Wisconsin Sen. Johnson calls on Rep. Akin to resign nomination in Missouri
Post by Emily Mills on 8/20/2012 1:45pm
Missouri Rep. Todd Akin "should do the right thing for the nation and step aside today, so Missouri Republicans can put forth a candidate that can win in November," according to a statement from Sen. Ron Johnson.
Johnson, himself a Republican senator representing the state of Wisconsin, was reacting to controversial comments about rape made by Akin during a televised interview published on Sunday.
Akin is running against incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri. In the interview with KTVI-TV Akin justified his opposition to abortion rights, even in instances of rape and incest, by claiming that women had biological defenses against becoming pregnant during unwanted sex.
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin said. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Johnson called the comments "reprehensible and inexcusable" in his statement calling on the representative to resign. Sen. Scott Brown (R-Massachusettes) has also called for Akin's resignation.
Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, now the Republican nominee for Senate, also said that he strongly disapproved of Akin's comment, adding, "We all have a moral responsibility to come together in opposition to crimes against women."
Akin took to Mike Huckabee's radio program on Monday to apologize for the statement, though he refused to step down from his candidacy.
Akin's views, while scientifically and biologically wrong, are not isolated to the representative alone. A lawmaker from North Carolina made similar statements on the floor of the state House in 1995, during a debate over whether to eliminate a state abortion fund for poor women.
Republican Representative Henry Aldridge claimed that, "The facts show that people who are raped--who are truly raped--the juices don't flow, the body functions don't work and they don't get pregnant."
That viewpoint appears on several extreme anti-abortion websites, though the actual science of procreation plainly contradicts it.
A study published in 1996 by the National Institutes of Health showed that "among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year."
Emily Mills is Editor-At-Large for Dane101, as well as Editor of Our Lives Magazine. She is also a freelance writer, photographer, actor, and musician (drummer and singer in local band Little Red Wolf). Originally from several states up and down the Midwest Emily has called Madison home since 2000. Contact her at