I always knew Rep. Steve King was a loose cannon and part of the far right fringe in Congress, but is this statement worse than Rep. Todd Akins?
Is the guy just looking for publicity? Are they trying to sabotage the Romney nomination next at the Republican National Convention? Or is he just stupid? What the heck is going on?
Rep. Steve King, one of the most staunchly conservative members of the House, was one of the few Republicans who did not strongly condemn Rep. Todd Akin Monday for his remarks regarding pregnancy and rape. King also signaled why — he might agree with parts of Akin’s assertion.
King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.
“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”
A Democratic source flagged King’s praise of Akin in the KMEG interview to TPM. But potentially more controversial for King is his suggestion that pregnancies from statutory rape or incest don’t exist or happen rarely. A 1996 review by the Guttmacher Institute found “at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.”
The tie between statutory rape and teen pregnancy has been the subject of ad campaigns from groups like United Way.
H.R. 3, the bill co-sponsored by King, Akin and Paul Ryan in 2011, originally called for an exemption in the federal ban on abortion funding only in the case of “forcible rape.” That language was dropped after pressure from women’s advocates and Democrats. At the time, the Republican sponsors of the legislation weren’t too interested in discussing their reasoning for the wording.
King’s comments offer a window into the thinking behind the language, as well as the general belief in the different categories of rape that provoked Akin’s recent controversial comments about “legitimate rape” and the factually wrong idea that a woman’s body can prevent a pregnancy from rape.
In the KMEG interview, King defended Akin as “a strong Christian man, with a wonderful family” and appeared to push back on those calling for Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race.
“I think this election should be about: How did Todd Akin vote and what did he vote for and what did he stand for?” King said. “In this case, I’m seeing the same thing, petty, personal attacks substituting for strong policy.”
- Rape cheerleader Sandra Bernhard sneers at Todd Akin’s ‘legitimate rape’ remark (twitchy.com)
- Huckabee: Rapes Create Some Amazing People (newser.com)
- Todd Akin & Pregnancy: Yes, It Can Happen to Rape Victims (livescience.com)
- Akin: Pregnancy rare after “legitimate rape” (midwestdemocracy.com)
- Rep. Todd Akin Says It’s Rare Women Get Pregnant from ‘Legitimate Rape’ (theatlanticwire.com)
- Embattled Todd Akin Asks For Forgiveness in New Ad (mashable.com)