Former Missouri Congressman Todd Akin has died at the age of 74.
Akin’s son, Perry, says his father had cancer for several years.
Akin died at his home in the St. Louis suburb of Wildwood.
Perry Akin says the former congressman was a devoted Christian, a great father, and a friend to many.
For 12 years, Akin represented a Republican-leaning eastern Missouri district that included St. Louis area suburbs.
He challenged then-incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill in 2012.
Akin, who was a strong opponent of abortion, hurt Republicans’ chance of recapturing a Senate majority when he was asked during an interview whether he supported allowing abortions for women who have been raped.
He answered “from what I understand from doctors,” such pregnancies are really rare. He went on to say: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney immediately rebuked Akin and said his campaign would allow abortion in those cases.