Washington: A US lawmaker has sparked outrage by claiming that victims of ‘legitimate rape’ rarely get pregnant.
Republican Todd Akin, a Missouri congressman, said that ‘from what I understand from doctors’ women`s bodies naturally reject pregnancies that result from rape.
“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 a local television channel.
“But let`s assume that maybe that didn`t work or something. You know I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child,” he added.
He made the comments as he argued that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape or incest, the Telegraph reports.
After facing widespread backlash on the Internet, Akin released a statement claiming that he had ‘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,” he said.
According to the paper, Akin`s comments may damages his chances of defeating the incumbent Democrat senator Claire McCaskill, who is a vulnerable target for Republicans in November`s elections.