By Johnny Kampis | Missouri Watchdog
ST. LOUIS — Todd Akin’s votes on abortion mimic — at least philosophically — those of the rest of Missouri’s Republican congressional delegation.
Akin has fended off calls to resign since Sunday, when he talked about “legitimate rape.”
The U.S. representative from District 2 U.S. stood firm in his commitment to the U.S. Senate race Tuesday, even though more Republicans have called for their fellow party member to withdraw. The latest list includes current Missouri U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and former Missouri U.S. senators John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, John Danforth and Jim Talent.
Count presidential contender Mitt Romney among those pleading for Akin to quit.
“Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside,” Romney said in a statement Tuesday. “I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race.”
Akin on his website posted a video titled “Forgiveness,” and on two radio shows he reiterated his intention to battle Democrat Claire McCaskill for her seat this November.
“Let me make it absolutely clear,” Akin said on Mike Huckabee’s radio show. “We’re going to continue with this race for the U.S. Senate.”
During his 11-year tenure in Congress, Akin has consistently voted for pro-life measures, a record that matches those of his fellow Missouri Republicans on Capitol Hill.
U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler, Sam Graves, Billy Long, Jo Ann Emerson and Blaine Luetkemeyer were given poor marks from
the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League — and great marks by National Right to Life — for their votes on abortion issues.
Hartzler, Graves, Long, Emerson and Luetkemeyer — as well as vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan — were, like Akin, among 227 members of the U.S. House to co-sponsor an anti-abortion bill with questionable language.
H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, would limit federal money to pay for abortions for victims of only “forcible rape.” The House passed the bill last year after the word “forcible” was removed, but the Senate hasn’t considered the legislation.
In giving kudos to Missouri’s GOP delegation, NRTL cites their votes against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as well as their “ayes” to cut funding to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which it called a “bloated abortion mega-marketer.”
In its disdain for the same House members, NARAL notes that all of them voted to allow hospitals to refuse to provide emergency abortion care and to ban abortion coverage in state health insurance exchanges.
But George Connor, head of the Missouri State University political science department, said Akin seems to stand alone in views he shared Sunday on the Jaco Report, where he said women are highly unlikely to get pregnant during a rape.
“That’s when the wheels start to fall off,” Connor told Watchdog.
A poll conducted Monday night showed Akin with the slimmest of leads over McCaskill, after being well ahead before his notorious comments.
Connor said Akin can recover from this gaffe because most of his constituency shares his views, and McCaskill’s Democratic base that elected her in 2006 has eroded.
“He has been elected six, seven, eight times expressing these views,” Connor said. “I think this might even the playing field, but to win McCaskill must do more than exploit this single issue.”