UPDATE: Monday, August 20 10:30 a.m.
Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown has called for Missouri Rep. Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri race for a Senate seat following comments Akin made regarding rape-related pregnancy, Politico reported.
Brown appears to be the first fellow Republican to call for Akin's exit from the race in what The Boston Globe called "a rare intra-party rebuke." Politico quoted Brown as having said:
"As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin's comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong. There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking. Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin's statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination for US Senate in Missouri."
During a Sunday television appearance, Akin, who strongly opposes abortion, questioned whether it's possible for a woman to become pregnant after a rape, claiming that "if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," according to the Washington Post. Akin went on to say that, in the event a woman did become pregnant from a rape, "I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child."
Earlier this morning, Brown had called on Akin to apologize in a comment posted to Twitter, Talking Points Memo reported:
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney also weighed in against Akin, telling the National Review Online that Akin's comments on rape "are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong.”
Akin released a statement after his comments aired on YouTube trying to walk back his comments. “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,” he told the Washington Post.
ORIGINAL STORY: Sunday, August 19
Missouri Rep. Todd Akin defended his staunch anti-abortion platform on Sunday by questioning whether it's possible for a woman to become pregnant after a rape, reports CBS News.
Akin was asked to address his "no exceptions" policy on abortion, specifically why he opposes abortion even when the pregnancy is the result of rape.
Speaking in an interview to KTVI-TV that was posted to YouTube by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge, Akin said pregnancy from rape is "really rare," and implied that the female reproductive system is able to block conception from an unwanted pregnancy, reports the Washington Post.
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," he said. "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 on the rapist and not attacking the child."
The Los Angeles Times reports that a 1996 study by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology estimated that 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year. Five percent of victims age 12 to 45 will become pregnant.
Akin recently became the newly-minted GOP Senate nominee in Missouri, going up against incumbant Sen. Claire McCaskill. After hearing Akin's comments, McCaskill tweeted, "As a woman & former prosecutor who handled 100s of rape cases, I'm stunned by Rep Akin's comments about victims this AM."
McCaskill emailed a further statement to the Los Angeles Times saying "It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape. The ideas that Todd Akin has expressed about the serious crime of rape and the impact on its victims are offensive."
Akin also released a statement after his comments aired on YouTube trying to walk back his comments. “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,” he told the Washington Post.
“I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue," he said. "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.”
The Washington Post reports that this is not an area that the Missouri GOP would want Akin to bring into focus. A debate about "legitimate rape" and the female reproductive system would likely take the focus off of McCaskill and President Obama.
This is not Akin's first wander into controversial territory about rape. Talking Points Memo reports that Akin once voted for a voted for an anti-marital-rape law, but only after questioning whether it would allow women to use accusations of rape as a "tool and a legal weapon to beat up on the husband.”