Newly-christened Todd Akin said in an interview at the St Louis KTVI program Jaco Report: “First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare.

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Claire McCaskill (D-MO), senator of Missouri, said in a statement: “It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape.”

Akin, who earlier has questioned whether an anti-marital-rape law wouldn’t be misused “in a real messy divorce as a tool and a legal weapon to beat up the husband”, said he ‘misspoke’ and tried to explain himself on Sunday afternoon.

He told Washington Post: “I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action.”

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