Akin was urged by Paul Ryan to drop out of Senate race - but he refused


Missouri Rep. Todd Akin defended his no-exceptions abortion policy by saying "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy.


Photograph of Todd Akin from his Facebook page.

Embattled Republican Todd Akin has told how he received a phone call from vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan asking him to step down from the Missouri Senate race.

Speaking for the first time since the furore, Akin said on the Today show that Ryan urged him to drop out for the good of the party, but that he opted to stand “on principle” and stay in.

"I told him that I was going to be looking at this very seriously, trying to weigh all the different points on this," he told the Today show.

"It's not about me. It's about doing the right thing and standing on principle."

Akin has been under heavy criticism with calls for him to resign after saying during a televised interview last Sunday that women’s bodies, in cases of “legitimate rape,” can prevent unwanted pregnancy.

Akin told Today show host, Matt Lauer, he was “misinformed” and apologized for his use of the word "legitimate" in reference to rape.

“While I apologize for the misuse of that word, I don’t apologize for the fact that I’m strong in my belief for pro-life,” he said.

The Washington Post reported Akin also appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” where he said he would honor the wishes of party leaders and skip next week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa.

But he also stood firm in that interview on his decision to remain in the Senate race.

“The people of Missouri chose me to be their candidate, and I don’t believe it’s right for party bosses to decide to override those voters,” Akin said during the interview.

“It makes me uncomfortable to think that the party bosses are going to dictate who is going to run, as opposed to the party process.”

ABC News reported The Republican Party and Super PACs have pulled their money from his campaign after his controversial comments.