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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In a stunning display of insensitivity and ignorance that mirrors that of Sen. Todd Akin, state Rep. John Ragan (R-33) thinks that he should be the arbiter of whether or not a woman’s rape is sufficiently barbaric enough to require an abortion.
“I am disgusted and outraged at the attempt by Republicans like John Ragan and Todd Akin to be the arbiters of what is and is not a ‘legitimate’ or ‘violent’ rape,” said Jennifer Buck Wallace, Executive Director of the Tennessee Democratic Party. “Ragan is sending a horrible message to men and children that some rape is worse than others, when all leaders should speak with one voice by saying ‘rape is rape,’ no matter what.”
In his response to a survey by the American Family Association, Ragan said he supports allowing for abortion “in certain cases of violent rape or incest.”
Ragan’s attempt to differentiate the severity of rape is the same dangerous type of anti-woman thinking displayed by Missouri Congressman Todd Akin who claimed that victims of “legitimate rape” could self-terminate their pregnancies.
“John Ragan has a shameful and irresponsible track record of siding with bullies and abusers over protecting victims,” Wallace said. “The good women, men and children of Anderson County need leaders who will protect women and children, not their attackers.”
In a news interview in August, Rep. Todd Akin said pregnancies resulting from rape that “[i]f it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.” [NYTimes, 8/19/12]
John Ragan answers to the survey commissioned by the American Family Association, Bott Radio Network, Point of View and Heritage Alliance are available at his website: Ragan AMA Survey or the Tennessee Democratic Party.
Ragan made national news earlier this year for his anti-gay and pro-bullying stance. [ThinkProgress, 1/24/12]
Rep. Ragan cast the lone vote against a bill to protect victims of abuse from their attackers. [TNDP.org, 9/20/12]
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