Rep. Todd Akin, Missouri’s Republican Senate nominee, caused a public outcry Sunday when he told a local television station that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy.
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin, the Republican Senate nominee in Missouri, said. ”If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Akin later issued an apology, saying he “misspoke” when he made an “off-the-cuff” remark. Empirical evidence suggests that he is indeed wrong: Research published in the Journal of American Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests over 30,000 pregnancies result from rape annually. “Rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency,” the trio of researchers from the University of South Carolina concluded. “It is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies.”