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The man behind Akin's ideas on rape

Rep. Todd Akin (file)
Rep. Todd Akin (file)AFP Photo/US 109th Congress

Today, sitting Congressional member, Missouri Republican Todd Akin made the conservative radio rounds trying to clear up what he really meant to say on Sunday. He told radio host, Dana Loesch, “Well, it was a misplacing of that word 'legitimate.' That was the problem, particularly that one word.”

Akin went on to say:

And you know, Dr. Willke has just released a statement and part of that letter, I think, he just really stated it very clearly he said, of course, Rep. Akin never used the word "legitimate" to refer to the rapist but to false claims like those made in Roe v. Wade. And I think that simplifies it.

Simply put: Akin really meant to blame the victim. But who's Dr. Willke?

Dr. John Willke is the self-proclaimed, founding father of the pro-life movement. Currently, he serves as president of Life Issues Institute. Before that, he was the president of the National Right to Life Committee.

In 1971, Dr. Willke and his wife wrote the book, "Why Can't We Love Them Both: Questions and Answers About Abortion." In 1999, he wrote the essay succinctly titled "Rape Pregnancies are Rare," in which he writes:

Factor in what is certainly one of the most important reasons why a rape victim rarely gets pregnant, and that's physical trauma. ...Hormone production is controlled by a part of the brain that is easily influenced by emotions. There's no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape. This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantation and even nurturing of a pregnancy.

Just yesterday, Willke repeated this misinformation to the New York Times, adding that:

..."way under 1 percent" of rape victims become pregnant, not just because of female biology but because about half of rapists "do not deposit sperm in the vagina."

Today Willke released a statement on Todd Akin, which Mike Huckabee read on his radio show today:

"If you don't think that people can make false claims of rape, we need to look no further than Norma McCorvey, the Roe of Roe v. Wade. That infamous abortion decision responsible for the deaths of more than 55 million babies was based on that very lie. Not very legitimate if you ask me. Of course, Representative Akin never used the word legitimate to refer to the rapist but rather false claims like those made in the Roe case."

We'll leave you with another far-right, religious radio host and Akin supporter, Bryan Fischer, who claimed today that the real victim of assault is Todd Akin. (h/t