UPDATE: Phyllis Schlafly Endorses Todd Akin in Missouri Race
Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO) has passed the deadline for withdrawing his campaign for the United States Senate, meaning he will officially be on the ballot in November challenging incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). Many had urged Akin to drop out of the race before today's deadline after his infamous statements on "legitimate rape."
"For the about 100th time or so, I am in this race," Akin commented to reporters at a fundraiser Monday night. Akin plans to use the deadline to increase donations to his campaign, starting with a statewide bus tour.
In an interview aired on August 19th, Akin claimed that "legitimate rape" does not usually lead to pregnancy. "First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare," Akin said to KTVI-TV. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child." [Emphasis added]
Since the interview, many Republicans, including Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), and four former Missouri Senators, have urged Akin to step down from the race.
UPDATE: Right wing, staunch women's rights opponent Phyllis Shlafly stood to the right of Todd Akin at his press conference announcing he was staying in the Senate race [VIDEO]. Schlafly and Newt Gingrich have endorsed Akin, and on Tuesday Schlafly helped Akin launch a "Common Sense" tour across the state. Scflafly, together with big business interests (especially insurance companies), is one of the most active opponents of the Equal Rights Amendment. She is also active against abortion, birth control access, equal pay, paid family medical leave, and LGBT rights.
Media Resources: Christian Science Monitor 9/26/12; Huffington Post 9/26/12; Kansas City Star 9/25/12; KSDK 9/25/12; Feminist Newswire 8/24/12
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .