Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO) has passed the deadline for withdrawing his campaign for the United States Senate, meaning he will officially be on the ballot in November challenging incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). Many had urged Akin to drop out of the race before today’s deadline after his infamous statements on “legitimate rape.”
“For the about 100th time or so, I am in this race,” Akin commented to reporters at a fundraiser Monday night. Akin plans to use the deadline to increase donations to his campaign, starting with a statewide bus tour.
In an interview aired on August 19th, Akin claimed that “legitimate rape” does not usually lead to pregnancy. “First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin said to KTVI-TV. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume 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.” [Emphasis added]
Since the interview, many Republicans, including Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), and four former Missouri Senators, have urged Akin to step down from the race.
UPDATE: Right wing, staunch women’s rights opponent Phyllis Shlafly stood to the right of Todd Akin at his press conference announcing he was staying in the Senate race [VIDEO]. Schlafly and Newt Gingrich have endorsed Akin, and on Tuesday Schlafly helped Akin launch a “Common Sense” tour across the state. Scflafly, together with big business interests (especially insurance companies), is one of the most active opponents of the Equal Rights Amendment. She is also active against abortion, birth control access, equal pay, paid family medical leave, and LGBT rights.
Media Resources: Christian Science Monitor 9/26/12; Huffington Post 9/26/12; Kansas City Star 9/25/12; KSDK 9/25/12; Feminist Newswire 8/24/12