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Minnesota's Republicans vote with Akin on abortion, but will it be a campaign issue?

Rep. Todd Akin apologized for his comments about "legitimate rape," but he has consistently voted in Congress to place restrictions on abortion.

Data: Congressional votes on abortion
See how the Minnesota's congressional delegation voted on 13 measures relating to abortion that came up during the 112th Congress.

abortion votes graphic

“He is not going to be focusing on anything that doesn’t haven’t direct correlation to that,” she said. “That is the reason he’s running.”

Nationally, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Ryan, have disavowed Akin and called on him to quit the race. Unlike the hard-line Akin, the Republican ticket oppose banning abortions for rape victims, though the official Republican platform will include the ban.

But most voters don’t care (or know, frankly) what exactly is in a party’s official platform, unless it becomes an issue like abortion has this week. Kathryn Pearson, a University of Minnesota Congress and campaigns expert, said next week’s Republican convention, and the Democratic one the week later, will give both parties the chance to refocus on the campaign’s overriding issue, the economy.

“The conventions will, to some extent, change the conversation,” she said. “The parties can talk about what they want to talk about, and both parties are going to spend a lot of time talking about the economy, which is what voters care about.”

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Comments (25)


Talk of yellow journalism!

How is this yellow journalism, Mr. Swift?

Now if the author had used inflammatory language that equated abortion with infanticide, that would be yellow journalism.

For better or worse abortion will be an issue in this election. It is in the GOP's platform. A thorough public discussion of the position of both parties and candidates is in order, particularly as it obtains to women's health issues.

No Bill

Once again you've let your fingers outpace your knowledge of the topic at hand.

Yellow journalism requires sensational headlines that have little or nothing to do with the subject matter. It doesn't need to be inflammatory.

This is textbook yellow journalism.

Here is further reading which I hope helps increase your store of accurate information:

Even by your definition, Mr. Swift

"Yellow journalism requires sensational headlines that have little or nothing to do with the subject matter"

This does not qualify.

And I don't see any Pullitzer vs. Hearst headlines either. Nothing in there about infanticide, or any other sensationalism. Just a good overview of a topic that will be important in the Fall election. Your remark about yellow journalism was offensive and insulting to the author of this piece.

The truth is intrinsically neutral

.... any insult or offense is the emotional reaction it. Ignoring it, however, is simply irrational.

Akin's picture, especially, is there to cause an emotional response without regard to his pertinence to the topic. The voting record of a Missouri representative is completely irrelevant to what drives Republicans in Minnesota. My observation has the weight of truth and logic behind it. If that offends anyone, there really isn't anything I can do about it.

I find that this

I find that this characterization is often made by people who in actuality are opposed to demands for rigorous and logical thinking and favor "fuzzy" (read no) logic instead. Good engineers understand complex systems but only demand that those systems are coherent with themselves..

Wedge issue

When one side believes they need an extra advantage, bring up a wedge issue. Since no one can agree on anything about abortion, it's a divide and conquer strategy.

Can't we all agree that life begins at conception? No. Can't we all agree that abortion is murder? No. Can't we all agree that a woman should have a choice? No. Can't we all agree that government has no right to tell a woman what to do? No. Can't we all agree that legitimate rape doesn't cause pregnancy? No.

There is nothing that anyone agrees on so it is a great wedge issue. Divide and conquer.

One fair plank

Can we at least quit applying the term "pro-life" to anyone who supports the death penalty and war? That is not a pro-life person. Pro-forced-maternity, maybe, which is an entirely separate thing.

While we're on the subject

yellow journalism

I often see conservative, right-wing commenters calling facts, or a reasonable discussion that includes various viewpoints or a conclusion based on careful research and science (as, for example, climate change) as "biased," left wing, socialist, communist, or in this case yellow journalism. It's baffling but pretty much endorses the view that many people simply denounce facts if they don't fit their world view.

Nuance . . . . . .

is not a part of the conservative lexicon.

Democrats play this card at their own peril

Polls show the majority of the country is now pro-life, which means they have the same view as Mitt Romney.


The pro-life people want to restrict freedoms for our nation's women that are simply taken for granted in most democracies of the world.

Yet only 17% share the views

Yet only 17% share the views of Ryan , Aiken, the Republican platform, and (I am guessing) you.

Which romney? The earlier

Which romney? The earlier pro-choice romney or the newer version?

Pro-life - Right!

Let's be clear about this Pro-life crowd. The "Pro-life thing" only applies to the unborn. Once you're born with no access to health care or no way to pay for health care, the "Pro-life thing" suddenly turns into "Too bad, I guess you die". Kids, adults, old people - it doesn't matter. You're on your own.

So really, the "Pro-life thing" is in restricted circumstances only. They should make that clear.

Actually Kevin

The "Pro-life thing" is restricted to every human being's God given right to live. Beyond that lies the further gift of free will, which some make better use of than others.

"You're on your own"

This is the worst possible world for liberals while conseratives call it being free men.

And that's our ideological difference in a nutshell.

The emphasis on

Men, who seem to be telling half of our society what their rights are. Doesn't sound very free to me.

The real issue is not abortion

A far important and timely issue than abortion is rape, which is what sparked the current debate. Will the Democratic candidates, in particular, denounce Sen. Al Franken for his crude "joke" about rape as reported in the New Yorker magazine and given international attention today by the Drudge Report? Here is the item:

As New York magazine reported in 1995, from a writing session that the reporter sat in on:

Franken: “And, ‘I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.’ Or, ‘That’s why you never see Lesley until February.’ Or, ‘When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her.’”

While Senate candidate Todd Akin's comment was stupid, it was no where close to evil perversion evident in Franken's "joke". It will be interesting to see if the liberal main stream media, or the liberal Star-Tribune, seek out any responses to local liberal senator's Franken's gross, women-demeaning fantasy, especially now that the issue is so timely. For example, I wonder what Jim Graves thinks? Perhaps Devin Henry could interview him.

swift and tester comment only

swift and tester comment only to get a rise out you

I'm Pro-Life

But I'm also Pro-Choice.

You figure it out.

Votes of convenience

Paulsen and the rest of the GOP House rotters have voted that way up to now because it can't make it past the Senate. Playing to the base. Perfectly legitimate to call out that these pols are on the "Akins" diet, especially since many have co-sponsored his bills.

once again ...

The kettle calls the pot yellow!

When, where, how, and under

When, where, how, and under what circumstances a woman is going to have a child is a question of enormous, life-long consequences.

Nobody, certainly not the state, and certainly not religious busy-bodies who think it is their right to impose their religious views upon others, has any business thinking it is their place to make that decision for her.