It has now been revealed that Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin has been arrested at least eight times. Only four of those arrests had been made public in the past. All of his arrests were for taking part in protests against abortion clinics.
New records that were uncovered have revealed that the Missouri Republican Senate candidate has been arrested a total of eight times, since the 1980's. All of Akin's arrests were made for trespassing and/or disturbing the peace while protesting outside abortion clinics in Illinois and Missouri. The new arrests were not previously discovered because they were under Akin's first name, William, which he stopped using after he began his political career in the late 80's, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Akin has been an avid pro-life supporter. In 2011 he acknowledged being arrested in the past.
"Yesterday I spoke with a group of people who had been to jail with me. Don't tell anybody I'm a jailbird, but there were a bunch of us years ago that were involved in the pro-life movement," he said during a pastor's briefing. He proceeded by asking his audience whether or not that was "biblical."
Later, when Akin was questioned about his arrest he stated that it was a result of standing up for something he believed in.
"Yeah, well, certainly," he responded when asked to confirm the arrest. "Probably about 25 years ago or so I was involved in some peaceful protests. As I've made very clear I don't apologize for being pro-life. I stand up for the things I believe in."
Akin drew up controversy earlier this year when he stated that "legitimate rape" rarely led to pregnancy.
"How do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question," he said in August on a local St. Louis television station. "First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Akin's opponents have argued that his past arrests should disqualify him from running for senate. In an emailed response to the St.Louis Post-Dispatch, Akin spokesman Rick Tyler dismissed the issue as "something that happened a quarter century ago."