Local Candidates Condemn Akin Comments on Rape, Pregnancy

In New York State Senate and U.S. Congress races, candidates with contrasting views on abortion all disavow Missouri congressman who suggested that "legitimate rape" very rarely leads to pregnancy.

A U.S. Senate candidate's statement regarding rape and pregnancy that has sparked outrage nationally is also reverberating in local races on Long Island.

In a television interview in Missouri on Sunday, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin was asked about his stance on abortion and said he believes that in cases of “legitimate rape” a woman’s body can “shut that whole thing down” to prevent her from becoming pregnant. He later apologized for the comments and said he misspoke, but he rejected calls from both Republicans and Democrats to drop out of the race.

Bridget Fleming, of Noyac, a Democratic candidate for New York State Senate, called on incumbent Republican Sen. Kenneth LaValle, of Port Jefferson, on Wednesday to “publically disavow” Akin’s statements.

“As a former member of the DA’s Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit, I was shocked to hear the callous and grossly inaccurate comments made by Rep. Akin, who has served in the U.S. Congress for six terms,” Fleming said. “And as a resident of Long Island, I am disheartened to see that Senator LaValle hasn’t yet spoken up.”

Contacted by Patch Thursday, the LaValle campaign readily denounced Akin's comment.

“Senator LaValle believes you do not defend the indefensible,” said a campaign spokeswoman. “The senator has his own thoughts and his own record. The congressman from Missouri’s words were reprehensible, and obviously the senator doesn’t agree with them.”

Fleming took the opportunity to point out the contrast between her position on abortion rights and LaValle’s. She said she is an advocate for “women’s health and reproductive freedom,” and accused LaValle of limiting women’s health care options.

The LaValle campaign did not wish to respond at this time to Fleming's statements regarding his record on abortion and birth control.

According to VoteSmart.org, the New York State Right to Life Committee gave LaValle a 73 percent rating in 2011, and NARAL Pro-Choice New York labeled the senator “anti-choice” in 2004.

While Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop, of Southampton, and Republican challenger Randy Altschuler, of St. James, fall along party lines when it comes to abortion, they found common ground this week over Akin's comments.

“Let me be clear: Congressman Akin’s comments on rape were ill informed, hurtful, and irresponsible,” Bishop said in a campaign statement on Tuesday. “His ignorance of basic reproductive science is matched only by the heartlessness of his comments ..."

Bishop said it was "troubling" that Altschuler was silent on the matter, but three hours later on Tuesday, Altschuler released a statement of his own.

"As someone who was raised by a single mom who sacrificed everything for me, and a proud husband and father to a beautiful 1-year-old daughter, there is no room for debate about this issue with me — Congressman Todd Akin should withdraw from the Missouri Senate race immediately for his absurd and offensive comments," Altschuler said. "There is no room for this kind of sentiment in the public discourse.”

