by Robin Marty,
October 25, 2012
Missouri Congressman Todd Akin’s arrest in 1987 for blocking clinic access became public information after a report published by the People for the American Way. Now, local reporters have combed the news archives to learn that the arrest was not a one-time event, and had occurred multiple times prior to Akin’s first successful political campaign.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has found records of at least two other arrests, both occurring within weeks of each other in 1985. Both arrests happened two years prior to the 1987 arrest reported by PFAW.
The Post-Dispatch writes:
The first of the events, according to the newspaper’s archives, was on March 15, 1985. “Nineteen anti-abortion demonstrators who refused to leave the waiting room of an abortion clinic in the Central West End were carried out by St. Louis police officers Friday morning,” read the next day’s paper.
Among those arrested, according to the story, was William Akin, 37, of a Creve Coeur address. The age and address are consistent with other information the newspaper has about Todd Akin.
Three weeks later, another six protesters, including Akin, were arrested at another St. Louis demonstration. “Police had to carry Akin into an elevator,” the story read.
On April 5, 1985, Akin was arrested for a third time, one of 10 protestors who were “attempting to block entrances” at Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, according to the paper. One clinic employee told the paper that the protestors caused minor damage and leveled “verbal abuse” at women entering the clinic.
The Hope Clinic arrest is the more interesting of the ones discovered by the post, as it appears to be the same clinic where four years later Teresa Frank assaulted a woman and Akin, who was no longer involved in protesting, used his political clout to try to get her a reduced punishment.