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Senate candidate refuses to quit despite Romney pressure

US Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin. Photo: Reuters

Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin has refused to quit the Missouri race despite his party's US presidential candidate Mitt Romney urging him to step aside after his controversial comments on rape.

Akin was asked on a local TV network if he would support abortions for women who have been raped.

He replied: “It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Romney, who had called fellow Republican Akin's remarks "indefensible" on Monday but stopped short of demanding he withdraw from the race, was more definitive in a statement today.

Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race.

Shortly after Romney's comments Akin told a US Radio station that he is not dropping out of the race.