Transcript: Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin on whether abortion should be allowed in cases of ‘legitimate rape’

*Excerpts from interview with St. Louis Fox 2 reporter Charles Jaco on Aug. 19, 2012

Transcript of *remarks by Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin on abortion:

Charles Jaco:

“On abortion, you’ve been pro-life your entire career.”

Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.):

“Yeah.”

Charles Jaco:

“You’ve been very staunchly pro-life. Are there any circumstances in your mind in which abortion should be legal?”

Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.):

“Well, I think that sometimes people talk about life of the mother as a situation, Charles. And in my sense, one of the foundational things America is built on is a respect for life. So I would say you optimize life.

“So, for instance, a woman has a tubal pregnancy or something. Well, technically by my understanding life begins at conception, so you technically had conception. But the child doesn’t have a chance and will soon kill a mother, okay? So I would say in those kinds of situations, you try to optimize life.

“But, you know, my case in this, Charles, has been even if you sort of separate a little the whole abortion question out, one of the things I love about this country is the fact that Americans do consider life really important.

“And it’s not because of some theoretical thing – you’re on a talk show and somebody asks you about it – but you have Sept. 11 and you’ve got these guys that are running into a building that’s about to collapse. They find somebody in a wheelchair. They never checked their ID or anything like that or whether they’re important. They grab them and get them to safety, and they run back and get another one.

“Same kind of thing that we saw – Ollie North has some footage. You know, he’s been right there in the front with cameras taking footage. This is over in Iraq. And there’s a Marine – a big guy, and he’s got this guy who’s wounded over his shoulder and he’s running. The bullets are flying around. And there is a cameraman in a safe position saying, ‘Hey, that guy’ – and the guy’s fatigues are just up and you can see that this is an Iraqi citizen. This isn’t the U.S. soldier. Says, ‘Hey, that’s an Iraqi citizen. Why are you risking your life there?’ This Marine turns around and he looks straight into that guy’s camera and he said, ‘Because that’s what we do.’

“And that spirit of America, I think, is so important for us to protect that idea of the importance of all of us.”

Charles Jaco: 
“Okay, so if an abortion can be considered in the case of, say, tubal pregnancy or something like that, what about in the case of rape? Should it be legal or not?”

Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.):
“Well, you know, uh, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, ‘Well, how do you – how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question.’

“It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

“But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. You know, I think there should be some punishment but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

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