- Former Republican congressman Todd Akin passed away late Sunday, said his family in a statement.
- Akin drew national attention for saying that victims of “legitimate rape” cannot get pregnant.
- He was 74.
Todd Akin, a former GOP congressman for Missouri who once said on TV that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant because their bodies would shut the pregnancy down, died on Sunday night
He famously lost his US Senate bid in 2012 against Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill after making the rape comment. He was initially ahead in pre-election polls, but lost with 39.2% of the Missouri vote compared to McCaskill’s 54.7%.
Akin, 74, had cancer for several years, and died at his home in the Wildwood neighborhood of St. Louis, according to a statement to The AP made by his son, Perry Akin.
“As my father’s death approached, we had people from all different walks of life share story after story of the personal impact he had on them,” said Perry Akin.
“He was a devote Christian, a great father, and a friend to many.”
The congressman, who represented Missouri’s 2nd District from 2001 to 2013, initially apologized for his rape comment. But in 2014 Akin said he regretted apologizing, and defended his words in a book called “Firing Back,” according to Politico.
“By asking the public at large for forgiveness, I was validating the willful misinterpretation of what I had said,” Akin wrote, per Politico.