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Letters: Todd Akin, abortion and the GOP

Rep. Todd Akin wants to take his campaign to term, but the GOP wants him to abort ["Akin says he won't bow to party bosses," News, Aug. 23]. It's nice to be entitled to make the choice yourself, isn't it?

Robert Shepard, Lynbrook

The ideas of Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) are not extreme ["Idiotic notions about rape," Editorial, Aug. 21]. They are, in fact, the policy of the Republican Party.

Since 1992, a major plank in the Republican national platform has been that abortions should be illegal, with no exceptions. The 2012 platform may also contain that plank.

Further, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was among those House members who sponsored a "personhood" amendment to the Constitution that would have made abortions illegal without exceptions throughout the country.

Joseph J. Malone, Syosset

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said, "I think this election should be about how did Todd Akin vote, and what did he vote for, what did he stand for. And in this case I'm seeing the same thing -- petty personal attacks substituting for strong policy."

I agree, the election should be about how Akin votes and what he stands for. Akin co-sponsored a bill, with King and Paul Ryan, that was designed to keep taxpayer money from funding abortions. It originally called for an exemption in the federal ban on abortion funding only in the case of "forcible rape."

You know, because those girls who don't fight back out of fear that they may be harmed further weren't raped nearly as badly as those who fought, right?

If you "forcibly" rape a woman, is your prison sentence worse? Of course not -- because rape is rape. All rape is, by definition, forcible. None of it is allowed or consented to. If we need to legislate this distinction between rape and forcible rape of women, why not the same for the rape of men?

These people push us further and further back to a culture of repressed women -- of second-class citizens -- simply because we were born with different reproductive organs.

Callie Lawrence, Astoria