The denunciation of U.S. Rep. Todd Akin over his explosive assertion that a woman's body could prevent pregnancy from "legitimate rape" is stretching all the way to Alaska.
Akin, a Republican from Missouri, is continuing in his bid for U.S. Senate despite calls from many prominent Republicans for him to bow out.
On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski added her voice to the mix of Republicans.
"I join many Alaskans in finding Rep. Todd Akin's comments incredibly offensive and I strongly encourage him to step aside," Murkowski said in a message on Twitter.
She has been touring installations on the Aleutian Islands with a Coast Guard admiral this week.
"It was beyond inappropriate," she said in a telephone interview after returning to Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson Tuesday evening. "I am stunned that an individual who is running for public office, that an individual who is in office, would make that statement."
She said she had never before heard such assertions about rape and pregnancy.
"All you would have to do is ask a woman who has ever been a victim of a rape, if she felt she had the physical ability to prevent conception," Murkowski said. "To me it's a stunning statement."
Akin is out of touch, she said.
"It's quite clear that a woman who has been raped can, in fact, become pregnant," she said.
Efforts to reach U.S. Rep. Don Young were unsuccessful.
Russ Millette, the incoming chairman of the Alaska Republican Party, said it was Akin's decision on whether to leave the Missouri Senate race, which Republicans had seen as their best opportunity for picking up a seat. But he said Akin was out of line.
"It's an outrageous statement that he made. There's no excuse for it, even if he spoke mistakenly or for whatever reason. He should have never said anything like that. It's outrageous," Millette said.
By LISA DEMER
Anchorage Daily News