Todd Akin's Abortion Comments Set Off Firestorm
Missouri GOP Senate nominee Todd Akin claimed in an interview airing Sunday that victims of "legitimate" rape couldn't get pregnant because women have "ways to shut that whole thing down."
Akin made the comments in an interview with St. Louis station KTVI.
"It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors that's really rare," said Akin on pregnancy resulting from rape. "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."
Akin released a statement Sunday saying that he "misspoke" and wrote later on Twitter that "all of us understand that rape can result in pregnancy."
"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," Akin said in the statement. "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," he continued. "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."
In a statement, Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said "Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape."