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In new ads, sex-assault victims blast Akin for rape comments

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By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct 10 (Reuters) - U.S. Sen. ClaireMcCaskill of Missouri released new ads on Wednesday attackingRepublican challenger Todd Akin's views on emergencycontraception and his comments that women can naturally fend offpregnancies caused by "legitimate rape."

The commercials, featuring interviews with two rape victimsand one survivor of a violent sexual assault, were posted onMcCaskill's campaign website and began airing on television onWednesday.

The ads mark McCaskill's most aggressive effort to highlightthe comments Akin made in August about "legitimate rape," whichthrust their pivotal U.S. Senate race into the nationalspotlight. At the time, Akin said women have a biologicaldefense against pregnancies that might be caused by suchrapes. He later retracted the comment and apologized, butrefused to leave the race.

Akin, a six-term congressman, said earlier in August heopposed the so-called morning-after contraception pill, callingit a form of abortion. He made no exception for rape victims.

In the new commercials, a woman who was violently sexuallyassaulted said Akin "showed his true colors" in alluding to"legitimate rapes." She said that as a woman of faith she couldforgive Akin, but as a voter could not forget what he said.

Another woman raped during a home invasion said she tookemergency contraception, which Akin "would criminalize." Shesaid "at the worst moment of her life, no woman should be deniedthat choice."

Another woman, who identified herself as a pro-lifeRepublican and a rape victim, said she declined to take theemergency contraception pill but that the decision should remainhers, not anyone else's.

Akin spokesman Ryan Hite said on Wednesday that Akin was onrecord opposing the morning-after pill. But Hite said he had not"delved into" Akin's position in the case of rape and could notcomment further.

McCaskill spokeswoman Caitlin Legacki said opposingemergency contraception for rape victims "is so far to theextreme and is really troubling for Missouri."

On Wednesday, Akin took the offensive against McCaskill onthe subject of tax returns. He called for the release of thepast five years of tax returns filed by her and her husband. Sofar McCaskill has released only her own, most recent tax return.

Akin has not released any returns, but would do so ifMcCaskill released the past five years of tax returns, Hitesaid.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and David Brunnstrom)

Keywords: USA CAMPAIGN/AKIN