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'Legitimate rape' controversy costs election for Senate hopeful

Todd Akin caused international furore when he said the female body could repel a pregnancy after a “legitimate rape”.

Todd Akin made worldwide headlines with his controversial remarks.
Todd Akin made worldwide headlines with his controversial remarks.
Image: Charlie Riedel/AP

THE US POLITICIAN who caused an international storm when he claimed the female body had ways of avoiding a pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape” has been defeated in his campaign for a Senate seat.

Congressman Todd Akin was unable to unseat the Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill in Missouri.

Data published by the New York Times showed that with only 30 per cent of votes counted, McCaskill already held a 53-41 lead which was unlikely to be curbed given the state of play elsewhere in the state.

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney had called on Akin to pull out of the election after he shared his belief that the female body had natural mechanisms that meant it would not carry a child conceived in a sexual assault.

“It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” he said.

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down but let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. You know I think there should be some punishment but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child,” Akin had said.

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Read: Congressman asks for forgiveness in TV ad after rape comments

More: Wisconsin Democrat to become first openly gay member of Senate

As it happens: Liveblog: US Election 2012

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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