Photo Credit: Scott Olson, Getty Images
Remember Todd Akin and his incredible, ignorant comments about rape? Get ready for another whopper: Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said Tuesday night that he’s opposed to abortion for pregnancies resulting from rape because “it is something that God intended to happen.”
Mourdock made the remark while debating Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly and Libertarian candidate Andrew Horning in response to a question asking them to explain their views on abortion. All three candidates said they were opposed to it, but Mourdock went the furthest in his assertions.
He said, “The only exception I have to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has endorsed Mourdock in a campaign ad in Indiana, but distanced himself from the comments on Tuesday night.
“Governor Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments, and they do not reflect his views,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement Tuesday night, reported in The Washington Post. But on Wednesday, she said that Romney would not take back his endorsement of Mourdock or attempt to pull the political ads.
Mourdock tried to explain his own comments, saying that he doesn’t believe God intends for rapes to happen. "God creates life, and that was my point," he said in a statement. "God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that he does.”
But the Obama campaign was already all over the growing scandal. “This is a reminder that a Republican Congress working with a Republican president Mitt Romney would (feel) that women should not be able to make choices about their own health care,” Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday morning, according to the Washington Post.
The Democratic National Committee also released a video that intercuts Mourdock’s comments with Romney’s endorsement of him.
Less than two weeks before the presidential election, Mourdock’s comments were not what Romney and the Republican party were looking for as they continue to try to demonstrate they’re not waging the so-called “war on women” their opponents allege.
Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer and iVillage’s Chief Election News Blogger. Follow her on Twitter: @alicedubin.