Missouri GOP Senate Candidate's Remarks On Rape Stir Controversy | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Missouri GOP Senate Candidate's Remarks On Rape Stir Controversy

Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, the Republican who's challenging Democrat Claire McCaskill for the U.S. Senate seat, said in a television interview Sunday that it's "rare" for women to become pregnant when they are raped.

"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," he said in an interview with KTVI, a St. Louis television station.

Akin was being interviewed on KTVI's The Jaco Report on a wide variety of issues. His comments on rape came when he was asked whether there were any circumstances under which he'd support a woman's right to an abortion.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

"Akin, who has said he's Missouri's most conservative congressman, indicated there may be an exception to his stance against abortion. But, when asked if he supported abortions for women who have been raped, Akin said: 'It seems to me first of all from what I understand from doctors that's really rare.'

He also said he would prefer that punishment for rape be focused on the rapist and not 'attacking the child.'"

On Twitter, McCaskill said she was "stunned" by Akin's comments.

"As a woman & former prosecutor who handled 100s of rape cases,I'm stunned by Rep Akin's comments about victims this AM."

Later Sunday, Akin walked back from his comments, calling them "off-the-cuff."

"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," he said. "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."

As NPR's Ari Shapiro is reporting for our Newscast Unit, the Romney campaign is distancing itself from Akin's original remarks.

Here's more from Ari's report:

"Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan disagree with Akins's statement. Saul told NPR, 'A Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.'"

Akin, a six-term congressman, comfortably won the Republican Senate primary earlier this month. Poll show him leading McCaskill in the run-up the November election.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 22

You can attend a festival where nothing is planned, aside from the schedule, or see a play about temptation and loyalty.

NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
WAMU 88.5

Cuccinelli Claims PAC Shortchanged His Campaign

Cuccinelli

A lawsuit by Republican Ken Cuccinelli says a political action committee raised large amounts of money invoking his name in email solicitations despite giving only a pittance to his 2013 campaign.

WAMU 88.5

Cellphones In Class Are No Problem In One Maryland School District

An Eastern Shore school district is allowing teachers to treat students' cellphones, tables and laptops as a resource rather than a nuisance.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.