Republican backtracks on 'legitimate rape'

2012-08-20 09:01
Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan flanked by Representative Todd Akin. (AP, File)

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan flanked by Representative Todd Akin. (AP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The Republican challenger for a hotly contested US Senate seat in Missouri said on Sunday that he "misspoke" when he said women have biological defences to prevent pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape", making legal abortion rights unnecessary.

US Representative Todd Akin, who is running against Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in the 6 November election, made the comments to KTVI television in St Louis, drawing swift protest from McCaskill and other Democrats.

Akin, a Tea Party-backed conservative who opposes abortion, said in the interview that the need for abortions in the case of rape was "a particularly tough ethical question".

"It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that is really rare," Akin said of pregnancy caused by rape. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin said.

"But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child."

McCaskill, who is considered one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats in a state that has shifted to the right since she was first elected in 2006, immediately fired off a rebuke on Twitter.

No backing down on abortion

"As a woman and former prosecutor who handled 100s of rape cases, I'm stunned by [Representative] Akin's comments about victims this AM," she wrote.

Akin later backtracked, saying in a statement:

"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."

He promised that rape victims "will have no stronger advocate in the Senate to help ensure they have the justice they deserve" if he was elected.

However, Akin did not back down on his position opposing abortion in the case of rape, adding: "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."

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign distanced itself from Akin's position.

"Governor Romney and congressman [Paul] Ryan disagree with Mr Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape," the statement read.

Akin, a six-term congressman from the St Louis suburbs, won a hard-fought three-way primary race two weeks ago. McCaskill's campaign spent funds during that campaign to help him win, viewing him as a far-right conservative who would be easier to defeat in November.

Read more on:    mitt romney  |  us  |  us elections 2012
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
22 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Beauty
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.