Democrats Trying To Turn Rick Berg Into The Next Todd Akin?


No doubt fed the story by Democrat operatives looking give weight to liberal Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp’s “war on women” mantra which, frankly, hasn’t gotten a lot of traction in the state, both the Huffington Post and BuzzFeed are this evening hyping a story about a Berg vote cast as a ND legislator for a bill making abortion a felony.

BuzzFeed’s subheadline is, “Todd Akin II?”

Rick Berg, North Dakota’s at-large congressman and a candidate for Senate, voted to criminalize abortion in the state as a Class AA felony, including in the case of rape or abortion.

Berg, who is running against former Democratic Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, voted with a minority of the state house in 2007 to make terminating a pregnancy illegal, in a bill that only made exception for when the life of the mother is endangered.

Berg was granted a coveted speaking slot at the Republican National Convention last week, just weeks after fellow Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin drew bipartisan outrage for outrageously claiming that pregnancies don’t occur in cases of “legitimate rape.”

I’m not sure why this is on par with the Todd Akin controversy. What was objectionable about Akin’s comments wasn’t his position on abortion, which is actually pretty mainstream in the United States, but rather his bizarre comments about “legitimate rape.”

If you’re pro-life, if you truly believe that life begins at conception, I’m not sure how you can believe that an exception for rape is acceptable. I can’t even imagine how horrifying it would be to carry the child or your rapist to term. I would be mortified beyond belief if one of my daughters, or one of my sisters or even my wife had to do it. But I don’t see how the rape automatically means a death sentence for the child.

The child committed no crimes. And if you believe that life begins at conception, the crime of rape isn’t justification enough for removing from that child the right to life.

The Democrats may try to nationalize the North Dakota Senate race on the back of this issue, but I don’t see it getting a lot of traction here inside the state. Especially not when it opens up Heitkamp’s own positions on abortion, which are way out of the mainstream for North Dakotans. And especially given that this issue is already well-known inside of North Dakota. The bill got a lot of attention when it was being debated in the legislature, both in and outside of the state. Berg’s support for it is well known, and Democrats bringing it up now is only going to do more to tie Heitkamp to the pro-abortion extremism of her party than to hurt Berg.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • kevindf

    Who were bigger warriors on women than the Kennedy’s and Bill Clinton?

    • Goon

      Yeah good point – one rapped and harassed women will the other actually killed a woman in a drunk driving accident by driving into a body of water in Massachusetts. and failed to call the police or get help – yet was loved by the left.

  • Jay

    Seriously, Rob, I’m still not seeing this “great campaign” everyone says Heitkamp is running. It looks like a series of gimmicks to me. Not that I’m upset about it, but I have to imagine Quentin Burdick–who essentially built the North Dakota version of the Democrat Party from nothing in the late 1950s and early 1960s–must be groaning there exists some kind of afterlife where he has to watch these antics by his successors in his party.

    Addendum: When Burdick ran for Senate as the standardbearer for his party in the 1960 special election, he made the election a referendum on unpopular Eisenhower-era Agriculture Secretary Ezra Taft Benson, whose policies irritated North Dakotans. It worked. Burdick narrowly won the election in a state where Dems had failed to win a Senate race in 1958 of all years despite the fact that then-Senator William Langer never stepped foot in the state during the campaign.

    I somehow don’t see Heitkamp’s coy attempts to portray herself as everything but the left-wing Dem she is as having the same gravitas as Burdick’s brash, forceful campaign slogan, “Beat Benson with Burdick.”

