Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

GOP Rep. Todd Akin Criticized For Rape Comment


Let's listen to the words that made Todd Akin a lot more famous over the weekend. The Republican congressman from Missouri is running for United States Senate. He was probably no better known nationally than the average Senate challenger until he gave an interview to St. Louis TV station KTVI. He was asked why he opposes abortion in nearly all cases, including rape.

REPRESENTATIVE TODD AKIN: People always want to try and make that as one of those things, well, how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something. You know, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.


Journalists and bloggers were soon asking what Akin meant by, quote, "legitimate rape," and which doctors gave him his information. The Washington Post cited a study finding that tens of thousands of women become pregnant through rape each year.

Akin has since issued a statement saying that he misspoke, though political odds makers are already changing their forecasts for the Senate race. Until now, Akin had been given a strong change to unseat Democrat Claire McCaskill in Missouri. Now other Republicans, including Mitt Romney's campaign, have been distancing themselves from Akins remarks. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.