Rep. Todd Akin's anti-abortion convictions are not something he adopted recently -- in 1985, he was arrested at least three times at abortion protests, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Kevin McDermott reports. The liberal group People for the American Way told the Associated Press an open-records request also revealed a 1987 arrest, but those records are closed because Akin was not convicted. A March 1985 Post-Dispatch report about the arrest said 19 anti-abortion demonstrators in an abortion clinic waiting room "were carried out by St. Louis police officers." Akin was among them, and McDermott reports he only found the old stories now because the Akin was arrested under his first name, William, though he goes by Todd now. Akin was among six arrested at an anti-abortion protest a few weeks later, and "Police had to carry Akin into an elevator." In April 1985, Akin was among 10 arrested for attempting to block entrances to an abortion clinic.
The Republican Senate candidate challenging Sen. Claire McCaskill earned near universal condemnation from his party in August for saying that in a "legitimate rape," women's bodies block rapist sperm from impregnating them, so there's little need for a rape exception to proposed abortion bans. Akin spoke about a past protest arrest in September but is not offering more details about what happened, telling the Associated Press, "We're not talking about that at all."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.