“Rape is rape and there’s no splitting hairs over rape.” As for the president’s claim that Romney-Ryan will restrict birth control, Ryan calls that ridiculous. “Nobody is proposing to deny birth control to anybody,” says Ryan. Ryan says women won’t fall for these side issues. “And I don’t think they’re going to take the bait of all these distractions that the President is trying to throw at them.” – Paul Ryan Distances Self From Todd Akin

AS THE REPUBLICAN Party once again cements their image and policy prescriptions as being overtly anti-women’s freedoms, the Democratic Party intends to offer an opposite image. Mitt Romney says he would allow exceptions for abortion in the case of rape and incest. Then why isn’t he asserting himself on the Republican platform and denouncing the Akin Plank? The platform means nothing, so why not give the religious conservatives a bone, right?

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, tried to deflect questions on behalf of Mr. Romney, saying on Fox News that “this is the platform of the Republican Party, it is not the platform of Mitt Romney.”With Abortion in the Spotlight, a Challenge for Romney

Don’t kid yourself, there is nothing in Mitt Romney’s past that proves he can hold the line on any principle, let alone women’s right to self-determination.

From the National Journal comes the Democratic view of women’s rights and who will be among those to outline them:

The leaders of the two largest abortion rights groups in the country are among a slew of prominent women expected to escalate attacks on Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s positions on women’s issues at the upcoming Democratic convention.

The Democratic National Convention Committee on Wednesday was releasing a list of female speakers heavy with symbolism, including Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund; Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America; Lily Ledbetter, the inspiration for the equal pay law signed by President Obama; and Sandra Fluke, the former law school student insulted by conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh for advocating health insurance coverage of birth control.

Not only did Todd Akin’s insultingly ignorant statements on rape do damage, but at the very same instant religious conservatives proclaimed no exception on abortion rights even in the case of rape or incest, handing down the cruelest standard of all that no woman should be forced to meet.

That it’s not a conservative notion to have the state or federal government making a woman’s most wrenching decision for her should be obvious.

However, today’s conservatives are religious conservatives and fundamentalists. The poster boy is Todd Akin, though considering Paul Ryan was party to redefining rape as “forcible,” something that would even make Ronald Reagan blush. In the interview excerpted at the top, Paul Ryan stands by his “pro life” record, which puts a woman’s life second to an unborn egg.

Republicans now stand for something that no true conservative could abide. That these people aren’t voting for Gary Johnson reveals the philosophical bankruptcy that exists on the right.

As for the “left,” as much as it even exists, because there’s nothing close to the Tea Party on the progressive side, people who oppose Obama on the economy, the lack of jobs, environment, as well as his drone and war policy, are either not voting or going with Jill Stein.

That so-called conservatives think they can hoist abortion with no exceptions on American women, including those who are against abortion rights but believe there should be exceptions in the case of rape and incest, is just one reason Pres. Obama has a double-digit lead with female voters, which puts him on target to win in November.

That Mitt Romney won’t stand firm to oppose this religious extremism, which has no place in modern politics, says something fundamental about his character.

Lose women, lose the election.

What Mitt Romney can do to get women back begins with saying he’d support the Lily Ledbetter Act, but also paycheck fairness. But it begins with taking on the most extreme elements of his own party so that the victims of rape and incest have recourse to access a legal procedure. Tampa may get a tropical storm, even a hurricane next week, but Romney making those declarations is as likely as Tampa freezing.