#freakin save it August 24, 2012 at 04:12 PM
hahahahahaha. selective outrage in politics is gross, completely transparent and offensive. just another sign that these dolts have no clue that we are abolutely dying to hear one salient idea that show leadership, thoughtfulness and any type of connection to our reality whatsoever.
Jaguar-Guy August 24, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Ryan will have a hard time distancing himself from Akin since he supports the same ideas about abortion. Romney supports a woman's right to choose (which he must explain to conservatives - odd juxtaposition for V.P. vs. Pres. running-mates), and will uphold Roe v. Wade. However, the Repubs have a Anti-Abortion Platform at the Convention - hard sell. See MB, HH, Hazel, Mo, and all the rest - I am honest and can agree with you on things. You ALL never waiver and never think your candidate is wrong, has been wrong or ever could be wrong.
Mary Beth August 24, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Notice that Altschuler waited for his party to give him the statement to read. Like Romney, he did not have the courage to come out and condemn this comment before it happened. Why? Because all nominees for his party must bow at the feet of the far right. Altschuler is nothing more than a puppet of the right, who, like Romney, has no core beliefs - he can only think as part of a machine. Also notice his carefully worded statement: He says "there is no room for this kind of sentiment" but he refused to go further. Why? Because his party agrees with Akin. In fact, Akin worked with Ryan on anti-abortion legislation that would allow no exception for rape and incest and which attempted to define forcible rape. Their statements are hollow bs. Period. Jaguar Guy, thank you for being honest about Akin and Ryan.
Earl Long August 24, 2012 at 04:32 PM
"The LaValle campaign did not wish to respond at this time to respond to Fleming's statements regarding his record ...". Any surprise that LaValle would not comment on his 35 years of opposition to Women's Rights.
Jaguar-Guy August 24, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Sure MB - I hope MORE people can try the same more often and call a "spade a spade".
Mary Beth August 24, 2012 at 04:33 PM
And let it be known that Romney met with and had as an adviser the main exponent of Todd Akin’s theory that rape victims don’t get pregnant is a pro-life activist and doctor named Jack Willke.
Jaguar-Guy August 24, 2012 at 04:36 PM
He did call the statements "absurd and offensive" and demanded he withdraw. I think Bishop loses in November. He cannot run on his record of failure - so the only thing he can do is say that Randy outsourced. Yeah, we remember and STILL think Randy is better that Tim.
Spring Spaniel Lover August 24, 2012 at 04:52 PM
What exactly does Altschuler have to do with Todd Akin and why does Altschuler have to patronize anyone by publicly denouncing it. You loudmouths don't care, if he denounces it he gets accused of distancing himself from Akin and if he doesn't say anything you try and make something of it. You and your ilk are losers this time around and I for one thank God every day for that truth.
Spring Spaniel Lover August 24, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Yeah, except abortion isn't really in the top 45 issues on voters minds these days, but you keep trying to seem elevated jag, you belong way in the back row.
Anthony August 24, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I think it is outright greedy and heartless, what some of our elected reps. will do to call out their rivals for the purpose of political gain. This is a very sensitve subject and it should'nt be about who can disavow the Akins statement first.
David D'Agostino August 24, 2012 at 05:14 PM
AUGUST 23, 2012, 7:40 PM Paul Ryan has affirmed his own personal opposition to abortion even in the case of rape and incest for the first time since Todd Akin thrust the issue to the forefront of the national debate. I would like to know if Mr. Altschuler agrees with his VP candidate.
Jaguar-Guy August 24, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Yes, Akin is B-A-D and ill-informed. And, the Economy is still in the toilet Mr. President, and Mr. Bishop.
Joan August 24, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I am not fond of abortion as a birth control method except as a last desperate resort. I also do not believe that this option should even be a subject of discussion among a bunch of withered old men... or any men for that matter. When men can get pregnant, then and only then, should they have ANY say about what a person can do or cannot do with their very own body. A womans' body does not belong, to her husband, to her doctor, or especially, not to the government. And for these arrogant asshats to be having discussions about rape is even worse. Those men who are looking to define rape are validating rapists. Rape is an ugly act of violence against women. Some women never recover from it. That is why it is used as a weapon of war as well. Any man who makes snide remarks about rape has at some point considered it himself, or worse, and has sympathy for those who commit these acts. Don't bother to deny it. It's true. Just for the record from someone who knows. Rape is ANY sex that is unwanted by the woman. PERIOD
David D'Agostino August 24, 2012 at 06:32 PM
The republican party platform is anti-abortion, anti-woman. To repeat a fact: Paul Ryan worked with Akin on legislation that attempts to define forcible rape and does not allow any exceptions, even for rape and incest. The republican party supports the legislation. Mitt Romney met with and was advised by the very same doctor who Akin used for his comments and who helped right the Ryan/Akin legislation. This is a republican party platform, plain and simple. So, if Altschuler is running as a republican and using his party's talking points, he must answer for that party. Remember when the affordable care act was passed and Republicans attacked every single democrat? Same thing. Resorting to childish name-calling and personal insults is a pathetic answer to a woman's concerns and a perfect example of why Obama leads Romney among women voters.
Jaguar-Guy August 24, 2012 at 06:48 PM
The Democratic Platform is to spend us into oblivian, expand entitlement programs that we cannot afford, create a new class that is totally dependent upon government handouts, increase taxes on the 50% of those already paying taxes, while the other 50% cheers them on to "make them pay more" !! I choose the Republican platform, and will leave legal issues about abortion to the SCOTUS. The REAL ISSUES OF THE CAMPAIGN are Jobs, the Economy, Record High Unemployment, Record High Fuel, Record High Welfare Recipients, Record High Numbers who have Stopped looking for work, RECORD FORCLOSURES and RECORD HIGH RANKOR between citizens.
Localtucker August 24, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Akin said something stupid and insensitive and he apologized for it, yet our Vice-President makes a heinous statement to a black congregation claiming “they gonna put you back in chains” and not only doesn’t apologize for it, but stands by it.
