Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) didn't mince words at a Planned Parenthood luncheon on Tuesday when commenting on Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin's recent claim that women rarely become pregnant in cases of "legitimate rape."
According to the Washington Examiner, Boxer used the speaking opportunity to unleash on both Akin and the Republican Party.
"Where's the outrage by Mitt Romney?" she asked reporters. "There is a sickness out there in the Republican Party, and I'm not kidding. Maybe they don't like their moms or their first wives; I don't know what it is."
Boxer reportedly noted that though Akin's comment was unacceptable, it was "a direct outgrowth of the GOP's march to the right on women's health."
"There is a war against women, and Romney and Ryan, if they are elected, would become its top generals," Boxer said, urging the audience to remember the days when desperate women and girls died in botched, back-alley abortions. "We cannot go back."
Boxer made her speech just hours after CNN reported that the 2012 Republican Party platform includes support for a constitutional ban on abortion with no exemption for rape.
The news came at bad time for the party, as Republicans were already battling attacks surrounding Akin's comments. Mitt Romney's campaign moved swiftly to distance itself from the controversy. Laura Bassett and Sam Stein of The Huffington Post reported:
"Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape," Andrea Saul, a Romney spokesperson, told The Huffington Post.
While Saul's statement is consistent with Romney's position on abortion, it's a clear departure from Ryan's position, which is that abortion should only be legal in cases where the life of the mother is at risk. Ryan sponsored a fetal personhood bill, which would effectively criminalize abortion and some forms of birth control without exceptions for rape victims.
President Obama responded to Akin's comments at a surprise news conference on Monday.
"The views expressed were offensive," he said. "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 it certainly doesn't make sense to me. So what I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women."
At the Planned Parenthood luncheon, Boxer agreed.
"It's deeper than one Republican congressman," she said. "It goes all the way to the top of the Republican ticket. The truth is there's a war against women, and it's not going to end until we all say at the polls, 'That's not the country we want.'"