Todd Akin "legitimate rape" story gets "Law & Order" treatment

Former Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo.
Whitney Curtis

Former Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin may have drifted into national obscurity following his loss in Missouri's 2012 Senate race, but his contentious comments about rape -- which helped sink his political bid - will live on in syndication: Tonight's episode of NBC's "Law & Order: SVU" borrows elements of the Akin controversy for a plotline of its own.

The episode, entitled "Legitimate Rape," tells the story of "a high-profile rape victim" who "must face off against her attacker in court," according to NBC promo material. And while it's likely only loosely inspired by the events that transpired on the campaign trail, some of the dialogue is, as the promo touts, "ripped from the headlines."

"It's nearly impossible for a victim of legitimate rape to become pregnant," one older male character says, in a preview. The comments closely echo Akin's August remarks, that in the cases of "legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Akin's comments, which ignited a national controversy, were a huge boon to his Democratic Senate opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who was fighting an uphill battle for re-election.

In a tweet yesterday, she responded to news of Akin's shadow appearance.

"Now this is surreal," she said.