A group of Missouri women, despite Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin's recent claim that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant, launched a coalition called "Women For Akin" on Tuesday with the slogan, "We think for ourselves."
The web video released by the coalition Tuesday is hosted by a woman whose face is obscured by a dark shadow, and features a rape survivor who says she's had an abortion.
"My previous life includes some choices that I am not proud of, including an abortion," the woman, who is not named, says on the video. "I'm a two-time rape survivor, and I'm a previous drug addict and alcoholic saved by the grace of God. And Todd didn't see any of those things when he met me ... I couldn't be more proud of him for taking up the calling and following God into politics."
The video also features a young-looking woman who says she immigrated seven years ago from Communist Russia and is proud to support Akin because he "supports the Constitution."
A number of prominent Republicans, including strategist Karl Rove, called for Akin to drop out of the Senate race after he made the misguided comment that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." Akin later apologized and acknowledged that rape victims can get pregnant, but he vowed to stay in the race.
Akin's wife, Lulli, stirred up further controversy when she jumped to his defense in a recent interview with the National Journal, comparing the Republican Party's political aggression towards Akin to tyranny and rape. “Party bosses dictating who is allowed to advance through the party and make all the decisions -– it’s just like 1776 in that way," she said. The American colonists, she continued, “rose up and said, ‘Not in my home, you don’t come and rape my daughters and my … wife. But that is where we are again.”
Akin's campaign said his daughter, Hannah, is "heavily involved" with the new coalition. She is quoted at the top of the "Women for Akin" website explaining what kind of person her father is. As a congressman, Akin "took the time to speak to security guards, calling them by name and asking about their families," she says. "He truly believes that 'all men (and women) are created equal.'"
The "Women for Akin" coalition officially kicks off with a party in Chesterfield, Mo., Tuesday night.