Rep. Todd Akin speaks to reporters after addressing the Missouri Farm Bureau… (Christian Gooden / St. Louis…)
ST. LOUIS – Law enforcement officials are investigating threats that were made against Rep. Todd Akin, the Missouri Republican who sparked controversy when he said that women’s bodies can somehow prevent pregnancy in the instance of a “legitimate rape.”
Akin spokesman Steve Taylor said in a statement that the congressman “has received threats of rape of his official staff, family and the congressman himself along with suggestions that the individuals should die.”
Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Capitol Police, said Thursday that there was an “active, open investigation” into the threats.
Akin’s comments about rape led to calls for him to drop out of the race for a Missouri Senate seat held by Democrat Claire McCaskill. Akin defied his party – including Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney – and refused to leave the race.
Earlier this week, Akin issued a videotaped apology in which he said he had misspoke. He walked back his earlier comment by declaring that it is a “fact” that rape can result in pregnancy. But people remain angry with the six-term congressman for bungling an election that had been considered his to win or lose.
Akin has kept out of the public eye in recent days. Politico reported Thursday that he had traveled to Tampa, Fla., to meet with conservative religious leaders.