A week after a Missouri Republican stirred up controversy with his comments about “legitimate rape,” a Pennsylvania Republican running for Senate made some inflammatory remarks about abortion.
Republican Tom Smith, who is challenging U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr., was asked about his stance on abortion in light of Congressman Todd Akins’ statement that women do not get pregnant in instances of “legitimate rape.” Smith said he opposed abortion in all cases, including rape and incest.
Under further questioning, Smith said pregnancy brought about by rape is similar to a woman having a baby out of wedlock. Here’s a transcript of the exchange:
MARK SCOLFORO, ASSOCIATED PRESS: How would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will? Do you have a way to explain that?
SMITH: I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to … she chose they way I thought. No don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.
SCOLFORO: Similar how?
SMITH: Uh, having a baby out of wedlock.
SCOLFORO: That’s similar to rape?
SMITH: No, no, no, but … put yourself in a father’s position, yes. It is similar. But, back to the original, I’m pro-life, period.
Later, when asked if he was making rape through pregnancy analogous to an unwed pregnancy, Smith backtracked.
“No, I did not say that,” he replied. “It’s very, very different. Do I condone rape? Absolutely not. But do I [support] life? Yes I do, I’m pro-life, period.”
Smith’s comments are of course making the rounds on blogs and talk radio. Smith was already fighting an uphill battle, with a recent poll showing Casey ahead by 19 points.