GOP Rep: Todd Akin ‘partially right’ on ‘legitimate rape’

Updated
Combination image (L-R) Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D., R-Ga., speaks during a news conference by the GOP Doctors Caucus in response to the Supreme Court ruling on...
Combination image (L-R) Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D., R-Ga., speaks during a news conference by the GOP Doctors Caucus in response to the Supreme Court ruling on...
Charlie Riedel/AP Photo/File

Another day, another inflammatory rape comment from the GOP.

Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia  is coming under the microscope for arguing failed Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin was “partially right” on his eyebrow-raising remarks about “legitimate rape.”

Akin, during his 2012 campaign, infamously argued that women’s bodies have the capability of avoiding pregnancy if the rape is “legitimate.”

Gingrey, a former OB/GYN and co-chair of the House GOP Doctors caucus, told a crowd at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Atlanta, that he used to advise couples having trouble getting pregnant to “Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight, because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’ So [Akin] was partially right, wasn’t he?”

Gingrey’s comments were first reported by the Marietta Daily Journal, which posted audio of the talk.

He continued, “The fact that a woman may have already ovulated 12 hours before she is raped, you’re not going to prevent a pregnancy there by a woman’s body shutting anything down because the horse has already left the barn, so to speak. And yet the media took that and tore it apart. Mitt Romney also didn’t help much.  Todd Akin is a good man.”

Gingrey also went as far to defend Akin and explain what the Missourian meant when he used the word “legitimate.”

“What he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’” Gingrey said, “That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape. I don’t find anything so horrible about that.”

He also seemed to shrug of failed Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who sabotaged his campaign after suggesting that pregnancies, even in cases of rape are “something God intended to happen.”

“Mourdock basically said ‘Look, if there is conception in the aftermath of a rape, that’s still a child, and it’s a child of God, essentially.’ Now, in Indiana, that cost him the election,” Gingrey explained

Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards told msnbc.com in a statement that Gingrey’s comments were “ignorant and offensive.”

“These remarks are yet another reminder that some politicians would rather demean and dismiss women than focus on what they were elected to do–fix the economy and create jobs,” said Richards.

She added, Americans sent a clear message in November that they want legislators to protect women’s health and ensure that women can make their own personal medical decisions. Women don’t turn to politics for advice about mammograms, prenatal care, or cancer treatments, and they don’t want politicians involved in their personal health care decisions.”

The Republican attempted to backtrack from his remarks on Friday.

“At a breakfast yesterday morning, I was asked why Democrats made abortion a central theme of the presidential campaign. I do not defend, nor do I stand by the remarks made by Rep Akin and Mr. Mourdock,” Gingrey said in a statement. “In my attempt to provide context as to what I presumed they meant, my position was misconstrued.”

GOP Rep: Todd Akin ‘partially right’ on ‘legitimate rape’

Updated