News / USA

Abortion Issue Casts Shadow Over Republican Candidates

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at LeClaire Manufacturing in Bettendorf, Iowa, August 22, 2012.Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at LeClaire Manufacturing in Bettendorf, Iowa, August 22, 2012.
x
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at LeClaire Manufacturing in Bettendorf, Iowa, August 22, 2012.
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at LeClaire Manufacturing in Bettendorf, Iowa, August 22, 2012.
VOA News
Democrats are trying to take advantage of the controversial remarks of a Republican U.S. Senate candidate on abortion, but presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is seeking to refocus the campaign debate on the sluggish economy.

U.S. Representative Todd Akin, who is running for a Senate seat in Missouri, started a firestorm of controversy this week when he defended his opposition to abortion -- even in cases of rape -- by claiming that victims of "legitimate rape" have a natural mechanism to avoid pregnancy.  Akin later apologized, but rejected calls by Republican leaders, including Romney, to give up his race for the Senate.

President Barack Obama poked fun at Akin's remarks during a fundraising dinner in New York Wednesday night.  He said that although Akin is a member of the House's science and technology panel, he "somehow missed science class."

For his part, Romney is seeking to avoid the divisive abortion issue and focus on the economy in his attempt to unseat Obama in the November election.  Campaigning in Iowa, Romney criticized Obama for failing to bring down the nation's debt and deficit.  He said if elected, he would "cut federal spending" and "encourage growth" and that the result would be a balanced federal budget.

Democrats have seized on Akin's remarks to draw attention to the Republican Party's stance against abortion, which they claim is part of their efforts to infringe on women's rights.  The Obama campaign told reporters Wednesday that U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, Romney's vice presidential running mate, has co-sponsored strict anti-abortion legislation in the House.  

Ryan said he was "proud of his pro-life" record in Congress during an interview Wednesday, but he has also called on Akin to withdraw from the Senate race in Missouri.

Republicans preparing for next week's national party convention have adopted a statement of beliefs that includes a call for a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion.  The pledge does not include exceptions in cases of rape or incest, putting it at odds with Romney's previously stated position.  

Romney and Ryan will be formally nominated at the national convention in the southern city of Tampa, Florida.  

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid