Obama says Akin rape comments are offensive


US President Barack Obama pauses during a press conference in the briefing room of the White House August 20, 2012 in Washington, DC.



US President Barack Obama has joined the chorus of political figures speaking out against Missouri Rep. Todd Akin's weekend comments that "legitimate rape" doesn't usually cause pregnancy, NPR reported.

During what was described as a "surprise" press conference at the White House Monday afternoon, the president described Akin's comments as "offensive."

"Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we are talking about doesn't make sense to the American people and certainly doesn't make sense to me," Obama told reporter, according to the Huffington Post.

The president added, "What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women."

Obama noted the "significant difference in approach between me and the other party" on the question of a woman's right to make health care decisions for herself — implying specifically a woman's right to choose an abortion.

More from GlobalPost: Rep. Todd Akin: "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy

Akin, a Republican representative who is staunchly anti-abortion, said during a weekend interview on The Jaco Report that "from what I understand from doctors.... If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Host Charles Jaco had asked the representative about his "no exceptions" policy on abortion.

Akin apologized for his remarks on Monday afternoon, but vowed to stay in the race for a Missouri Senate seat, in spite of calls from Scott Brown to drop out. According to CBS, Akin said: "What I said was ill-conceived, and it was wrong," adding, "I really just want to apologize to those that I've hurt."