Rep. Todd Akin's 'legitimate rape' comment sparks national controversy, GOP disapproval

During an interview with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on his radio show, Akin apologized for his remarks.
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The remarks of Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., the Republican challenger of Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., regarding “legitimate rape” on the St. Louis news program “The Jaco Report” have gained national attention.

During the interview, Akin argued it is highly unlikely for a woman to get pregnant in cases of "legitimate rape."

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, (conception from rape) is really rare,” Akin said on the program. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

MU Feminist Student Union President Nicole Silvestri said she was shocked and outraged by Akin’s comments.

“His comment shows the blatant ignorance and misinformation running rampant in our society,” Silvestri said. “This lack of fundamental knowledge is terrifying when those who run this country's policies do not possess it.”

The highly controversial remarks sparked national outrage from both Democrats and Republicans. In a Monday phone interview with the National Review Online, GOP presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Akin’s remarks were inexcusable.

"Congressman Akin's comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable and, frankly, wrong,” Romney said. “Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.”

The Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape, according to a statement released by the Romney-Ryan campaign. Both Romney and Obama spoke out against Akin’s controversial comments.

"Rape is rape," Obama said at Monday’s White House press conference. "I think these comments do underscore why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.'"

During an interview with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on his radio show, Akin apologized for his remarks.

"I don’t know that I'm the only person in public office who suffered from foot-in-mouth disease,” Akin said. “(The statements were) a very, very serious error. People do get pregnant. It does happen. … I just want to apologize to those I have hurt. I've spoken in error.”

The senatorial hopeful also said he intended to remain in the election.

"I'm not a quitter," Akin said. "By the grace of God, we're going to win this race. … Just because somebody makes a mistake doesn't make them useless.”

Akin has until Tuesday night to decide whether to drop out of the race. Otherwise his name will be on the November ballot, according to Missouri state law.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, released a statement to the press saying Akin should bow out from the Senate race.

"Congressmen Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family and the Republican party,” Cornyn said in the press release.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has also formed a petition demanding Akin's removal from the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, where the Congressman has served since 2009.

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