Enuf I August 24, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Whoopi Goldberg on 43-year-old Roman Polanski raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl: "I know it wasn't rape-rape. It was something else but I don't believe it was rape-rape. Senator Harry Reid on Barack Obama: "...light-skinned," and with "no negro dialect." Congressman Charlie Rangel on our troops: "If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq." Joe Biden on culturalism: "In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking." I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man. Joe Biden ''It's like Goebbels. Goebbels invented this kind of propaganda.'' —California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown, comparing billionaire GOP nominee Meg Whitman's saturation campaign effort to that of a Nazi minister of propaganda ''F**king retarded.'' —White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, scolding liberal groups planning to air ads attacking conservative Dems who were balking at Mr. Obama's health care overhaul ''It depends on what the meaning of the words 'is' is.'' —Bill Clinton
Rick Hoyt August 24, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Yes I Think Akin Should Not Run, Romney Requested That.I'm An Independent - Have To Say Though Republicans Purge Their Bad Actors Quickly, Democrats Not So Much - Can You Say Charlie Rangel SHeeesh.Lame ! Trying To Equate Altschuler With Akin, Partisan Hacks You Know Who You Are.
Enuf I August 24, 2012 at 10:15 PM
“The Vice President said he’s going to put “y’all in chains,” Mr. Rangel told The Perez Notes in a recent free-wheeling interview. “Was he talking about slavery? You bet your ass he was. Was he using the vernacular? Yes, he was. Did he think it was cute? Yes, he did. Was it something stupid to say? You bet your life it was stupid.” “It was something that if a black had said it, we would have been laughing, because we would know deep down, they may be beating the hell out of us but they ain’t thinking about putting us into any chains,” he added. Republicans have called on Mr. Biden to apologize, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon. “Let’s look at what the vice president said: Speaker Boehner and even Paul Ryan have been traveling this country talking about the need to unshackle the private sector, to unshackle the financial industry,” Mr. Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, argued earlier this week. “And the vice president was just taking that metaphor a step further and talking about wanting to put other people in shackles. And the word that he used, chains, is a distraction from the larger argument.”
Justin Time August 25, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Who cares, they are all idiots who say one thing to get the vote, then do what is benificial to their friends and themselves once they get into office. Just be glad you are an American and let politics go on as it has since the revolution. There is nothing you can do to change it, no matter how hard you try. Big business runs the government. So, enjoy each day and don't stress out!
Jaguar-Guy August 25, 2012 at 11:50 AM
"This guy should be getting our coffee." - Bill Clinton
Squeaky August 25, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Well said, Joan. Well said.
Nanci e. LaGarenne August 25, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Of course we can change the world! The only thing that ever has is groups of people rising up to say No, we want a different way. We would not have the right to vote, decide when and if and how many babies we want, be free as separate human beings, not our husband's property ( as women once were), if we had not fought for all of these rights. We are all human beings. We need to stop separating the issues. A "women's" issue should be a concern for all, but only if the leaders are coherent intelligent unbiased un-dogma un-brainwashed by religion, responsible people. We must stop this runaway train of women bashing, sexual objectification, going back to the idea of subservience. No thanks. We need leaders who believe and act accordingly. For the benefit and betterment of humankind. Not a biased group of leaders who aim to keep one gender in power and contril of the money. Time for a huge shift. We are raising children to believe they can do anything they choose as a career, we say they can discover their passion and make a living doing such. Be smart. Be happy. By all means, do have children if you are human enough to raise them properly and not be a burden to society. The jails are full. We must stop the Akins of the world from becoming anyone's leader. Give him a broom, let him sweep the Senate floor. Thd janitor probably has more common sense. Enough of these ignorant men.
TerenceQuinn August 25, 2012 at 01:15 PM
How could Altschuler condemn the statement 'before it happened' ... Heeheee you guys are all nuts! Psychics unite.
North Fork Bob August 25, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Akin is a member of the Science committee in the House.Really makes you think
Nanci e. LaGarenne August 25, 2012 at 01:40 PM
think and then throw up, Bob! Yikes!!!
Colleen August 25, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Regarding : "A womans' body does not belong to her husband, doctor etc... Just who does her body belong to ? Herself ??? What about the BABY and its belonging ??? Regarding : "Rape is an ugly act of violence..." & "Some women never recover... ABORTION is an ugly act of violence & most women NEVER recover from it. It manifests itself in many ways later on. Depression, eating disorders, suicidal tendencies, and a host of other bio/psy/socio impacts. Look at the stats and do the research. (Psychological effects of abortion on women etc.) Study have further shown that many women who have decided to continue with a pregnancy, REGARDLESS of the circumstances in which conception of that child took place, have RECOVERED more quickly psychologically / emotionally etc. Furthermore,there are many physical risks associated with undergoing even a 'legal' abortion. Health complications and the 'hidden risk' of not ever being able to conceive again, as well as an increased risk in developing breast cancer later on in life. Death...etc. (look up the research: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Abortion.) The abortion 'industry' does not want women to be empowered. WOMEN ARE NOT BEING TOLD THE TRUTH ABOUT ABORTION AND ITS EFFECTS ON THEM. ABORTION HURTS WOMEN. exposeplannedparenthood.com facinglifeissuesheadon.com *Women need to make INFORMED health decisions. Colleen B.S.W
Monte Mathews August 25, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Try as you may to bring this off message, the truth is the Republican Party supports the most neanderthal of women's rights and not one single Republican Senator voted for the Lily Ledbetter Act giving equal pay to women. As far a economics go, Randy Altshuler made a career out of exporting jobs and the Republican Congress refused a bill that would have given tax breaks to company's that chose to keep jobs here. Mr. Altshuler will do the bidding of the Koch Brothers and the 1 percent. And nothing he can say will change what the bidding of the national GOP is: To act as the slave of special interests.
knowitall August 25, 2012 at 11:51 PM
This is such a bogus issue on the state level, When as the last time NY state blocked contraception or abortion? Bridget, get real. You have nothing to run on but this social issue.


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