Romney slams lawmaker's rape comments

2012-08-20 21:49
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)

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Todd Akin on 'Legitimate Rape'

2012-08-20 15:12

US Senate hopeful Todd Akin has these shocking things to say about rape and abortion on a US talk show The Jaco Report.WATCH

Washington - US presidential challenger Mitt Romney on Monday firmly dismissed a fellow Republican candidate's shock claim that women rarely become pregnant in cases of "legitimate rape".

Todd Akin, a congressman from Missouri and his party's nominee for the Senate, triggered outrage on Sunday when he asserted in a television interview that a woman's body can spontaneously block an unwanted pregnancy.

This claim, which is unsupported by science, has been used in the past by some US Christian conservatives to justify their opposition to all abortions, even those sought by women who have been raped.

But the remark embarrassed Romney, who is running against President Barack Obama in November's election and has been trying to broaden his party's appeal among women and independent centrist voters.

"Congressman's Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong," Romney told the conservative website National Review Online. "Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive."

Different view

In his comments, Akin had appeared to suggest that some women falsely allege rape in order to justify abortions, saying: "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Romney dismissed this, saying: "I have an entirely different view. What he said is entirely without merit and he should correct it."

Despite his anger over Akin's outburst - and despite previously supporting abortion rights as governor of Massachusetts - Romney is campaigning for the White House on an anti-abortion ticket.

His campaign calls on the US Supreme Court, whose members are appointed by the president, to overturn the 1973 "Roe versus Wade" ruling that women seeking abortions have a right to privacy.

The effect of overturning the ruling would allow individual US states to determine their own abortion laws, and many of them would be expected to ban or to restrict the practice.

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

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