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Americas

Obama attacks GOP Senate candidate's rape views

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-10-25

Inflammatory comments about rape and abortion by a Republican candidate for Senate in Indiana drew criticism from US President Barack Obama on Wednesday. Obama said Richard Mourdock's views "do not make any sense" and insisted that "rape is rape".

US President Barack Obama has criticised a Republican Senate candidate for his comments about women and rape, insisting that “rape is rape” and that distinctions offered by the Republican candidate, in Obama’s words, “don’t make any sense to me”.

The Republican in Indiana’s Senate race, Richard Mourdock, said during a debate Tuesday night that when pregnancy results from rape, it is “something God intended", despite the "horrible situation" from which they derived. He said he would only allow abortions in circumstances in which the mother's life was in danger.
 
Asked about Mourdock’s comments Wednesday on “The Tonight Show”, Obama told host Jay Leno: “I don’t know how these guys come up with these ideas. Let me make a very simple proposition: [rape] is a crime,” Obama said on NBC’s “The Tonight Show”.
 
“This is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women’s healthcare," he said, adding that women are capable of making their own decisions and that intrusions by politicians is part of what’s at stake in the presidential election.
 
Mourdock is the second Republican Senate candidate to find himself on the defensive over comments about rape and pregnancy.
 
Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin said in August that women’s bodies have ways of preventing pregnancy in cases of what he called “legitimate rape”. Akin has repeatedly apologized but has refused to leave his race despite calls to do so by leaders of his own party, including Romney.
 
Romney distanced himself from Mourdock on Tuesday night, a day after a television ad featuring him supporting Mourdock began airing in Indiana.
 
Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Romney disagrees with Mourdock’s opposition to abortion in cases of rape and incest, but she said Romney still supports Mourdock’s Senate bid. Romney himself has not commented.

Several Republican senators and candidates — some of them facing tight races themselves — forcefully rejected Mourdock’s comment. Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who was scheduled to campaign with Mourdock, cancelled her trip to Indiana on Wednesday.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2012-10-25

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