Politicians on the far right of the pro-life movement – those who oppose abortion under any circumstances – are well aware that overwhelming numbers of Americans support abortion in the case of rape victims. This has led to some quite amazing statements as the candidates scramble to find excuses to justify their positions.
Tom Smith, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Pennsylvania, likened a pregnancy resulting from rape as similar to having an unwanted pregnancy from premarital sex. Something he said had happened to his daughter.
“She chose the life – and I commend her for that. She knew my views, but fortunately for me she chose the way I thought,” he said.
After close questioning from reporters on whether rape and premarital sex were indeed the same things he replied: ‘No, no, no, but, well, put yourself in a father’s position. Yes, I mean. It is similar, this isn’t, but I’m back to the original, I’m pro-life – period.”
Quite reasonably asked to clarify this remark he said the method of conception was not important, what was that it created a life.
Earlier, another Republican, Todd Akin, of Missouri, claimed that ‘legitimate rape’ could never result in conception as the victim would be too traumatised, essentially saying that any raped woman who became pregnant must have participated in and even enjoyed the sexual act.
This incredible statement drew fire from all sides of politics and Akin later withdrew the comment calling it rather appropriately “ill-conceived”!