Appearing Monday on Mike Huckabee’s radio show, Representative Todd Akin (R-KS), the embattled Republican candidate for Senate, expressed regret for his bizarre comments about “legitimate rape” over the weekend. “I’ve really made a couple of serious mistakes here which were just wrong, and I need to apologize for those,” Akin said. “There is no such thing as legitimate rape. It’s an evil act and it’s committed by violent predators. …”
Later on Sean Hannity’s radio show, Akin addressed his assertion that women who are the victims of so-called “legitimate rape” are not likely to get pregnant. He claimed to have read a medical report confirming this notion, but now no longer believes it. He probably read such a claim because it’s common in pro-life circles, along with the canard that abortion causes breast cancer. It’s a central part of the argument many conservatives make when suggesting that abortion should not be legal, even in cases of rape and incest.
In reality, 25,000 rapes a year result in pregnancies, a fact that pro-lifers go to great lengths to dispute. Why? If a woman can only be impregnated when she’s consenting, this justifies completely criminalizing all abortions.
The crusade to ban all abortions includes many if not most elected Republicans. The runner up in this year’s GOP primary Rick Santorum endorses it, along with Rick Perry. Even soon-to-be vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan was anti-abortion rights without exception — until he became Mitt Romney’s running mate. Romney once bragged about having the support of the man who helped Akin come up with his views on “legitimate rape.”
Romney now claims he believes in exceptions for rape and incest — yet when he was pursuing his party’s nomination, he supported the Human Life Amendment, which promotes a ban on all abortions and certain types of birth control.