A Republican candidate for one of Indiana's U.S. Senate seats has been attacked by both Democrats and members of his own party for saying that a child conceived because of rape is still a gift from God. During a debate with his Democratic opponent on October 23, Indiana's state treasurer Richard Mourdock, who defeated longtime GOP Senator Richard Lugar to carry the Republican Party mantle, addressed the issue of abortion and rape, one of the “exceptions” presidential candidate Mitt Romney has embraced to make himself more attractive to “pro-choice” women voters.
Eschewing Romney's easy compromise, Mourdock stuck with his own pro-life values, saying that while he had once struggled about whether a woman who gets pregnant through rape might be justified in aborting the baby, “I came to realize that life is a gift from God.” He added that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” (Video available at link below)
Reasonable people analyzing Mourdock's comments would quickly realize that what he intended to say was that the baby conceived through rape — not the rape itself — was something that God intended, in spite of the horrible act of violence by which the baby was conceived. But with typical political relish, his words were quickly twisted, with his Democratic opponent, Joe Donnelly, calling the comments “shocking.”
In attempt to clarify what he had said at the debate, Mourdock called a press conference the next day to emphasize that “I believe God creates life. I believe that as wholly and as fully as I can believe it.... Are you trying to suggest that somehow I think that God pre-ordained rape? No, I don’t think that. That’s sick. Twisted.”
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Photo: Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock gestures during a news in Indianapolis, Oct. 24, 2012, to explain the comment he made during the previous night's Senate debate: AP Images