Rep. Todd Akin: The Statement and the Reaction
By LORI MOORE August 20, 2012
(note: This website disagrees with Rep. Akin’s statements about legitimate rape)
The sequence of events after Representative Todd Akin, Republican of Missouri, commented to a St. Louis television station on pregnancy as a result of rape.
11:24 A.M. KTVI-TV posts to its Web site an interview with Mr. Akin in which he is asked whether he believes abortion is justified in cases of rape and replies that rape does not result in pregnancy. Twitter soon erupts with outrage and links to the interview.
“It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”
4:28 P.M. Senator Claire McCaskill, the Democrat whose Senate seat Mr. Akin is seeking, releases a statement denouncing his comments.
“As a former prosecutor, Claire McCaskill has worked closely with hundreds of rape victims and intimately understands their trauma and pain. It is that experience that makes Akin’s statements so outrageous.”
4:59 P.M. Mr. Akin releases a statement saying that he misspoke in the interview.
“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.”
AUGUST 19, 2012 – Akin Statement on “Jaco Report” Interview
“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.” http://www.akin.org/updates/akin-statement-jaco-report-interview
‘Legitimate rape’ comment was not a misstatement. It’s a worldview
By LAURA HELMUTH Monday, 08.20.12
Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, the Republican candidate for the Missouri Senate race, told a St. Louis news station on Sunday that “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
He later took it back….In case anybody missed this dig at the “no means no” crowd, “legitimate rape” is a coded phrase meant to distinguish between a stranger attacking you in a parking garage, or, say, your date or your youth pastor doing the same. If you’re tipsy or wearing a short skirt, it’s not rape-rape, etc.
The statement was actually intended to soften Akin’s absolute opposition to abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. Why bother to have loopholes for such conditions when they’re going to be so rare, goes his thinking? As Talking Points Memo notes, the congressman has long suspected that rape and abortion laws are less likely to protect women from abuse than to allow them to be abusive:
Akin’s past includes praising a militia group linked to anti-abortion extremism in the 1990s and voting against creating a sex-offender registry in 2005. Back in 1991, as a state legislator, Akin voted for an anti-marital-rape law, but only after questioning whether it might be misused “in a real messy divorce as a tool and a legal weapon to beat up on the husband,” according to a May 1 article that year in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch….