The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) — who came under fire after asserting that “legitimate rapes” don’t often result in pregnancy — was arrested multiple times in the 1980s for protesting outside of abortion clinics in St. Louis. Between 1985 and 1987, Akin worked with other anti-choice activists to physically block women’s access to reproductive health clinics in the city, during what RH Reality Check describes as a “hotbed of anti-choice violence and harassment” in St. Louis. At that time, Akin went by his given first name, William, rather than the middle name he currently uses.
Anti-abortion harassment has not certainly not faded away since Akin’s days as a participant. Incidents of violent harassment have been on the rise, prompting some cities like New York to implement clinic escort programs to safely accompany women into health clinics, and an anti-abortion harassment resulted in a stabbing incident in Oregon just yesterday.
Despite the outrage that Akin’s comments about women’s reproductive systems sparked — such as the long list of his Republican colleagues who called for him to drop out of the Missouri Senate race, although Akin did not heed their advice — a number of right-wing groups continue to financially back his campaign.
Another piece of sordid history from Akin’s life emerged late Thursday. The candidate apparently donated $200 to the campaign of designated “domestic terrorist” Tim Dreste, who was later convicted for threatening to kill or assault doctors who performed abortions.