ST. LOUIS, MO ( KTVI) -U.S. Rep. Todd Akin says he misspoke when making a comment about rape and abortion during the taping of The Jaco Report on FOX 2. That remark made national headlines and sparked responses from both Akin's opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskill and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.
During that interview the congressman and U.S. Senate candidate was asked whether abortion should be allowed in the case of rape.
Akin's response was that it was his understanding from doctors that it's rare for someone to become pregnant from rape. He said, "The female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down."
He went on to say that punishment should be on the rapist and not the child. Democrats started circulating his comment after the show aired citing statistics regarding rape and pregnancy.
"It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape," said Sen. McCaskill through a statement sent to FOX 2.
The Akin camp responded with a statement indicating the congressman misspoke.
'But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action.'
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are distancing themselves from Congressman Akin. They say they disagree with Akin's Comments. The presidential candidate and his running mate add they would not oppose abortion in cases of rape.
Akin released a statement on Sunday saying he misspoke during the Jaco Report taping.
Read Full Statements from Sen. McCaskill and Rep. Todd Akin below:
Akin Statement on “Jaco Report” Interview
St. Louis – Congressman Todd Akin just released the following statement regarding his interview on the “Jaco Report” broadcast this morning in St. Louis:
“As a member of Congress, I believe that working to protect the most vulnerable in our society is one of my most important responsibilities, and that includes protecting both the unborn and victims of sexual assault. In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year. Those who perpetrate these crimes are the lowest of the low in our society and their victims will have no stronger advocate in the Senate to help ensure they have the justice they deserve.
“I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action. I also recognize that there are those who, like my opponent, support abortion and I understand I may not have their support in this election.
“But I also believe that this election is about a wide-range of very important issues, starting with the economy and the type of country we will be leaving our children and grandchildren. We’ve had 42 straight months of unacceptably high unemployment, trillion dollar deficits, and Democratic leaders in Washington who are focused on growing government, instead of jobs. That is my primary focus in this campaign and while there are those who want to distract from that, knowing they cannot defend the Democrats’ failed economic record of the last four years, that will continue to be my focus in the months ahead.”
St. Louis, Mo.–McCaskill for Missouri 2012 released the following statement from Sen. Claire McCaskill after Todd Akin said women who are victims of “legitimate rape” don’t get pregnant because their bodies have a way to “shut that whole thing down.” As a former prosecutor, Claire McCaskill has worked closely with hundreds of rape victims and intimately understands their trauma and pain. It is that experience that makes Akin’s statements so outrageous.
"Missouri Right to Life supports Congressman Akin's defense of the life of an innocent unborn child conceived by rape. Victims of sexual assault deserve a compassionate response and should not be further victimized by abortion. Cong. Akin's consistent defense of innocent unborn human life clearly contrasts with the anti-life positions of Senator Claire McCaskill who supports abortion on demand for the full nine months of pregnancy, opposed the ban on partial-birth abortion, and supported the Obama health care law which will subsidize and greatly expand abortions in this country. "