On the final debate in the Indiana Senate race held last night, Republican Senate nominee Richard Mourdock, a Tea Party extremist, explained his opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape or incest. During his explanation, Mourdock suggested pregnancies resulting from rape are the will of God and therefore should not be an exception to a ban on abortion (emphasis added).
“You know, this is that issue for that every candidates for federal, or even state office, faces. And I, too, certainly stand for life,” said Mourdock, after both Democrat Joe Donnelly and Libertarian Andrew Horning had identified as pro-life, though Donnelly also stated his support for an exception in cases of rape. “I know there are some who disagree, and I respect their point of view. But I believe that life begins at conception. The only exception I have, to have an abortion, is in that case of the life of the mother.”
Mourdock then seemed to choke back tears, and continued: “I’ve struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from god. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
It’s worth noting that as recently as September 17, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan was campaigning side-by-side with Mourdock, whose U.S. Senate candidacy Ryan endorsed during that visit.
As I write this, there’s been no word from the Romney-Ryan campaign on whether or not Paul Ryan agrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments about rape, pregnancy, and abortion, but Democratic Congressional candidate Rob Zerban, who’s running against Ryan in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional district, released the following statement.
“Of course, Paul Ryan will keep backing away from the dark corners of his party from where these disturbing comments about rape and violence against women are emanating. But Ryan can’t back off their shared anti-women worldview. Ryan himself has called rape just another ‘method of conception,’ and co-authored the infamous Todd Akin bill to redefine rape. Ryan can no longer duck responsibility for his extreme views against women’s most basic rights.”