Akin pushed narrow definition of child abuse

Neighbors could use abuse laws "as a tool to harass, a way to get even with" people they don't like, he argued

By Jillian Rayfield
November 1, 2012 12:40AM (UTC)
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(AP/Christian Gooden)

When he was a member of the Missouri House of Representatives, Todd Akin fought against a bill that would have tightened laws against child abuse, arguing that the bill “needed a more restrictive definition of abuse” to prevent abuses of the law.

Right Wing Watch flags that in 1992, Akin opposed the bill, which would have established a "'statewide child abuse review board' and tighten[ed] the standard for proving child abuse from 'reason to suspect' to 'credible evidence.'"

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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported at the time:

"Akin said he was concerned that ‘the department could come into your home and if your kid had just fallen off his bike and skinned his knee…take your kid away.’ Akin also said that with a loose definition of abuse, neighbors might use child-abuse reports ‘as a tool to harass, a way to get even with’ someone they dislike."

The editorial board of the Post-Dispatch slammed Akin's opposition to the bill, saying that he "resorts to extreme and unlikely examples to bolster his case."


Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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2012 Elections Child Abuse Claire Mccaskill Legitimate Rape Missouri Todd Akin