‘Legitimate rape’ gaffe Republican apologises online
Republican Representative Todd Akin last night insisted he would not drop out of the US Senate race in Missouri, after apologising for saying women could not get pregnant from “legitimate rape”.
His remarks in a television interview on Sunday were condemned by senior Republicans, who had urged him to step down.
Yesterday, in an online ad, he said: “Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way, and for that I apologise. The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is, rape has many victims. The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness.”
He added he was a father of two daughters and wanted “tough justice” for rapists and compassion for victims.
His comments have become a distraction ahead of next week’s Republican convention to nominate Mitt Romney for US president and put the focus on social issues, rather than Mr Romney’s main message of the economy.
Mr Akin had said the need for abortions in the case of rape was a tough question and that as far as pregnancy is concerned, “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down”.
Scientists and doctors have long discredited that theory.
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