Comments by a Republican Todd Akin from Missouri that “legitimate rape” somehow results in women’s bodies preventing pregnancy have led to pressure on the Congressman to resign from his bid to win a seat in the U.S. Senate, and shifted the focus of campaign debate to what has been described as conservative America’s “War on Women”.
Mr. Akin found himself in a storm of controversy after he said in a news television interview, “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: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
Standing Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, who will run against Mr. Akin in November, said on Twitter “As a woman & former prosecutor who handled 100s of rape cases... I’m stunned by Rep Akin’s comments about victims...”
The White House did not fail to quickly jump into the fray with condemnatory remarks either, and President Barack Obama described Mr. Akin’s view on legitimate rape “offensive”.
Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts Governor who is Mr. Obama’s presumed rival in the election, sought to distance himself from Mr. Akin’s views.
However, Paul Ryan, Mr. Romney’s running mate, did not issue any statement on the controversy, prompting criticism of his personal view opposing legal abortion in cases of rape.
While the Romney-Ryan ticket is broadly pro-life, it supports such exceptions, according to report.