Todd Akin "legitimate rape" comments draw scorn from victim advocates

7:03 PM, Aug 20, 2012   |    comments
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St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - A victim advocates group is calling on Rep. Todd Akin to clarify remarks he made during an interview in which the nominee for U.S. Senate questioned a woman's ability to get pregnant as a result of rape.

The Crime Victim Advocacy Center (CVAC) also asked Rep. Akin to identify the doctors he referred to in his interview with a St. Louis FOX affiliate, whom he said indicated women could simply "shut down" their bodies in an effort to prevent fertilization and pregnancy if they were raped.

"I am grossly offended by the scientific inaccuracy of his statement and that he, as a public official, would state it as truth," said Julie Lawson, president and CEO of the CVAC.

Akin, a six-term U.S. Congressman, attempted to clarify his remarks on Sunday, releasing a statement saying he "misspoke."  He's running to unseat incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill this November.

The Crime Victim Advocacy Center is a member of the United Way of Greater St. Louis and provides crisis response and counseling to victims of violent crime in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Meanwhile, Pam Fichter, president of the Missouri Right to Life PAC, issued a statement supporting Rep. Akin's comments.

"Missouri Right to Life supports Congressman Akin's defense of the life of an innocent unborn child conceived by rape. We also support his statement of compassion and support for victims of sexual assault," Fichter said.

"Congressman Akin's consistent defense of innocent unborn human life clearly contrasts with the anti-life position of Senator Claire McCaskill who supports abortion on demand for the full nine months of pregnancy, opposed the ban on partial-birth abortion, and supported the Obama health care law which will greatly expand abortions in this country using our tax dollars." 

In a statement released late Monday afternoon, Planned Parenthood said Akin "made a medically and factually inaccurate statement" and accused the congressman of spending "his entire political career supporting extreme positions that are dangerous to women's health." 

Planned Parenthood also tried to connect Akin's stances on rape and abortion to Mitt Romney's vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, released the following statement:
"Congressman Todd Akin's comment using the term 'legitimate rape' is offensive, repugnant and troubling.

"Rape is always violent and criminal and can never be linked with the term 'legitimate.' Although I respect the record of Congressman Aikin, especially in the pro-life community, some comments are so offensive and indefensible that one must assume the full consequences and responsibility for making them.

"Congressman Akin can demonstrate he accepts full responsibility by removing himself from the Missouri Senate race.

"On a practical level, these comments will follow the Congressman throughout the entire campaign and not allow him to deal with the critical issues facing America and the failed record of President Obama."


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