Candidates who took heat over rape comments defeated

The two candidates who faced public backlash for saying that women who are raped shouldn’t have access to abortions were both defeated as Americans voted in the presidential election Tuesday.

The greatest defeat came to Missouri senate candidate Todd Akin, who made headlines earlier this year when he told television station KTVI-TV that pregnancies from rape were rare. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Akin said in his now infamous quote.

Akin was handily beaten by incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, who Republicans had labeled “the most endangered Democrat.” With 99.8 per cent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, she had 54.7 per cent of the popular vote, compared to Akin’s 39.2 per cent.

Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock was also defeated after an unfortunate comment during a debate in Indiana in October, where he said that, should a woman get pregnant after being raped, it was something that God intended. “I struggled with myself for a long time but I came to realize life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something that God intended to happen,” he said.

In what Politico calls “a stunning upset,” Mourdock lost to Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly, who won by a five-point margin.

In an emotional concession speech, a teary-eyed Mourdock said he would look back on the race knowing that “I was attacked for standing up for my principles.”

For his part, Donnelly was a little more upbeat.