Indiana Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock is drawing flack for suggesting that God intends for pregnancies to result from rape.
The comment came during Tuesday’s debate between Mourdock and his Democratic opponent, Rep. Joe Donnelly.
“I believe that life begins at conception,” Mourdock said. “The only exception I have … is in that case of the life of the mother. I just, 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.”
Democrats immediately pounced on the comment.
“Richard Mourdock’s disturbing comment about rape is a window into Mourdock’s extreme view of the world,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Shripal Shah said. “Indiana can’t afford to send a self-proclaimed ‘zealot’and tea partier like Richard Mourdock to the Senate.”
Donnelly was even more critical of his opponent.
“I think rape is a heinous and violent crime in every instance,” he said in a statement. “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.”
Mourdock immediately clarified the comments, saying that Democrats were misinterpreting his words.
“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,” Mourdock said in a statement sent out minutes after the DSCC attack.
Social issues have been a major point of attack for Democrats this cycle, most notably in the case of Rep. Todd Akin, whose comment about “legitimate rape” caused a firestorm.