WASHINGTON, July 10 (UPI) -- In a new book by disgraced former congressman Todd Akin, the Missouri Republican says he regrets apologizing for his "legitimate rape" assertion during the 2012 election cycle.
"By asking the public at large for forgiveness I was validating the willful misinterpretation of what I had said."
In 2012, while running for U.S. Senate in Missouri, a video surfaced of Akin claiming if a woman is raped her body can prevent pregnancy. After claiming that pregnancies caused by rape are "really rare," Akin went on to say, "if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
When the political fallout became clear Akin apologized, saying he "used the wrong words in the wrong way." Sen. Claire McCaskill went on to beat Akin in the November election.
Two years later Akin is rescinding the apology and sticking by his initial statement.
"My comment about a woman's body shutting the pregnancy down was directed to the impact of stress on fertilization," Akin writes in Firing Back: Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom.
"This is something fertility doctors debate and discuss. Doubt me? Google 'stress and infertility,' and you will find a library of research on the subject."
Elsewhere in the book, Akin asserts the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling granting women the right to have an abortion "easily trumps slavery as the greatest moral evil in American history." Abortion was first legalized by Iceland in 1935.