NEW ALBANY, Ind. — Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said Tuesday when a woman is impregnated during a rape, “it’s something God intended.”
Mourdock was asked during the final minutes of a debate whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest.
He replied: “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that’s something God intended to happen.”
Mourdock and Democratic challenger Joe Donnelly have been in a tight race since Mourdock unseated veteran U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar in May’s Republican primary. Mourdock’s comments come two months after embattled GOP Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin said during a television interview that women’s bodies have ways of preventing pregnancy in cases of what he called “legitimate rape.”
In response to Mourdock’s comment, Donnelly said after the debate that he doesn’t believe “my God, or any God, would intend that to happen.”
Mourdock explained after the debate he did not believe God intended the rape, but that God is the only one who can create life.
“Are you trying to suggest somehow that God preordained rape, no I don’t think that,” Mourdock said. “Anyone who would suggest that is just sick and twisted. No, that’s not even close to what I said.”
It was not clear what effect, if any, the comment might have on Mourdock’s campaign in the final two weeks before the Nov. 6 election. Akin has repeatedly apologized but has refused to leave his state’s U.S. Senate race despite calls to do so by leaders of his own party, from GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on down.