Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012 | 12:23 p.m.
RENO — Rep. Joe Heck on Tuesday did what most of his Republicans have done and condemned Missouri Rep. Todd Akin’s comments that “legitimate rape” doesn’t result in a pregnancy.
But as a doctor, he went a step further and disavowed the belief held by some in the anti-abortion movement that the physical or emotional trauma of rape counteracts a pregnancy.
“I must have missed that lecture in school,” said Heck, an emergency medicine doctor who considers himself pro-life. “I didn’t get that from my OB-GYN lectures. I’m not sure how that happens. I was never taught that.”
The idea that a pregnancy can’t result from forcible rape has percolated as a reason some use to oppose abortions after rape.
Akin, who is running against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, has refused to bow to mounting pressure to drop out of the campaign.
Last week he told a local television interviewer: “From what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Heck joined other Republicans, including Sen. Dean Heller, in condemning Akin’s comments.
“That is certainly a comment that is offensive, reprehensible and indefensible,” Heck said. “As a physician, as a husband, as a father of two daughters, those comments are way out of line.”
Heck dismissed the idea that Akin’s comments would further Democrats efforts to convince voters Republicans are waging a “war on women.”
Heck, who was in Reno campaigning for the GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, said women will vote on the “same pocketbook issues as men.”