Republican nominee for Senate and current Missouri Congressman Todd Akin asserted his views on abortion in an interview on Sunday, by stating when a woman is “legitimately raped,” her body turns on a defense mechanism that prevents pregnancy, making conception a rare occurrence. Akins later released a statement claiming that he “misspoke” during his interview.
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Akin told KTVI-TV.
Romney does not benefit from his fellow conservative’s remarks about abortion. It's in the GOP presidential hopeful's best interest to distance himself as much as possible him Akin's extreme remarks.
This year's election divided politicians on the issue of abortion, and it is clear that Republican Romney is trying to avoid association with Akin's stance on women's issues.
The Romney-Ryan campaign was quick to rebuke Akin’s claims.
"Governor Romney and Congressman (Paul) Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape," said a spokesperson for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Akins is running against Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who spoke out about Akin’s gaffe.
"It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape," she said. "The ideas that Todd Akin has expressed about the serious crime of rape and the impact on its victims are offensive."
Major Garret of the National Journal says that the Romney-Ryan campaign will try to speak as little as possible about abortion and women’s issues, and instead focus on health care.
"Democrats ... are going to make the point, as they have consistently, that Romney and his own approach to abortion, even though it has evolved over time, may be out of step with where the majority of the country is from the Obama campaign's point of view," Garrett said Monday on CBS This Morning.
Romney says that he has an “entirely different view.” He told the National Review, “what he said is entirely without merit and he should correct it.”