William Todd Akin, Missouri’s sixth-term Republican representative who gave up a safe seat to run for the Senate in 2012, blames his campaign for “legal rape.” Just saw his house on the outskirts of St. Louis on Sunday. He was 74 years old.
His death in Wildwood, Missouri was confirmed by his son Perry Akin in a statement to the Associated Press after years of fighting cancer.
In a television interview in August 2012, he was an opponent of abortion and the gospel, after claiming that the woman’s body could somehow reject pregnancy if he called it “legal rape.” Akin, whose political rise was promoted by the faction, caused anger throughout the political spectrum.
“The woman’s body has a way to try to shut it all down,” Akin said when asked about his stance on abortion if the woman was sexually assaulted. “But let’s say it didn’t work. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment is due to the rapist and should not attack the child,” he added.
Mr Akin’s comments infuriated Democrats and women’s rights groups. Reproductive health guru dismissed his logic.
Republicans were also furious at the comments. Some were offended and others were angry that Mr Akin had hurt Republican bids for important senators who were favored to win before the interview.
Tickets for Republican presidents Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan quickly moved away from Mr Akin’s remarks.
“His comments about rape are so unpleasant that I can’t defend what he said,” Romney said in a statement at the time. “I can’t protect him.”
Republicans have withdrawn funding and support to drive Mr Akin out of the race. Eventually, he declined the call to resign and was severely beaten by Democratic incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill.
Akin initially apologized for the comment, but later defended it in a book published in 2014 detailing his experience as a Republican’s sixth-term parliamentarian. By asking the public for forgiveness, Mr Akin wrote in the book, confirming the “intentional misunderstanding” of what he said.
Akin was born on July 5, 1947 in New York to Paul and Nancy Akin and grew up near St. Louis. He graduated from John Burrows, an elite prep school, earned a degree in engineering from Worcester Polytechnic University in Massachusetts, and earned a master’s degree in theology from the Covenant Theology Seminar in Missouri. He worked as a manager at Lacle de Steel, founded by his great-grandfather.
A member of the American Presbyterian Church, he was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1988 and gained support from the first political foundation as part of a network of parents who homeschooled their children. Mr. Akin homeschooled all six of him.
In 2000, he was elected to Congress for what analysts at the time said was a stroke of political luck. He was considered an outside candidate in a five-way Republican primary and won 56 votes as more moderate candidates ate each other’s sums.
As a legislator, he was rudely focused on his faith, driven by the belief that God had given him a mission to serve him.
“If you shoot him, he won’t violate his beliefs,” said Rick Mates of the Mission Gate Prison Department, where Mr. Akin served as an advisory board, in 2012.
In a 2012 concession speech, Akin said after “the situation we all experienced”, “it was especially appropriate to make no mistakes and thank God, who is far smarter than us.” ..
“And I say that God alone has honor and glory, regardless of how he decides to organize history,” he said.
Information about Mr. Akin’s survivors was not immediately available.