Rape Comment Sparks Controversy Following Senate Debate
(Left to Right) Joe Donnelly (D), Andrew Horning (L) and Richard Mourdock (R) (photo courtesy Indiana Debate Commission)
Tuesday night's debate among Indiana's candidates for Senate covered many topics including Obamacare and government drought assistance but it was one comment about rape that's drawing controversy.
The candidates were asked about their position on abortions and access to contraception. Republican candidate Richard Mourdock said he believes the only exception for abortions was the life of the mother. "I struggled with it myself for a long time but I came to realize life is a gift from God and I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
Mourdock's opponents didn't respond to that comment during the debate but afterwards, Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly released a statement on Mourdock's remarks. "I think rape is a heinous and violent crime in every instance," Donnelly said. "The God I believe in and the God I know most Hoosiers believe in, does not intend for rape to happen--ever. What Mr. Mourdock said is shocking, and it is stunning that he would be so disrespectful to survivors of rape."
Donnelly stated he was pro-life but believed in exceptions in the cases of rape, incest and life of the mother. Mourdock released a statement after the debate saying, "God creates life, and that was my point. God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that He does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick."
Libertarian candidate Andrew Horning did not comment on Mourdock's remarks. During the debate, Horning said he was pro-life but wouldn't be able to accomplish his goals on the matter in the federal legislature.
Late Tuesday night, a spokesperson for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released a statement saying, "Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments, and they do not reflect his views."