Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for Senate in Missouri running against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), justified his opposition to abortion rights even in case of rape with a claim that victims of “legitimate rape” have unnamed biological defenses against getting pregnant.
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Akin went on to explain that even if the worst happens and the supposed natural protections against unwanted pregnancy don’t work, abortion should still not be a legal option for the rape victim.
“Let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something,” Akin said. “I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
Akin is perhaps the boldest name among a crop of conservative nominees chosen by Republican voters in 2012 that could hamper GOP efforts to take back the Senate in the fall. Akin has called for an end to the school lunch program and a total ban on the morning after pill.