Editorial: Missouri's Akin should drop out of race

  • Article by: EDITORIAL BOARD
  • Updated: August 21, 2012 - 9:24 PM

Congress is no place for a representative who calls some rapes “legitimate,” nor a man who ignorantly claims that female body has ways to prevent pregnancy from rape.

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U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo.

Photo: Jeff Roberson, Associated Press

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Let’s not mince words: Missouri Rep. Todd Akin should drop out of the U.S. Senate race. Congress is no place for a representative who calls some rapes “legitimate,” nor a man who ignorantly claims that female body has ways to prevent pregnancy from rape.

“Rape is rape,” President Obama rightly said in his denouncement of the Missouri congressman’s offensive remarks. This is a congressman who once compared student loans to Stage 3 cancer and fought to insert the word “forcible” into the rape exception law on federal funding for abortion.

“Forcible rape? As opposed to what? Consensual rape? Friendly rape?” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch asked today in an editorial.

The fallout from Akin’s egregious comments prompted him to apologize and claim that he misspoke. That’s pure political spin. His record shows that he’s long parsed words on rape and women’s health care in his advocacy of extreme anti-abortion views.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney rightly denounced Akin’s views, but stopped short of calling for him to get out of the race. Sadly, some GOP strategists seem more driven by the prospect of losing the U.S. Senate race than the anti-woman ideology within the Republican Party.

In a year when the GOP’s attacked on reproductive health care has been rightly dubbed a “war on women,” Akin was the last thing the party needed. Leaders are struggling mightily to counter that label, which is no doubt part of the reason the Republican National Committee chairman has asked Akin to quit the race and stay away from the party’s national convention in Tampa, Fla., next week.

Akin should heed the advice of his party’s leaders. His Senate candidacy clearly fails the legitimacy test.

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