Todd Akin takes back apology for ‘legitimate rape’ comment


Todd Akin, Republican candidate for U.S. senator from Missouri, takes questions on Aug. 10, 2012, after speaking at the Missouri Farm Bureau candidate interview and endorsement meeting in Jefferson City, Mo. (Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

Former congressman Todd Akin (R-Mo.) regrets apologizing for his 2012 remark that "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy.

Akin explains himself in a soon-to-be-released book, “Firing Back: Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom." Politico obtained a copy early and reported on a passage in which Akin suggests that he shouldn't have apologized in a TV ad.

“By asking the public at large for forgiveness,” Akin writes,  "I was validating the willful misinterpretation of what I had said.”

Akin ran for the U.S. Senate in 2012. He stoked widespread controversy that derailed his campaign when he remarked in a local interview: “First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare.” He added that “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” He later apologized in a television commercial, saying, "I used the wrong words in the wrong way, and for that I apologize."

Akin went on to lose to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D).

The book will be released next week.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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