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Todd Akin's Foot Meets Mouth

Jason Oliva

Todd Akin, official 109th Congress photo

Rep. Todd Akin (R) comments about rape and abortion may help Democrats Senate seat

Rep. Todd Akin (R) is giving Democrats hope of securing a Senate spot in Missouri following his comments regarding abortion and women’s health. The 65-year old Republican was responding to a question on a St. Louis television station about abortion. What followed was the proverbial opening of the mouth to make room for one’s foot.

According to Akin, an opponent to abortion, pregnancies from rape are “really rare,” and “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down.”

As if rape victims can perk up, fold their arms, twitch their noses and presto their problems will be solved. Though that might be the solution for “I Dream of Jeannie,” anyone who has taken an elementary anatomy course knows that is simply not the way things work. Sorry Rep. Akin, but it looks as though you may need to sit by yourself for a while and think about what you just said.

The remarks have sparked controversy for the six-term congressman running against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) this November, and Akin risks relinquishing Missouri’s Republican seat to Democrats.

Akin acknowledges his skewed beliefs in the wake of an almost immediate backlash from Democrats and women’s groups saying, “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.”

Believing abortion to be a “very emotionally charged issue,” Akin states “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.”

Democrats have been jumping all over the controversy surrounding Rep. Akin’s comments, trying to make Akin the third member of the Romney-Ryan ticket. It is not so much Akin’s words that have caused a stir in the Missouri Senate race as it is the Republican mentality that has fallen under scrutiny.

As a result of Akin’s absurdly disturbing remarks, Democrats are trying to rally around potential pickup votes, declaring Republicans are waging a “war on women” given the party’s  stances on abortion, health insurance, contraception and women’s wages.

The Romney campaign said that they disagree with Akin’s claims and that a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in cases of rape. And with election season bearing down, Republicans are going to have to start choosing their friends wisely.

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