The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri said Sunday victims of rape generally don't get pregnant.
Todd Akin made the comment to KTVI-TV, St. Louis, to explain why he opposes all abortions even in cases of rape and incest, StLouisToday.com reported. The interview was posted to YouTube.
"From what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy) is really rare" in rape cases, Akin told KTVI-TV. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Even if the rape ended in pregnancy, Akin said he is still opposed to abortion.
"But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something," he said. "I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child."
StLouisToday said U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo, facing Akin in November, tweeted, "As a woman & former prosecutor who handled 100s of rape cases, I'm stunned by Rep Akin's comments about victims this AM."
The report said there is no apparent medical basis for Akin's statement, citing a 1996 study by the American Journal of Obstetricians that reported a 5 percent rate of pregnancy among victims ages 12 to 45.
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