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article imageTodd Akin apologizes for apology, defends legitimate rape comment

By Greta McClain     Jul 19, 2014 in Politics
After initially apologizing for his controversial "legitimate rape" comments, former Republican Congressman Todd Akin is now defending his comments, saying it was simply a poor choice of words.
As reported by Digital Journal in August 2012, Akin doomed his U.S. Senate campaign when he said:
"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
The comments were denounced by women's rights advocates, Democrats and even members of his own party. Aiken later apologized for his comments, saying he "misspoke" and that the comment was "off-the-cuff".
However, Aiken now says he should never have apologized for the comments, and is defending those comments during a promotional tour for his book Firing Back. In the book, Aiken says:
“Taking my comments in order: When a woman claims to have been raped, the police determine if the evidence supports the legal definition of ‘rape.’ Is it a legitimate claim of rape or an excuse to avoid an unwanted pregnancy?”
Akin also defends his opinion that rape victims cannot get pregnant, saying:
“My comment about a woman’s body shutting the pregnancy down was directed to the impact of stress on fertilization. This is something fertility doctors debate and discuss. Doubt me? Google ‘stress and infertility,’ and you will find a library of research on the subject.”
During an interview with the Huffington Post, Aiken again claims he used the phrase "legitimate rape" because it is a term commonly used by law enforcement.
However, Time Magazine asked law enforcement experts about Akin's assertion that the term is used in law enforcement. Dr. James A. Williams, former Chief of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces for the U.S Department of Justice, told Time:
“I’ve taught police officers, and worked with police officers on every continent in the world, and that’s something I've never heard in my 50 years in law enforcement. I've never heard of that. Never.”
LA County Sheriff’s Department sexual assault detective Richard Lichten also says he has never heard of the phrase, saying:
“I have 30 years of experience, I'm qualified to testify in federal court on the way to investigate sexual assault crimes, and I've never heard of that. In all my life I've never heard of that.”
While on the one hand Aiken is defending his comments by claiming the term "legitimate rape" is a common term used by law enforcement, he is also claiming once again that he simply misspoke. During an interview on MSNBC, Akin said he used a poor choice of words and that the comment was "intentionally misunderstood and twisted for political purposes." Akin further claims that he has been a victim of media "assassination," that the media used "intentional and dishonest" distortions of his comments and compares himself to the infamous Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI) who lead the 1950's Communist witch hunt.
More about Rape, Sexual assualt, Todd Akin, Politics, legitimate rape
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