Congressman Explains That Women Cannot Get Pregnant from ‘Legitimate’ Rape [Updated]

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Todd Akin. (AP/Jeff Roberson) Photo: Jeff Roberson

Representative Todd Akin of Missouri, who also happens to be the state's Republican senatorial nominee, has some important information for women everywhere:

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Now, what is the difference between legitimate and illegitimate rape? Akin, who is somehow a member of the House's science and technology committee, did not explain. (Perhaps the only way to know for sure is to wait and see if you end up with an illegitimate child.)

Akin added that he does not consider the failure of the uterus's natural rape-defense mechanism to be a legitimate reason for an abortion. "Let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something," he said. "I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child." So, in summary: Todd Akin is no medical expert, but he is highly-skilled in the art of trolling.

Update: Akin has released a statement in which he claims that he "misspoke" during the interview, though he declined to explain what, exactly, he intended to say. Instead, he said that he "[recognized] that there are those who, like my opponent [Senator Claire McCaskill], support abortion and I understand I may not have their support in this election." Meanwhile, McCaskill tweeted: "As a woman & former prosecutor who handled 100s of rape cases, I'm stunned by Rep Akin's comments about victims this AM."