Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for Senate in Missouri who is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill, justified his opposition to abortion rights even in case of rape with a claim that victims of “legitimate rape” have unnamed biological defenses that prevent pregnancy.
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Akin said that even in the worst-case scenario — when the supposed natural protections against unwanted pregnancy fail — abortion should still not be a legal option for the rape victim.
“Let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something,” Akin said. “I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
— Lisa McIntire (@LisaMcIntire) August 19, 2012
11:56 AM PT: Kos user PistolSO posted these links to help out Claire McCaskill in her race against Todd Akin. Most recent polls have her down by as much as double digits.
ActBlue- Claire McCaskill
12:12 PM PT: I just sent $5.00, what I could afford, to Claire McCaskill via the Actblue link above. Join with me and keep Todd Akin out of the US Senate.
1:23 PM PT: What exactly has Todd Akin said here in his attempt to justify his extremist position? 'Hey, aspiring rapists, don't worry about getting her pregnant, God's got your back on that?'
1:59 PM PT:
Memo to Todd Akin: As many as 20,000 women raped durin the Rwandan genocide subsequently gave birth. Did these count as "legitimate rapes"?
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) August 19, 2012
2:54 PM PT: Todd Akin, and now we have the ubiquitous press release where he claims he "misspoke." Oh really? How do you misspeak a belief that a woman's uterus has an emergency shutdown button in the event of rape? Oh sorry... "legitimate rape."
5:08 PM PT: Thinkprogress notes some conservatives, including writers at the Weekly Standard and National Review, know Akin's comments are indefensible, and are calling upon him to withdraw from the race (if Akin is still in the race by this Tuesday, he is locked in as the GOP candidate.)
"To be clear, all of us understand that rape can result in pregnancy & I have great empathy for all victims. I regret misspeaking."- Except you, apparently.