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Todd Akin's Abortion Comments Set Off Firestorm Todd Akin's Abortion Comments Set Off Firestorm

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Politics

Todd Akin's Abortion Comments Set Off Firestorm

August 19, 2012
Talking Points Memo cites a 1996 study by the American Journal of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that found rape-related pregnancy is "a cause of many unwanted pregnancies," and an estimated "32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year." Akin has also recently said he wants to ban the morning after pill. Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill condemned Akin's latest comments. "It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape," said McCaskill in a statement. "The ideas that Todd Akin has expressed about the serious crime of rape and the impact on its victims are offensive." Though the congressman started the general election with an edge on McCaskill, a controversy like this could hurt the Republican badly with female voters. McCaskill's team wanted to face Akin in the general election -- they took the rare step of spending money to help Akin win the Republican primary -- and a comment like this makes it clear why. Akin won a three-way primary earlier this month, beating former Treasurer Sarah Steelman and businessman John Brunner. McCaskill and the Democrats ran "negative" ads that boosted Akin among the state's conservative electorate, signaling a preference for him as a general election opponent. All the Republican candidates in the were considered relatively weak, though Akin was thought to be the most beatable of the pack. The ramifications could reverberate beyond the Show Me State -- Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will almost certainly be confronted with questions about Akin and his comments, and the remarks could focus attention nationally on abortion at a time when Republicans want to be talking about the economy.
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