By now most of us have heard of Missouri Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin’s surprising statement about abortion and “legitimate rape.” But if you’ve missed out, here’s a short recap: Akin, currently a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (and, ironically, a member of the House committee on Science, Space and Technology), explained his beliefs about abortion during an interview with a St. Louis television station on Sunday. This is what he told KTVI-TV, according to their website:
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancies from rape are] 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: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
Since touching off a firestorm with his comments, Akin has issued a statement saying that he “misspoke” during the interview and that his remark “does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year.”
Akin is currently locked in a battle for election in November with the incumbent Democrat, Senator Claire McCaskill, though some, including Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, have called for him to withdraw from the race. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan issued a statement saying they “disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement,” and that “a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.”
Naturally the statements have prompted a wealth of Tweets, which TIME has selected for your shared outrage/entertainment.
Next John Podhoretz