The group ADVOCATES of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri asked people Wednesday to imagine what life would be like if U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin represented every woman in America, because they believe that’s exactly what’s at stake in this election.
To punctuate their opposition to Rep. Akin, R-Wildwood, a dozen supporters of the ADVOCATES' group .
Many ADVOCATES' representatives wore pink to Akin's office and held signs that stated: "I'm watching and I will vote."
"It's horrifying to label some rapes not 'legitimate,'" the petition reads. "Your comments show just how little compassion you have for the millions of survivors of rape and sexual assault in Missouri and nationwide. Nobody with your cruel and deeply offensive views belongs in the Senate."
Akin aide Steve Taylor met the protesters for several minutes outside, then invited a handful in for a face-to-face talk. Akin was not present due to campaign activities, said Taylor.
Taylor issued the following statement after the exchange:
“Congressman Todd Akin has acknowledged that what he said was hurtful and medically wrong. For that, he apologized. He does not apologize for his ardent pro-life principles. As Congressman Akin’s Official Congressional Office, We recognize the need for constructive, public discussion regarding these most important policy issues.”
Planned Parenthood representatives keep reminding voters that Todd Akin is not alone in his views on abortion, however.
Just last year, Akin co-sponsored a bill with vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan that would redefine rape to exclude a number of individuals from receiving coverage for abortion, according to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood sources state the bill would exclude women who are:
- unconscious at the time of the rape
- women who have been drugged
- women who have been threatened
- minors who are victims of statutory rape.
Not only were they original co-sponsors of H.R. 3 which redefined rape, they also co-sponsored a dangerous and out-of-touch measure (which could ban forms of birth control) and voted to defund Planned Parenthood, the organization's spokespeople stated Wednesday.
ADVOCATES said they were upset that neither Akin nor Ryan is apologetic of their views on pregnancy and abortion. In fact, Planned Parenthood representatives stated while Akin tried to dig himself out of his hole by suggesting that women may be making “false claims” about rape, Ryan said:“I’m proud of my [abortion] record.”