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Gloria Allred Calls Missouri Rep. Todd Akin 'A National Disgrace' For Shocking Rape Remarks

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Aug. 19 2012, Published 12:00 p.m. ET

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By Jen Heger - Assistant Managing Editor

Famed women's rights attorney Gloria Allred is calling Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate, "a national disgrace" for saying during a television interview over the weekend that "women don't get pregnant from legitimate rape because their bodies shut down." 

Allred, a rape survivor who became pregnant after her vicious attack, exclusively told "His comments suggesting that a 'legitimate rape' would not lead to pregnancy were both inaccurate and dangerous. I am a survivor of rape at gunpoint, and I became pregnant as a result of the rape. I obtained an abortion at a time that it was illegal for a doctor to provide it. The person who provided it was not a doctor and left me hemorraging and with an infection that almost killed me.

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"Todd Akin appears to care more about winning a political campaign for the U.S. Senate than he does about rape victims and whether they live or die. Although he is now trying to back track his true feelings are clear from his past record of supporting laws that would eliminate a woman's right to choose abortion and also his opposition to laws which would protect women from spousal rape. Todd Akin is not just a disgrace to the people of Missouri, he is now a national disgrace, because he is willing to put the lives of rape victims at risk by preventing them from getting legal abortions, simply to further his own political career."

Akin -- a six-term congressman -- made the shocking claim during an interview with KTVI-TV in Missouri on Sunday. "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. 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."

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Rep. Akin issued a statement late Sunday after a firestorm erupted on social media sites denouncing his comments. He said: "In reviewing myoff-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."

Adrianne Marsh, the campaign manager for Claire McCaskill, the incumbent Democratic Senator who Akin is running against, posted a message on the McCaskill's website that said, "Are you sitting down? Todd Akin thinks that the female body can shut down pregnancy in the case of "legitimate rape." I wish I were making this up...It's not news that Akin thinks all abortion should be illegal - but his archaic, ill-informed justification is so incredibly offensive that I had to share it with you. Akin's record is riddled with policies and votes that hurt women. He thinks many forms of contraception - including the pill - should be illegal and voted against equal pay for equal work. Together, we can make sure that Missouri has a Senator who has a proven track record of fighting for women."

Akin had been leading in the polls before he made the shocking comments.



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