The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has started an online petition to remove Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) from the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
Akin, who is running for Senate against incumbent Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), ignited a firestorm of criticism over the weekend with his comments to a local TV affiliate on rape and abortion. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” he said pregnancy resulting from rape.
The congressman tried to walk back the comments, “In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year.” He didn’t elaborate on the statement that a woman’s body can reject a rape pregnancy.
“Someone who believes nonsense like this has no part overseeing science policy,” the DCCC said. “Tell Speaker Boehner to immediately remove Rep. Akin from the House Science and Technology Committee.”
The DCCC tweeted that it has been their “fastest growing petition ever.”
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney quickly distanced himself from Akin. “Congressman’s Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong,” he told National Review Online, stopping short of calling on Akin to bow out of the race. “Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.”
Akin was scheduled to go on Mike Huckabee’s radio show today at 1:06 p.m. Eastern time for his first media appearance since the scandal erupted.