Akin: Doctors Giving Abortions to Women 'Who Aren't Pregnant'

Wednesday, 03 Oct 2012 01:50 PM

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Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin is again drawing attention for comments about abortion — this time, for saying that doctors are "giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant."

The Republican congressman from suburban St. Louis made the remark in a 2008 House speech. The video was being recirculated Wednesday on the Internet as Akin campaigns against Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Associated Press reported.

In 1979, an Illinois physician had his license suspended after being accused of performing abortions on women who weren't pregnant.

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But a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman in Missouri called Akin's assertion ridiculous and an example of how he is out of touch with women.

Akin apologized last month after remarking in a TV interview that women have biological ways of avoiding pregnancy in what he called "legitimate rape."

Akin's evidence consists of a news report and the claims of a former Planned Parenthood official, a spokesman said.

"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 1978 investigation by the Chicago Sun-Times that claimed that dozens of "abortion mills" were performing unnecessary abortions for profit.

"That's a war on women that never gets reported," Tyler added. He added, "I don't want Todd to be held to some standard because there's no accurate reporting on abortion, because there isn't."

Abby Johnson, a former director of a Planned Parenthood branch in Texas and, more recently, a leading anti-abortion advocate, endorsed Akin, telling BuzzFeed:

"In support of Congressman Todd Akin, I can attest that when I served as director of Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas, we often scared women into getting services they did not need - including abortion - so we could collect the fees," Johnson said in a statement released to BuzzFeed on Wednesday by Akin's campaign. "This included women who were not pregnant and women who were in the process of miscarrying.

The statement continued, "Anyone that would attack Congressman Todd Akin for his factual comments on the House floor in 2008 are misguided at best."

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