Illinois delegation joins criticism of Akin
Republican members of the Illinois congressional delegation — who represent a spectrum of stances on the legality of abortion — are jumping on the bandwagon decrying Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin's comments about how women's bodies function during "legitimate" rape.
Congressman Joe Walsh, of McHenry, who has called himself "pro-life without exception," described Akin's remarks as "not just idiotic and stupid" but "offensive to all women, especially those who have had to endure sexual abuse. He needs to try to make things right and apologize to those who he has offended."
House GOP Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam, of Wheaton, on Monday called the remarks "absolutely wrong." Roskam, like Walsh, is staunchly pro-life, but he makes an exception when the life of the mother is at stake.
Congresswoman Judy Biggert, of Hinsdale, and Robert Dold, of Kenilworth, were two of a handful of Republicans favoring abortion rights who voted against an amendment defunding Planned Parenthood last year.
Biggert, who opposes government funding of abortions except in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother, says she supports a woman's right to choose.
"As a woman, mother and grandmother, I'm disappointed by Todd Akin's uninformed and offensive comments," Biggert said in a statement. "What he said has absolutely no place in public discourse."
Dold, who also opposes government funding of abortions, took a similar tack, releasing a statement noting that, "As a son, a brother, a husband and a father, I find Rep. Todd Akin's comments completely reprehensible. I could not disagree more strongly with them," Dold said.
While Senate Republican leaders have strongly suggested Akin should consider leaving the race, no Illinois delegation members were ready to make that call Monday.
"It's not my place," Walsh said. "He and his family will know best what to do."
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