Candidate for Indiana Republican Senate, Richard Mourdock, insists that his words have been twisted after a debate Wednesday night (NZT) in which the subject of abortion was raised.
During the final minutes of one of the US’ most closely followed Senate races, Mourdock was asked whether or not he believed that abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest.
He replied “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realise that life is that 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.”
Mourdock, who has consistently opposed abortion aside from cases in which the mother’s life is endangered, has since received an outpouring of criticism for his comments, with many taking it to mean that he believed God intended for the woman to be raped.
In a press conference following the debate, Mourdock apologised for any wrong impression he may have given, saying “I don’t think God wants rape, because rape is evil. I abhor evil. I want to assure every woman who hears this, who reads the stories of this, that I abhor it and I’m confident God abhors it. But to twist and suggest that somehow I was saying that God approves of rape is the wrong thing, because it’s not what I was saying; it’s certainly not what I intended.”
Mourdock firmly believes all life is precious, and stands by his original comment . “I spoke from my heart, I spoke with my principle, I spoke from my faith,” he said.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee also believed that Mourdock’s words were being misinterpreted by opponents and the media.
Texas Senator and chairman of the committee, John Cornyn, said in a statement “Richard and I, along with millions of Americans – including even Joe Donnelly – believe that life is a gift from God. To try and construe his words as anything other than a restatement of that belief is irresponsible and ridiculous.”