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US congressman refuses to quit race after rape comments

Todd Akin
Todd Akin said he "misspoke" when discussing rape in a televised interview. Credit: Reuters

The US Senate candidate who notoriously said raped women could use their bodies to prevent pregnancy has defied his party and refused to end his political campaign in Missouri.

Speaking at a news conference in the state, Todd Akin said, "Apparently there are some people who are having trouble understanding our message. We're going to be here through the November election and we're going to be here to win."

The Republican's comments on "legitimate rape" during an interview last weekend drew outrage that failed to dampen after he claimed he "misspoke" in "off-the-cuff remarks".

Mr Akin has faced widespread calls to quit the Senate race, including from his party's presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

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Romney: 'Fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel'

The Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney has intervened in the row over controversial rape comments made by his party's Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, urging him to pull out of his race.

Yesterday he described Mr Akin's remarks "indefensible", but had stopped short of demanding that he pull out of the election.

As I said yesterday, Todd Akin's comments were offensive and wrong and he should very seriously consider what course would be in the best interest of our country.

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

– Mitt Romney, US Presidential Candidate

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