ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Rep. Todd Akin made national headlines in August when he told KTVI-TV that “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy because “the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.” But August 19 was not the first time the Republican candidate for Senate made provocative statements regarding abortion.
As first reported by Slate on Tuesday, in 2008, Akin gave a speech on the House floor in which he referred to abortion providers as “terrorists” and claimed they often perform abortions on patients who “are not actually pregnant.”
“It is no big surprise that we fight the terrorists because they are fundamentally un-American, and yet we have terrorists in our own culture called abortionists,” Akin said. “One of the good pieces of news why we are winning this war is because there are not enough heartless doctors being graduated from medical schools. There is a real shortage of abortionists.”
“Who wants to be at the very bottom of the food chain of medical profession? And what sort of places do these bottom-of-the-food-chain doctors work in? Places that are really a pit. You find that along with the culture of death go all kinds of other law-breaking: not following good sanitary procedure, giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant, cheating on taxes, all these kinds of things, misuse of anesthetics so that people die or almost die.”
In response to the 2008 video, the Akin campaign released a statement Wednesday afternoon. The statement is from Abby Johnson a former Planned Parenthood Director in Texas.
“In support of Congressman Todd Akin, I can attest that when I served as director of Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas, we often scared women into getting services they did not need – including abortion – so we could collect the fees,” Johnson said in the release. “This included women who were not pregnant and women who were in the process of miscarrying.
“Anyone that would attack Congressman Todd Akin for his factual comments on the House floor in 2008 are misguided at best.”
Akin has received the recent support of a number of high-ranking Republicans in recent weeks, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Senators Rick Santorum and Jim Demint. Despite national outrage and a loss of financial support from his own party following his “legitimate rape” comments in August, many polls show Akin tied or leading incumbent Claire McCaskill with less than five weeks to go before Election Day.