Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva released the following statement today on Rep. Todd Akin's infamous "legitimate rape" comments:
"It's time the entire government starts talking seriously about how to help women instead of making their lives more difficult. When we focus on the economy, fair wages and protecting working mothers and their families, the whole country wins. When people like Rep. Akin -- speaking for the fringe of an already unpopular ideology -- work to condemn women to permanent second-class status, the whole country loses. Rejection is not a strong enough term for the response he deserves.
"His comments represent an extreme that is unfortunately not new, but has had the good sense to keep itself from the public spotlight until recently. Despite his claims that he misspoke, he can't hide from the fact that he joined Rep. Paul Ryan as an original cosponsor of a bill that at one point distinguished between rape and "forcible rape' as if there's a difference. These are symptoms of acoordinated assault on the legal status of women in the United States. I am not ashamed to stand against it."
Akin, Ryan and others are original cosponsors of HR 3, which sought -- before a public outcry prompted a reversal -- to create a legal difference between "rape" and "forcible rape." The bill still eliminates tax breaks for health insurance premiums on policies that cover abortion-related expenses and prevents women from paying for an abortion from a health savings account. A complete explanation of the bill from the Christian Science Monitor is available at http://bit.ly/Rxg8HN.