Unites States Representative Todd Akin, who is challenging Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill for her seat this November, is apologizing for a comment he made where he claimed that “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy. Congressman Akin says that he misspoke.
Representative Akin was answering a question about whether abortion should be legal in cases of rape when he said the body initiates responses which prevent pregnancy in the case of rape, making it very rare that a woman could get pregnant from a rape.
Akin told KTVI in an interview,
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down”But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. You know I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
Liberal Super PAC American Bridge got a hold of the interview and posted the clip of Akin online.
Akin issued a statement on Sunday saying he misspoke in the interview.
Akin’s statement said,
“In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year. Those who perpetrate these crimes are the lowest of the low in our society and their victims will have no stronger advocate in the Senate to help ensure they have the justice they deserve. I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action. I also recognize that there are those who, like my opponent, support abortion and I understand I may not have their support in this election.”
Statistics on the incidences of pregnancies that result from rape are hard to pinpoint as a great number of rapes go unreported. Multiple sources, including Planned Parenthood, estimate that around 5 percent of rapes end in pregnancy.
Representative Akin has long been a fierce opponent of abortion in all circumstances. He also opposes the morning after pill, which he says is the same as an abortion.