assert that the child conceived in rape was not really a child, nor that the mother’s rights are the most important or only rights to be considered. He was, at the basic level, advocating for a position that millions of pro-lifers share. He just used a ridiculous rationale that has no place at the table on a number of levels.

Now. Consider that treatment to the treatment our current president gets concerning his views on abortion-after-birth.

When he was a state senator Barack Obama faced the question of what to do with a baby (or, as Obama put it, “that fetus, or child — however way you want to describe it”) who had the audacity to survive an abortion—an attempt to kill her before she even left her mother’s womb. Andrew McCarthy captures it thusly:

There wasn’t any question about what was happening. The abortions were going wrong. The babies weren’t cooperating. They wouldn’t die as planned. Or, as Illinois state senator Barack Obama so touchingly put it, there was “movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just coming out limp and dead.”

But don’t take Andrew’s, or my, word for it. Here’s a section from the transcript of a debate in which Obama discusses the issue of babies who survive induced-labor abortions (available on “page 2″ of the above-linked article):

As I understand it, this puts the burden on the attending physician who has determined, since they were performing this procedure, that, in fact, this is a nonviable fetus; that if that fetus, or child — however way you want to describe it — is now outside the mother’s womb and the doctor continues to think that it’s nonviable but there’s, let’s say, movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just coming out limp and dead, that, in fact, they would then have to call a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved.

All emphasis mine.

A fetus, child, however way you want to call it. But clearly not limp and dead.

Think about that. He acknowledges that the lump of cells could be considered a child, and that this thing, let’s call it a “child,” after the abortion attempt, potentially leaves the birth canal in some state other than “limp and dead” (we usually call this state “alive”) but rather than consider that “child’s” life worth saving his concern is on the hassle of having to call in another physician to affirm whether or not the little bugger is “limp and dead” or is “not a live child that could be saved.”

Again, to recapitulate:

Human person who survived an abortion.

Human person now outside the womb, alive.

Human person incredibly tired and weak from being born, premature, but needing nothing but modern medical care to live and grow.

Human person surrounded by health care professionals, some of whom just tried to kill her, all of whom are feeling at least a little awkward that this human person did not follow the script and die, dammit!

Human person left in a soiled janitor’s closet, out of sight, to die alone.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say this sort of scenario would turn the stomach of most Americans. It’s heinous. It’s inhuman. And Barack Obama is OKAY with this, lest we inconvenience another physician or perhaps tell a woman that her child has a right to live.

Again: can anyone explain to me why Todd Akin deserves more condemnation than Barack Obama?

Forget it. I ask the impossible.

Gird yourself, folks: we live in an age when out-and-out infanticide does not warrant condemnation if combatting it might interfere with abortion “rights.”



  • Rebecca Radar Gilbert

    To answer your quesion, because Todd Akin has to be stupid to think that “the body has ways of shutting that whole thing down” while Obama simply has a different opinion on the matter than you. I think most people realize this is why Akin is getting more heat than Obama. Can you not see that just because yours and Obama’s opinions differ that doesn’t mean he’s wrong?

  • Mickey Rayfield

    Tom, thank you for this article; you have written a piece that clearly illustrates the hypocrisy that exists and the clear double standard applied to ‘anything’ Obama. Unfortunately most of the Democratic Party will give this a pass because to actually think about what you have written would make their arguments void.

    I wish that I had found your post weeks ago, it is a shame that such an eloquent piece did not garner the appreciation it [and you] deserved. I thank you. God bless!

  • elinord

    Id rather have a man whose focus is in the protection of the unborn, no matter what the circumstances. Than have a President who supports the killing of a newborn, as it takes its first breath of life, because they didnt kill it right the first time around!



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