Sen. Claire McCaskill's (D-Mo.) campaign is going straight after Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) controversial comments about "legitimate rape," releasing three new TV ads on Wednesday that feature testimonies from sexual assault survivors. The powerful spots are the most direct attack to date by the McCaskill campaign on Akin's now-infamous remarks.
"I'm a pro-life mother, and a survivor of an extremely violent sexual assault," says one of the women, Joanie. "As a woman of faith, I must forgive Todd Akin. But as a voter, it’s not something I can forget."
"Ten years ago, I was brutally raped in a home invasion," says Rachel, also featured in one of the ads. "For me, taking control started with taking emergency contraception at the hospital. At the worst moment of her life, no woman should be denied that choice. What Todd Akin said was troubling enough, but it’s what he believes that's worse. His policies would criminalize emergency contraception for women who are raped."
The ads are also meant to highlight Akin's desire to ban emergency contraception for all women.
"What matters to Missouri women is not what Todd Akin said about rape, it's that he believes rape survivors should not have have access to emergency contraception, whether they opt to take it or not,” said Adrianne Marsh, campaign manager for McCaskill for Missouri. "Todd Akin's beliefs are so extreme, he would criminalize emergency contraception for survivors of sexual assault, robbing them of a deeply personal decision that reflects their values and respects their faith."
The McCaskill campaign sent out a fundraising email Wednesday to accompany the announcement of the ads, telling supporters that the race is "still close."
Watch the ads:
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