The following statement from Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Cynthia Dill relates to today's fallout from remarks by U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., about rape victims:
"Rep. Akin is running for the U.S. Senate, as am I," said Dill. "His opponent is current U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, who called his ignorant rape remarks "a window into Todd Akin's mind.'
"Senator McCaskill added: "I hope this is a gut-check moment when they realize this is not somebody we want speaking for us on the floor of the United States Senate.'
"We all need to take that gut check. This is just the latest GOP far-right attack on women in this country. Mitt Romney has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that millions of women depend on for health care concerns, cancer screenings and birth control.
Remember Romney's gruff statement? "Planned Parenthood, we're gonna get rid of that.'
"Now we have Rep. Akin saying "legitimate rape' doesn't lead to pregnancy, because women's bodies can somehow halt the biological process.
"And that magic biology is the reason why he opposes abortion for rape victims. He believes that pregnancy as a result of rape is "really rare.'
"In fact, whenever there is a "legitimate rape,' he said, pregnancy cannot take place. And I offer his full quote: "If it's a legitimate rape,' he said, "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.'
"These aren't gaffes. This is a pattern of thinking about women and their status in 21st Century America. And it is simply terrifying.
"We don't want this man, who is a sitting member of the U.S. House, anywhere near any laws affecting women in the United States. We don't want him anywhere near any health care concerns regarding women. He seems to think the year is 1712, not 2012.
"The reality about rape is grim and shocking. Every day in the U.S., 1.3 women aged 18 and older are forcibly rape -- every minute. That amounts to 1,871 rape victims per day in the U.S., or 683,000 rape victims per year.
"And rape and sexual assault are extremely difficult to combat because the crimes are so significantly underreported. Why? Because victims don't want to come forward and report the crimes -- that is how large the social stigma is in this country.
"With thinking like Rep. Akin's, you can see why that stigma continues to exist, unabated and unchecked. The environment for reporting rape and sexual assault in this nation is toxic and is often biased against the victim.
"This is not the America that we know and love. This is not the America that I meet every day in my campaign tours of Maine.
"I have said this before and today it bears repeating: The far-right ideology has taken over our national government, it has seized the Congress, and Democrats need to come together and fight it.
"A Romney-Ryan administration will mean the deconstruction of Medicare, more tax cuts for the wealthy, an assault on women's rights and higher taxes for the middle class and for working Americans.
"Is this your vision for America in the 21st Century? "It is not mine. It is not President Obama's. And it is not the vision of the Democratic Party and the vast majority of hard-working American people."