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Obama slams Akin's 'legitimate rape' remark as offensive

Washington: Coming out strongly against a Republican lawmaker's definition of a "legitimate rape", US President Barack Obama today termed his remarks as offensive and insisted that a "rape is a rape" and there can be no differentiation in it.

"The views expressed were offensive. Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we're talking about doesn't make sense to the American people, and certainly doesn't make sense to me," Obama told reporters at a White House news conference.

Congressman Todd Akin, who is his party's Senate candidate from Missouri, has apologised for his comment which he made during an interview when asked if he would support abortions for women who have been raped.

"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," Akin said.

US President Barack Obama  Reuters

"I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women," Obama said when asked about the comments made by Akin, which according to him was way out there.

"Although these particular comments have led Governor (Mitt) Romney and other Republicans to distance themselves, I think the underlying notion that we should be making decisions on behalf of women for their health care decisions, or qualifying forcible rape versus non-forcible rape, I think those are broader issues, and that is a significant difference in approach between me and the other party," said the US President.

On Monday, Akin apologised for his remarks.

Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, was quick to distance himself from such a remark coming from his party colleague. Romney termed those remarks as "inexcusable".

Earlier the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters that Akin’s remarks reflects an effort in Congress in particular to define rape in a way that makes no sense to a lot of women and demonstrates why it is so important for women to be in control of their own health care.

"Those comments are obviously offensive. Clearly offensive. And factually wrong, medically wrong, and offensive. I think you have also seen efforts in Congress to define rape in a way that limits women's control over their own health care, and that's wrong too," Carney said.

PTI