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Todd Akin, the Republican candidate for Missouri senator, has already apologized for the comments about rape and abortion he made during an interview with Charles Jaco on the Fox News program “The Jaco Report.”
Charles Jaco asked Akin about the legal validity of abortion in cases of rape, to which Akin responded, “From what I understand from doctors, that is really rare, if it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Todd Akin added that in the case the women got pregnant as a result of a rape, there should be punishment for the rapist, not the resulting child.
After these polemic declarations, response from Democrats was not far behind. Senator Clair McCaskill (D-Missouri), Akin’s opponent in the upcoming election, sent a statement to Fox News: “It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape.” Akin responded with the following statement: “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.”But Senator McCaskill has not been the only one that has criticized Akin.
In an unexpected press conference, President Obama said Akin’s comments are “offensive.” Obama explained that “rape is rape” and no qualitative distinctions should be made, referring to the fact that Akin used the expression “legitimate rape,” but did not explain what that entailed. Obama has taken advantage out of Akin’s comment to support organizations like Planned Parenthood and to defend why in the Obamacare insurance should cover contraception methods — the president is a defender of “reproductive rights” for women.
After the Jaco Report interview, Akins released a statement:
As a member of Congress, I believe that working to protect the most vulnerable in our society is one of my most important responsibilities, and that includes protecting both the unborn and victims of sexual assault.
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.
Akins added that he knows how difficult a rape is for women, but also believes in the sanctity of every human life, and he thinks harming another human life is not the solution for rape’s trauma. He also said that he is aware that there are some that support abortion and that he knows he won’t have their support in the election.
Although Akins has apologized for using “the wrong words in the wrong way,” he said he won’t resign from the senatorial race, even though two senators, Scott Brown (R-Massachussetts) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), said Akins should step out.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have not defended Todd Akins, but have instead distanced themselves by saying they disagree with his comments.
Image Courtesy of Todd Akin