Ramesh Sujanani, Contributor
IN A recent statement that was both factually inaccurate and horribly offensive, the Republican Party (GOP) Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin said that victims of "legitimate rape" don't get pregnant because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down".
The GOP and its presidential candidate Mitt Romney tried to distance themselves from the remark - but the fact is they're in lockstep with Akin on the major women's health issues of our time. Just recently, the Republican Party voted to include the "Human Life Amendment" in their platform, calling for a constitutional ban on abortions nationwide, even for rape victims. Abortion being what it is, victory for the GOP might very well see implications for Jamaica.
Several Romney supporters and advisers stood silently by while this vote took place, and the Los Angeles Times reports that the platform "was written at the direction of Romney's campaign".
President Obama spoke out in response to Akin's comments: "What I think these comments do is underscore why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health-care decisions on behalf of women."
Too long have we learnt that Jamaican women do what they feel is necessary for their families, and most tend to go along with 'pro-choice'.
This controversy is not an accident, or a mistake, or an isolated incident. It's a reflection of a Republican Party whose policies are dangerous for women. Last February, a Georgetown female law student testified before members of Congress on the issue of contraception, and many Americans stepped forward in agreement with her position, and supported her right to speak out without being verbally attacked.
At the same time, well-known Republican radio commentator Rush Limbaugh came out and insulted the woman, saying she was a "slut and prostitute". The situation in Jamaica has to be legalised and regularised for women, so as not to cause indecision and confusion as far as our abortion stance is concerned.
The matter of free and available birth control methods and procedures, and the situation of abortion on request, with certain stipulations where the decision has to be made by a defined adult (a parent, guardian) needs to be supported.
We cannot ignore the occurrence of 'pill-rollers' charging money for whatever medication they may suggest to use in an abortion, and what they should charge, and from whom permission is required if the child is under 18.
The Republican establishment closed ranks on Akin, trying to force him to withdraw from the Missouri senate race after his controversial remarks about rape and abortion. Mr Akin emphasised "God called me to run" - and that's the way he thinks. Jeff Smith, a former Democratic state senator in Missouri, said of Mr Akin, a six-term congressman who represents parts of eastern Missouri: "I think he thinks it's his destiny, and so you're going to have to get somebody pretty high up there - or, in his mind, pretty close to God - to push him out."
But then a Fox News affiliate in St Louis showed an interview in which he said that women possess a biological mechanism to ward off pregnancy if they become victims of "legitimate rape". Major donors responded by saying they would cut off Mr Akin's financing. Prominent national Republican officials have asked him to drop out of the race, fearing he could not win after such a statement.
Mr Akin was first elected to the Missouri House in 1988 and much of his base in his early years as a legislator came from being a part of a network of parents who home-schooled their children. All six of his children were home-schooled. His election to Congress in 2000 was a stroke of good fortune, local political analysts said. It was seen as divine reasoning as to why he would not quit. Todd Akin has a degree in Engineering from Worchester College, and one from Covenant Presbyterian University in Divinity.
By his conflicting statements he has attracted derision from many sources, all over the world.
I have always felt there are no First-World and Third-World countries; but only First-World and Third-World people: Now here is proof.