WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA)--Embattled Missouri Congressman Todd Akin has apologized for remarks he made over the weekend involving rape victims and pregnancy.
The Republican candidate for the United States Senate says he plans to stay in the race, despite calls from several members of his own party to step aside.
But the firestorm over his remarks may take awhile to die down. The story has gained a lot of traction on social media. Congressman Akin's assertion that women who are "legitimately raped" rarely get pregnant has fanned political flames and a major public outcry.
Said the National Organization for Women's Erin Matson, "Disgusting. Revolting. Medieval. Time for him to go."
And that was reaction after the Congressman apologized for these controversial remarks:
"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 punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child."
Said Matson, "No apology or retraction can change the fact that he's not fit for public service."
Not only is the Missouri Congressman a public servant, but a member of the Congressional Science Committee.
"Rape is rape is rape. Every single rape is legitimate. Everybody's pain is real. That trauma, that pain, to minimize it is to minimize women and to minimize survivors," said Melinda Coles, the Director of Community Education at the DC Rape Crisis Center.
"This is a matter of biology. A female body responds the same way during rape that it would during consensual sex, in terms of reproduction. That does not change," she said.
"Rape is rape," said President Obama, at his daily White House briefing, adding that the controversial comments underscore an important issue.
"We shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women," he said.
Statistics on rape and pregnancy are difficult to come by, since it's a crime that often goes unreported. But it's clear, Congressman Akin's claim that rapes rarely lead to pregnancy is simply not true. A 2004 study reveals that of the 64,000 rapes reported that year, 3,200 of them ended in pregnancy.
Written by Andrea McCarren
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