Republican congressman Steve King says rape and incest helped population growth





Updated

August 15, 2019 08:38:56

A United States congressman has defended his call for a ban on all abortions by questioning whether “there would be any population of the world left” if not for births due to rape and incest.

Key points:

  • Steve King justified the lack of exceptions by questioning how many people would be alive if not for rape and incest
  • Mr King said he could not guarantee he did not have ancestors born as a result of “rapes and pillages”
  • He added that it was “not the baby’s fault for the sin of the father, or of the mother”

Speaking before a conservative group in Des Moines, Steve King, a Republican congressman from the state of Iowa, reviewed legislation he has sought that would outlaw abortions without exceptions for rape and incest.

Mr King justified the lack of exceptions by questioning how many people would be alive if not for those conceived through rapes and incest.

“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?” Mr King asked, according to The Des Moines Register, which covered the event.

“Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can’t say that I was not a part of a product of that.”

“It’s not the baby’s fault for the sin of the father, or of the mother.”

A spokesman for Mr King did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

King’s comments ‘damage our cause’

The nine-term congressman, who represents a sprawling, largely rural 39-county district, has been criticised repeatedly for comments he has made over the years, especially on issues related to race and immigration.

Shortly before the November 2018 election, The Washington Post reported that Mr King met in Austria with the far-right Freedom Party, a group with Nazi ties.

Mr King said the meeting was with business leaders, including one person from the Freedom Party, but the newspaper stood by its story.

Soon after the election, Mr King was quoted in a New York Times story saying: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”

The comments were denounced as racist and led the House to vote 424-1 to rebuke Mr King.

Republican leaders also stripped him of his committee assignments.

Although Mr King has usually breezed to victories in the conservative 4th Congressional District, he narrowly won his last election over Democrat JD Scholten.

This year, several candidates have said they would challenge Mr King for the Republican nomination, including conservative state senator Randy Feenstra.

“I am 100 per cent pro-life but Steve King’s bizarre comments and behaviour diminish our message and damage our cause,” Mr Feenstra said.

AP

Topics:

world-politics,

reproduction-and-contraception,

abortion,

united-states

First posted

August 15, 2019 08:28:42



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