Republican Rep. Todd Akin, who is running for U.S. Senate in Missouri, on Wednesday stood by controversial comments he made in 2008, insisting that abortion doctors were falsely telling women they were pregnant.
“There’s ample evidence that abortion doctors on any number of occasions have deceived women into thinking that they’re pregnant, and then collect money for a procedure that they don’t perform,” Rick Tyler, a spokesperson for Akin’s campaign, told BuzzFeed. “And I say they don’t perform it because obviously the women weren’t pregnant.”
Tyler cited a Chicago Sun-Times article from 1978 that found “dozens of abortion procedures performed on women who were not pregnant.” He said there were no more recent examples because the media had stopped reporting on it.
Speaking on the House floor in 2008, Akin compared “abortionists” to terrorists.
“And what sort of places do these bottom-of-the-food-chain doctors work in?” he said. “Places that are really a pit. You find that along with the culture of death go all kinds of other law-breaking: not following good sanitary procedure, giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant, cheating on taxes, all these kinds of things.”
Abortion and related issues have plagued Akin’s Senate campaign in recent months. Akin faced a backlash in August after he said that the victim of a “legitimate rape” would not become pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” He also faced criticism for saying the morning-after pill should be banned because it was a form of abortion.
Watch video of Akin’s 2008 comments, uploaded to YouTube by ProgressMO, below: