GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is trying to distance himself from strict anti-abortion legislation he co-sponsored with embattled Missouri Republican Todd Akin. The bill Ryan supported would have banned federal funding for abortions except in cases of so-called forcible rape. It was reintroduced last year with the word “forcible” removed from the bill’s language.

When asked in an interview Tuesday with Pittsburgh television station KDKA to define “forcible rape,” Ryan backpedaled, saying: “Rape is rape and there’s no splitting hairs over rape.”

But there is ample evidence that Republicans continually do split hairs over the definition of rape, regardless of what they say after the fact. Rep. Akin is under fire from women’s rights advocates and members of his own party for his creative categorization, suggesting last weekend that women rarely get pregnant from “legitimate rape.”

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Ryan has in the past taken a stricter view on abortion than Mr. Romney, who believes abortion should be allowed for rape victims. But Mr. Ryan has generally favored allowing exceptions only in cases where the life of the woman is in jeopardy. While in Congress, [Ryan] cosponsored – along with Mr. Akin and 171 others – a bill that would ban federal funding for abortion with a rape exception only in cases of “forcible rape.”

Read more

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig