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Entries in Pregnancy (5)

Wednesday
Oct242012

Indiana Senate Candidate: 'God Intended' Pregnancies from Rape

Mourdock for Senate(NEW ALBANY, Ind.) -- Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said pregnancies resulting from rape are part of God’s plan, tearfully explaining that he only supports abortions when a mother’s life is in danger.

“I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” Mourdock said during Tuesday’s Senate debate, choking up.  Mourdock’s opponent, Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly, opposes abortion except in cases of rape and incest.

After the debate, Mourdock further explained his comment.

“God creates life, and that was my point.  God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that he does.  Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick,” he said in a statement.

Democrats wasted no time linking GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney to Mourdock.  Earlier this week, Romney personally appeared in a TV ad for the Indiana state treasurer, offering his endorsement.

“Richard Mourdock’s rape comments are outrageous and demeaning to women.  Unfortunately, they’ve become part and parcel of the modern Republican Party’s platform toward women’s health, as Congressional Republicans like Paul Ryan have worked to outlaw all abortions and even narrow the definition of rape,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.

“As Mourdock’s most prominent booster and the star of Mourdock’s current campaign ads, Mitt Romney should immediately denounce these comments and request that the ad featuring him speaking directly to camera on Mourdock’s behalf be taken off the air,” she added

“Mitt’s man Mourdock apes Akin, reflecting a GOP that is way out of mainstream,” Obama strategist David Axelrod tweeted.

Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin said during an interview in August that women’s bodies have ways of preventing pregnancy in cases of what he called “legitimate rape.”  Akin apologized for the comment, but refused to leave the race despite pressure from his own party.

Romney’s campaign distanced itself from Mourdock’s comment.

“Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments, and they do not reflect his views,” campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug212012

Todd Akin Defies Top Republicans, Refuses to Quit

Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a last ditch effort, Mitt Romney asked Rep. Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race today because of Akin's controversial comments about rape.

Romney weighed in after Akin rebuffed pressure from the Republican's vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan to consider quitting the race. Romney and Ryan were the latest in a series of top Republicans, including five current and former Missouri senators, who urged Akin to withdraw.

"Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside," Romney said in a statement. "I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race." Romney had earlier condemned Akin's comments, but a top Romney aide had told ABC News Monday that the presidential candidate did not intend to ask Akin to leave the race.

So far, Akin has refused fellow Republicans' requests that he get off the ballot, vowing to fight on into the fall.

"Let me make it absolutely clear," Akin said on Mike Huckabee's radio show. "We're going to continue with this race for the U.S. Senate."

Akin had until 6 p.m. ET today to withdraw, but showed no signs of budging.

Ryan called Akin Monday and the two spoke for about five minutes, a Republican source familiar with the call told ABC News.

"He didn't ask him to get out," the source said. "He said, basically, 'You need to reflect on this and think about what is best for you, your family and things you believe in.'"

Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck would not comment on the call.

"If Ryan was sent to convince him to get out of the race, he failed," the source said.

Instead, Akin posted an online video seeking "forgiveness" for saying that women rarely get pregnant from what he called "legitimate rape."

"By taking this stand, this is going to strengthen our country," he told Huckabee, calling in to the show for the second straight day. "It will strengthen the Republican Party."

High-ranking GOP officials fear Akin's inflammatory words have sunk his chances of winning the Missouri race and may also scuttle Republicans' hopes of taking control of the Senate.

Earlier today, Akin gained an unlikely ally in the form of Democratic rival Sen. Claire McCaskill. McCaskill, who is trailing Akin in the polls, said that Republican leaders should not be trying to overturn the results of the Republican primary that made Akin their candidate.

The National Republican Senate Committee questioned McCaskill's motives.

"It should not be lost on anyone that some of the only voices not calling for Congressman Akin to do the right thing and step aside are Claire McCaskill and the leaders of the pro-abortion movement," they said in a statement. "Senator McCaskill knows that the only way she wins re-election is if Todd Akin is her opponent in November."

Among the big-name Republicans asking Akin to quit are his would-be colleagues, including Missouri's junior senator Roy Blunt, who issued a joint statement together with former Missouri U.S. senators John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, John Danforth, and Jim Talent. "The issues at stake are too big, and this election is simply too important. The right decision is to step aside," they wrote.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Maine's Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Richard Burr of North Carolina have all joined the chorus.

McConnell called Akin's initial remarks a "deeply offensive error at a time when his candidacy carries great consequence for the future of our country... To continue serving his country in the honorable way he has served throughout his career, it is time for Congressman Akin to step aside."

On Monday, Sens. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Texas's John Cornyn, head of the National Republican Senate Committee, urged Akin to step aside. Additional pressure came from Karl Rove's powerful Crossroads GPS Super PAC which said it will pull all of its money out of Missouri if Akin stays in and the Tea Party Express which released a statement calling for Akin to "step down."

Akin tried to salvage his candidacy today by releasing a video asking voters for "forgiveness."

"Rape is an evil act" and "the mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold," Akin tells voters in the video.

"Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape," the campaign said yesterday, before dialing up the rhetoric.

Earlier today, the Republican National Convention approved a plank in their platform advocating for the passage of the "Human Life Amendment," which would ban abortion in all circumstances, even in cases of rape or incest.

It employs the same language that was used in the party platform in 2004 and 2008.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug202012

Rape Is Rape: Obama Criticizes Rep. Akin's Comments

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama made a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room today, where he was asked about the comments of Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who suggested that “legitimate rape” rarely resulted in pregnancy because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” comments that are medically erroneous and from which Akin has since backed away.

“The views expressed were offensive,” the president said. “Rape is rape and the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we’re talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and it certainly doesn’t make sense to me.”

The president tried to use the comments to draw a starker line between his and Mitt Romney’s views on abortion and women’s health issues.

“What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, the majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women,” the president said.

“Although these particular comments have led Governor Romney and other Republicans to distance themselves, I think the underlying notion that we should be making decisions on behalf of women for their health care decisions or qualifying forcible rape versus non-forcible rape, I think those are broader issues and that is a significant difference in approach between me and the other party,” Obama said.

He allowed that Akin’s comments were not widespread within the GOP and his Republican opponents. “I don’t think that they would agree with the Senator [sic] from Missouri in terms of his statement, which was way out there,” he said.

Asked if Akin should drop out of the Missouri Senate race against vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill, D.-Mo. – as Senate Republicans Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin have suggested he should do – the president said, “He was nominated by the Republicans of Missouri, I’ll let them sort that out.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug202012

Republicans Condemn Todd Akin for 'Legitimate Rape' Remarks

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin said today that he would not step aside despite calls for him to quit by two prominent Republican senators following his comments about "legitimate rape."

Akin, a Republican, insisted on Mike Huckabee's radio show today that he is staying in the race despite the furor over his comments that rape victims rarely get pregnant.

"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," he said Sunday.

Akin apologized for the remark today and told Huckabee that he was "not a quitter," and still hoped to win the Senate seat against Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.

"I've really made a couple of serious mistakes here that were just wrong, and I need to apologize for those," he said.

"Let me be clear," Akin added. "Rape is never legitimate. It's an evil act that's committed by violent predators. I used the wrong words in the wrong way."

When asked today to clarify what he meant by "legitimate rape," Akin said, "I was talking about forcible rape and it was absolutely the wrong word."

Akin's initial statements sparked blowback from both parties.

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass, and Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Wisc., who are in competitive races in their own states, released scathing statements calling for Akin's withdrawal from the Senate race.

Akin would have to withdraw from the race by Tuesday in order for the Republican Party to field another candidate before November elections.

"As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin's comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong... Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin's statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination for U.S. Senate in Missouri," Brown said.

"Todd Akin's statements are reprehensible and inexcusable," Johnson tweeted. "He should step aside today for the good of the nation."

Mitt Romney this morning called Akin's comments "inexcusable" and "wrong," but stopped short of calling for his resignation. A senior official in the Romney campaign said the candidate would not call on Akin to resign.

Shortly after Huckabee's interview, President Obama took the podium at a White House press briefing and called Akin's views "offensive."

"Rape is rape. The idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what type of rape we are talking about doesn't make sense to the American people and it certainly doesn't' make sense to me."

Obama said that Akin's comments demonstrated why "we shouldn't have politicians, most of whom are men, making decisions" about women's health.

He declined to comment specifically on Akin. "He was nominated by the Republicans of Missouri and I'll let them sort that out," Obama said.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards denounced Akin's comment and it was an "egregious example" of legislators "making policy on women's health without understanding it."

The comments were quickly seized on by Democrats who tried to link Akin to the presumptive Republican presidential ticket, putting Romney and Paul Ryan on the defensive.

"As a woman I'm really concerned that Paul Ryan doesn't understand that rape is rape," Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., said this morning on CBS, accusing Ryan and Akin of teaming up last year to pass legislation that would redefine rape.

"It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape," Sen. Claire McCaskill, D- Mo., the Missouri incumbent who is fighting for her reelection said in a statement. "The ideas that Todd Akin has expressed about the serious crime of rape and the impact on its victims are offensive."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug202012

GOP Senate Candidate Says Pregnancy ‘Rare’ in ‘Legitimate Rape’

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Missouri Republican Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin, who opposes abortion in most cases, including rape, said in a television interview Sunday that it is “really rare” that victims of “legitimate rape” get pregnant.

“From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin, who is running against Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill, said in an interview on the Jaco Report on KTVI-TV.  “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

He added that if the woman does become pregnant, “the punishment ought to be on the rapist.”

McCaskill called the comments “offensive.”

“It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape,” she said in a statement.  “The ideas that Todd Akin has expressed about the serious crime of rape and the impact on its victims are offensive.”

Akin later released a statement saying he “misspoke” and that he has “deep empathy” for victims of rape.

“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.  “Those who perpetrate these crimes are the lowest of the low in our society and their victims will have no stronger advocate in the Senate to help ensure they have the justice they deserve.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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