Two local organizations that promote awarness of sexual assault and domestic abuse and provide services for victims of these crimes have condemned a six-term Missouri congressman's statement on rape victims.
posted a brief statement on its Facebook page on Tuesday criticizing Todd Akin, a Republican member of the House of Representatives from Missouri. Akin, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill for her Senate seat in this year's election, said in a Sunday interview that pregnancy is rare in the cases of "legitimate rape."
"I feel we cannot let today go by without saying something about Senator [sic] Todd Akin's comments about rape," the center posted on Monday. "The awful feeling in my stomach grows larger every time I hear the quote. There is still much work to be done to end ignorance and violence against women."
According to its website, the center was founded in 1976 to provide rape crisis counseling and expanded its mission to provide support to domestic abuse victims soon after. It runs an emergency shelter, 24-hour hotline, support groups, health and education programs, and several other services.
Think S.A.F.E. [Sexual Assault Free Environment] Project, a organization whose goal is to create a collaborative between campus and community organizations to end sexual and domestic violence, posted on its Facebook page that the remarks were "legitimately crazy." The organization also shared links to playwright Eve Ensler's response to Akin's statement and an article on a physician's response to the claim.
Akin had been asked if he would support abortion in rape cases. According to the Huffington Post, he answered, "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 maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist."
The remark has provoked widespread outrage from both conservatives and liberals, with Akin's critics including President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Akin apologized for his remarks but has resisted pressure to drop out of the race and vowed to continue his campaign.