  • Thrsherman

    The difference between an abortion of an unwanted pregnancy and an abortion of the product of a rape is about as huge as you can get. No woman should be forced to produce and then care the the product of a rape, no matter if you believe life begins at conception of not. To advocate that is to imply that a woman is no more than a vassal, who is required to submit her body and life to the seed implanted in her, be it with her consent or not. In short, her life and freedom is over-ruled by her genitalia.
    In the case of an unwanted pregancy, excluding of course other means in which the woman is impregnated against her will, the woman eventually makes a choice to engage in intercourse regardless of the consequences.
    The mother verses fetus question is an issue of balance, to imply that a fetus of a rapist has rights that supercede that of the mother and her body is to reduce the mother to no more than the chattel of her biological function. This I simply cannot accept, for to accept it is to accept that a womans individual liberty can be taken from her forcibly against her will, and that in this case the fetus’ rights ruper cede the mother’s. Then woman is placed in bondage to her unborn child and against her will. For me that is too high a price to pay for a strict adherance to the theoretic idea that life begins at birth.

    • Thresherman

      I meant for the end of the last sentence to read “life begins at conception.” reather than at “birth”.

    • jamermorrow

      With a rape exception we would always have abortions. I think you would be amazed how many rapes would occur if we outlawed abortion but had a rape exception. Remember rape is non consensual sex. I think non consensual rapes would become common so females could have an abortion.

      • yy4u2

        There’s a lot of ‘non consensual sex’ but after the fact or act. How many booze and/or drug induced one night stands (bad choices) get termed rape. Oh, did we have sex last night? I mean rape last night? How many are claimed to have been raped when the boyfriend or husband finally figure out the OT or night out with girlfriends just wasn’t so? A smaller percentage comes from parents of daughters whothe state deems as under age who go out and make poor choices with someone the parents don’t like who just happens to be over age as deemed by the state.
        So, they already are common. I have trouble when a female decides to abort the fetus when they are doing it as a form of birth control.

  • Roy_Bean

    I have a question for the whole democrat machine, small as it is in North Dakota, including their in-Forum-ation wing. Chris Berg was criticized heavily for reminding people of the Nazi practice of repeating lies until people believed them. Now the head of the of the democrat party from the Democratic Peoples Republic of California has said the same thing about the entire Republican party. I have been patiently waiting for the outrage from North Dakota democrats.

    The question of abortion is going to be emotional on both sides but it boils down to Rick Berg has voted to ban all abortions and Heidi has supported partial birth abortions where near full term babies are allowed to die because the mother decided she doesn’t want them right now. I don’t agree with either one.

  • toomuchguvmint

    In many parts of the world the four most dangerous words are “It is a girl.” The lethal action that is chosen by some after these words is a true war on women. See

  • toomuchguvmint

    In many parts of the world the four most dangerous words are “It is a girl”. The lethal actions that some choose following these words are a war on women.

  • sbark

    So conversly……..Heidi supports Obamas position on abortion? Which we can also presume is the Dem’cat Nat. Party’s position at this point?
    look at Obama’s position on the Born Alive Infant Protections Act. While serving as an Illinois state senator, President Obama opposed, not once but four times, legislation that sought to protect babies who survived late-term abortions and required that doctors provide them with appropriate health care.
    ………that is basically saying, if a person survives a abortion, Obama wanted another doctor to come in and “finish the job”…… kill the baby after birth, rather than give them health care after birth……….
    ……Remember there are ties to the Dem’cats originator of Planned Parenthood, their abortion speciallty organization and the eugenics programs of 1940’s Germany
    Margaret Sanger the founder of Planned Parent hood. Named the Birth Control League, its newsletter (The Birth Control Review) often featured articles by Prof. Dr. Ernst Rudin, head of Nazi Germany’s eugenics program in the April 1933 edition and in other articles promoted eugenic concentration camps.

    Now you know.

  • philgray

    Who knows, the next thing we will have and mark this because it will happen…Chris Matthews and Ed ( wheres your dog) Schiltz will use race card and war on women card on Rick..
    Sad isnt it…either you are pro-life or pro-death…you choose….

  • $34543430

    Outlawed, OK, but a AA felony? That’s more punishment than people get for sexual assault, which is already illegal. Or rather, gross sexual imposition

  • kcLind

    the only rational explanation is that God is insane and hates babies; if you beieve this then the above arguments make sense.