Todd Akin and “legitimate rape”

Todd Akin, GOP Senate candidate: ‘Legitimate rape’ rarely causes pregnancy” (Washington Post, 19 August 2012)

Todd Akin, GOP hopeful for the US Senate, is known for his no-excuses policy when it comes to abortion. When asked about abortion in the case of rape-related pregnancy, he responded:

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Though he has since apologised for his remarks for being “off the cuff”, it’s clear that this Senate hopeful has some firm views on what women should be allowed when it comes to rape.

The Washington Post reports that “Akin himself has suggested in the past that women may claim to be raped as a strategy during divorce proceedings.” (Source: “Hard-Right Nominees Damage Republican Senate Prospects”, TPM, August 10, 2012) Previously, Akin has voted to not give protection for victims of marital rape. (Source: “GOP Senate candidate: ‘legitimate’ rape victims don’t get pregnant”,, August 19, 2012)

We’re still not sure what Mr Akin defines as legitimate rape or the statistics that contradict his views.

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