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Ex-US Congressman Todd Akin, famous for ‘legitimate rape’ remark, dies at 74

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ST. LOUIS (AP) – Former U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, a conservative Missouri Republican whose remark that women’s bodies have a way of preventing pregnancies in scenarios of “legitimate rape” sunk his bid for the U.S. Senate and turned a cautionary tale for other GOP candidates, died late Sunday. He was 74.

Akin had most cancers for quite a few yrs, his son, Perry, explained in a assertion. He died at his dwelling in Wildwood, a St. Louis suburb.

“As my father’s demise approached, we had folks from all unique walks of lifestyle share story following story of the personalized influence he experienced on them,” Perry Akin reported in a assertion to The Associated Press.

“He was a devoted Christian, a fantastic father, and a mate to many. We cherish many fond memories from him driving the tractor at our once-a-year hayride, to his riveting shipping and delivery of the freedom tale at 4th of July functions dressed in the total uniform of a colonial minuteman. The family is thankful for his legacy: a gentleman with a servant’s heart who stood for reality.”

Akin represented a Republican-leaning eastern Missouri district that included St. Louis-spot suburbs for 12 a long time, offering up a safe and sound seat to operate for the U.S. Senate in 2012. He emerged from a crowded GOP key to obstacle then incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, only to seriously hurt Republicans’ likelihood of recapturing a Senate vast majority considerably less than two weeks afterwards.

Akin, a sturdy abortion opponent, was questioned during an interview by a St. Louis tv station whether or not he supported making it possible for abortions for females who have been raped. He answered that “from what I understand from doctors” that this sort of pregnancies are “really exceptional.”

He included: “If it is a legit rape, the woman overall body has techniques to try out to shut that complete detail down.”

His remarks sparked an outcry. The Republican presidential applicant, Mitt Romney, right away rebuked Akin and mentioned his campaign would permit abortions in these instances.

Criticism of Akin’s remarks clouded his U.S. Senate bid until eventually the end, earning him a image of how Republicans could fumble absent races they had a fantastic prospect of profitable with a candidate deemed also significantly to the ideal. Akin’s marketing campaign initially mentioned he “misspoke,” and Akin afterwards mentioned he was incorrect.

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Akin confronted strain from the countrywide GOP to withdraw and allow for the point out celebration to pick a substitute. He refused and ended up dropping the race by just about 16 proportion points, receiving 39% of the vote. Yet other Republican officers and officeholders throughout the U.S. often echoed his remarks — signaling how conservative some of the party’s foundation had turn out to be on the situation.

Two a long time later on, Akin published a book, “Firing Again,” in which he accused GOP leaders of abandoning him and permitting McCaskill gain and labeling news organizations as bullies. In the book, he also retracted his general public apology for his “legitimate rape” remark.

Akin in no way ran for office environment yet again, nevertheless early in 2015, he briefly fueled speculation about a 2016 primary challenge to GOP U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt with remarks that tea celebration Republicans needed “new blood.”

Akin was born July 5, 1947, in New York Town, but grew up in the St. Louis space. He received a bachelor’s diploma in engineering and management from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts in 1970, served in the U.S. Military and labored for IBM. He worked in company management at the St. Louis-based Laclede Metal Co.

He won a seat in the Missouri Property in 1988 and served in the Legislature for 10 years. He gained Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District seat in 2000 and was reelected 5 occasions. He also served on the board of the anti-abortion team Missouri Right to Lifetime.

In the 2012 U.S. Senate most important, Akin confronted two formidable opponents, previous State Treasurer Sarah Steelman and businessman John Brunner.

Several Democrats imagined McCaskill’s ideal shot at profitable reelection would be with Akin as the GOP nominee. Her campaign aired television ads suggesting Akin was as well conservative, Brunner was not a reliable conservative and Steelman represented “more politics as standard.”

Republicans took the advertisements as McCaskill’s attempt to assistance Akin gain the GOP major. An autobiography that McCaskill revealed in 2015 explained she also tried to boost Akin’s marketing campaign by urging it via again channels to resume airing a television ad that includes an endorsement from previous conservative GOP presidential prospect and ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

McCaskill’s moves paid off. Akin prevailed in the eight-person GOP industry with only 36% of the vote.

Funeral info has not been introduced. Survivors include things like Akin’s wife, Lulli Boe Akin, his mom, Nancy Bigelow Akin, four sons, two daughters and 18 grandchildren.

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