In the clip, Charles Jaco, of St. Louis Fox affiliate KTVI’s “Jaco Report,” asks Akin whether he thinks abortions ought to be permissible in a situation where a woman is raped. While explaining his position, Akin claimed that pregnancy only rarely results from “legitimate rape.”
“Well you know, people always want to make it as one of those things where how do you slice this particularly tough, sort of ethical question,” he replied. “It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors — that’s really rare. 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 on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
Prior to that portion of the interview, Akin explained why he thought life was important, particularly in the context of American values. This explanation was omitted in the portion American Bridge posted.
Akin later issued a statement saying he “misspoke”:
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.
A recent poll shows Akin with a commanding 11-point edge over his opponent, incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.