Sophia Bush Challenges Todd Akin, Paul Ryan’s Stance on Rape

Sophia Bush on August 8, 2012 in West Hollywood, California.  Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Sophia Bush wants women to think long and hard about the men who are campaigning for their votes.

During an August 19 interview with St. Louis television station KTVI-TV, Republican congressman Todd Akin, 65, was asked his opinion regarding whether rape victims who become pregnant should have the option to get an abortion.

"First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin responded. "But let's assume that 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."

Todd Akin
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Rep. Todd Akin speaks during a news conference on the new Health and Human Services Department abortion rule on Wednesday, March 21, 2012.

Almost immediately, Akin received backlash for his remarks and released a statement clarifying his stance on the issue. "I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action," he explained.

Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, 65, called Akin's comments "inexcusable." He later told New Hampshire television station WMUR 9 that Akin's "comments about rape were deeply offensive, and I can't defend what he said. I can't defend him."

During a mid-August interview, Romney's running mate, Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, 42, asserted that he is "very proud" of his "pro-life record," and referred to rape as a "method of conception."

Romney Ryan
Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan on August 12, 2012 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Darren Hauck/Getty Images

Upset with Akin and Ryan's comments, Bush vented about their positions via Twitter beginning August 27. "Paul Ryan called rape a 'method of conception' and no news media is talking about it?" the Partners actress tweeted. "I am honestly nauseous because of all these Rep. men defending rape/rape pregnancy. Gents, you will never know what it means."

"Rape, sexual assault, any time a woman is harassed against her will — it's all legitimate. And horrifying. How dare anyone say otherwise," the politically-minded actress continued. "Ladies, if you don't want to be relegated back to the 1950s, I urge you to look at what candidates are planning to do with your rights. I will only vote for a man who understands that my body, as a woman, belongs to me and me alone."

Bush, 30, added that she's "never been a fan of either political party," but "seeing such lack of equality for women being promoted by one side has made me a staunch supporter of the other recently, more so than ever before. If you think that just because we have vaginas we don't deserve sheer and total equality, then you don't get my vote. Simple as that. Don't like it? Then hop off my [Twitter] feed and be a discriminatory a–hole somewhere else."

On August 28, as the Republican National Convention kicked off in Tampa, Florida, Bush continued to defend her views on the social media site. "Wanting women to have control of their bodies and access to medical care does not equal being 'pro-abortion.' Who the hell is 'pro' that?" she tweeted. "There's a big damn difference people. It should be up to women and their docs. Not a bunch of dudes in DC."

President Barack Obama, 51 — who is campaigning for a second term as the nation's commander-in-chief — has also condemned the congressman's remarks.

"Rape is rape, and the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we are talking about doesn't make sense to the American people and certainly doesn't make sense to me," Obama told reporters at a White House briefing August 20.

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