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Public Statements

Cheri Bustos Calls on Bobby Schilling to Return Akin Contributions

Press Release

Location: Unknown

Akin's comments on "legitimate rape" have sparked outrage across the country

Today, Cheri Bustos, Democratic nominee for Illinois 17th Congressional District, called on Congressman Bobby Schilling to return the $2,000 his campaign accepted from his colleague, Congressman Todd Akin- one of only three House candidates to do so in 2010. Sunday, Akin made absurd and insensitive remarks in an attempt to suggest that women's bodies will naturally reject pregnancies as a result of "legitimate rape."

"Not only should Bobby Schilling return the campaign money he accepted from Mr. Akin, but voters need to know that Mr. Schilling and Akin worked closely in Congress on a bill to redefine rape," said Cheri Bustos pointing to the pair's co-sponsorship of a bill that passed in the House of Representatives last year. "The hundreds of thousands of women in Illinois 17th District deserve a representative in Congress that will stand up for their health and well-being."

Reaction from both Republicans and Democrats has been fierce to Mr. Akin's distinction between "legitimate rape" and other kinds and to the suggestion that women's bodies can shut down unwanted pregnancies. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney condemned the comments as well: "Congressman's Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong," the presumptive Republican presidential nominee told National Review Online.

In 2011, Schilling co-sponsored a bill in the House of Representatives, which would redefine a ban on federal funding for abortions to exempt only "forcible rape" and not "rape" generally. [HR 3 Co-Sponsors, 112th Congress]

Congressman Schilling's extreme record on women's issues also includes two votes to defund Planned Parenthood, the largest U.S. provider of women's preventive health services, including cancer screenings. Schilling also voted against the once broadly bipartisan Violence Against Women Act that provide services, including transitional housing and legal assistance, to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

According to Open Secrets, Congressman Bobby Schilling received $2,000 from "Takin Back America," Congressman Todd Akin's Leadership PAC.

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