Sign the petition: Demand that Rep. Todd Akin resign now!

Todd Akin appears on KTVI-TV
Todd Akin on KTVI-TV

While explaining his position on abortion rights during a video interview Sunday, Missouri Congressman and Senate candidate Todd Akin outlandishly remarked that pregnancy is "really, really" rare in cases of "legitimate rape." The overt insinuation that rape victims who become pregnant were not the victims of rape at all--and, as a consequence, should have no abortion rights--is a vicious two-for-one attack on victims of sexual violence and women's right to choose.

Sign the petition: Demand that Rep. Akin resign now!

The baseless and unscientific character of Akin's remarks merits no discussion. A 1996 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology cited by women's issues website Jezebel indicates that 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year. Rape is a major cause of unwanted pregnancies. The suggestion that such cases do not qualify as "legitimate rape" is a blatant example of the victim-blaming mentality that helps perpetuate violence against women.

What is truly alarming is that this brand of extreme anti-women rhetoric, with the likes of Akin and Rush Limbaugh leading the charge, has become an all-too-common part of mainstream political discourse.

The time has come to end these vicious attacks on women’s rights and dignity in electoral politics. This is a call to action. It’s time to fight back.

Sign the petition now: Stop attacking women to win votes! Hands off our bodies! Stop sexual violence against women!

The Democratic party, for its part, is offering no real fight-back alternative for women. The Obama administration, facing Republican opposition, dropped a 2009 provision for family planning. The White House made the unprecedented step of overruling the FDA in 2011 in order to keep Plan B out of the reach of women under 18. And as part of an electoral maneuver, Democrats opportunistically spent over $1.5 million to help Akin win the Republican Senate primary in Missouri. Legislative initiatives are eroding women's rights in state after state.

It’s clear that women can’t count on Democrats or Republicans to fight for our rights. We need a new women’s movement independent of both dominant political parties. On Aug. 26, supporters of women's rights will take to the streets across the country, continuing the tradition of struggle that won the very rights that now under attack. We will march for reproductive rights. We will march for working women. We will march for equality. Join us.

Sign the petition condemning these outrageous attacks on women now. Learn more about the Aug. 26 demonstrations and how you can get involved in the new movement for women’s equality.

All of us with Women Organized to Resist and Defend