US politician Todd Akin has refused to abandon his election hopes (AP)
US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has called on Republican Todd Akin to abandon his US Senate bid in the Midwest state of Missouri after the congressman's comments about rape.
Mr Romney pointed to a statement from a group of current and former Missouri legislators who urged Mr Akin to drop his bid against Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.
Mr Romney said: "I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race."
Mr Akin said that a woman's body has ways to prevent pregnancy in cases of what he called "legitimate rape".
Mr Romney had previously denounced Mr Akin's comments, but he had not yet urged the congressman to drop out.
Mr Akin has vowed to stay in the race and has described the calls to leave an "overreaction".