Ignited by the controversy that cost their candidate the backing of national GOP leaders, conservative and anti-abortion women rallied Wednesday in Kansas City to support U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin.
Akin’s “six seconds of misspeaking, I think, did us all a favor because, ladies, I don’t think we’d be here otherwise,” said former Arkansas first lady Janet Huckabee, speaking to about 130 supporters, mostly women, at the Clarion Hotel Sports Complex.
The wife of 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee added: “People made me mad when they kicked our man when (he was) down. It’s as simple as that. You expect it from your enemy. You don’t expect it from your own.”
Following Akin’s comment in an August TV interview that pregnancies were rare among victims traumatized by “legitimate rape,” the National Republican Senatorial Committee swore off funding his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney urged Akin to drop out of the race.
“It’s time for conservative women to stand and take our place in this conversation,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women Political Action Committee.
She told of being assaulted by a stranger who might have raped her had a motorist not come to her aid: “I care about women who are assaulted and hurt. I know Todd cares about them, and that’s why I’m standing for Todd.”
Many in the crowd, standing to applaud and voicing “amen,” were galvanized by Akin’s staunch opposition to abortion.
“Compromise to me is a dirty word,” said Kelly Burrell of St. Louis, who relayed her own account of terminating a pregnancy. “I compromised the life of an unborn child
“I walk in shame of what I used to be. But Todd didn’t see shame in me. He saw the hope.”
Akin showed up at the rally to shake hands, but left before the speaking began to attend a downtown meeting.