Illinois politics
12:50 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Bustos, Schilling weigh in on Akin flap

The candidates for Congress from the 17th District in Illinois have chimed in on the discussion of comments by U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., about pregnancy and “legitimate rape.”

Calling Akin’s remarks “absurd and insensitive," Democratic nominee Cheri Bustos, issued a statement Monday called on Republican opponent Bobby Schilling to return $2,000 his campaign accepted from Akin in 2010. Schilling, she noted, is one of only three House candidates to accept funds from Akin in 2010.

In a statement today, Schilling called Akin’s comments “wrong and inexcusable,” adding that they “do not come anywhere close to reflecting my values.”

Both Democrats and Republicans – including presidential candidate Mitt Romney -- have reacted fiercely to Akin's distinction between "legitimate rape" and other kinds and to the suggestion that women's bodies can shut down unwanted pregnancies.

Rather than return the contribution from Akin, Schilling said, "… my family and I decided yesterday to donate a $2,000 contribution we received from Rep. Akin's leadership PAC in 2010 to the Rock Island County Children's Advocacy Center.

"As a father, a husband, and a close friend to people who have been scarred by the evils of rape, I could never stand with someone who said something so contrary to our basic human values," Schilling concluded.

Schilling did not respond to a statement by Bustos that Schilling and Akin “worked closely in Congress on a bill to redefine rape.” In 2011, Akin and Schilling were one of the initial cosponsors of a bill in the House of Representatives that would redefine a ban on federal funding for abortions to exempt only “forcible rape” and not “rape” generally.