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Mourdock rape remarks draw responses from across Indiana, nation

Mourdock rape remarks draw responses from across Indiana, nation

INDIANAPOLIS | Hoosiers and political leaders from across the country are reacting to Tuesday's debate remark by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock that pregnancies resulting from rape are "something that God intended to happen."

Here are their responses.


Rev. Theodore Mens of St. Mary Parish in Griffith, Pro-Life director for the Gary Diocese, member of the Coalition for Religious Liberty in NWI.

“We always want to be sympathetic to people who have a horrible tragedy in their lives. Rape is a crime against the woman that should never be condoned. Having said that, we also know that human life begins at fertilization. The egg and the sperm carry all the DNA, what we will be ... What we ask is that the person deal with that situation in the best possible way. That there is the possibility of adoption or the possibility of keeping the baby.”

Professor Rosalie Levinson, Valparaiso University School of Law

“He doesn’t have the right to impose (either) on women.”

Anita Carpenter, CEO of the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault

“There is never an excuse, invitation, or any plausible reason to ever rape anyone. Survivors of these attacks must remember that it is never their fault, they are not alone, and that there is help...God does not allow anyone to force his/her will over another. It is not His will that someone be raped. The act of rape is not condoned by God. It is an act of violence, power, and control over another human being. His voice on the subject of rape is quite clear... 'But if out in the country a man happens to meet a girl pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die.' (Deuteronomy) 22:26 'Do nothing to the girl for she has committed no sin deserving death.' ... The argument here is not that life is a gift from God but rather that rape is an illegal, immoral and unjust act that cannot be tolerated in our society. We need to stop placing blame and responsibility on the victim. The responsibility of rape lies squarely and plainly on the shoulders of perpetrators who choose to assert their free will over another. Rape is not something God intended."


President Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List

"Richard Mourdock said that life is always a gift from God, and we couldn't agree more. To report his statement as an endorsement of rape is either willfully ignorant or malicious. Congressman Donnelly should not underestimate our ability to understand Mourdock's meaning. During the same debate, the congressman once again claimed that he was a pro-life candidate. Actions speak louder than words, and Joe Donnelly’s vote forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions under Obamacare is all Hoosiers need to know about where Joe Donnelly really stands."

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chairwoman of Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee 

"While Mitt Romney is rightly distancing himself from Richard Mourdock today, his ad endorsing Mourdock's extreme candidacy continues to air in Indiana. If Mitt Romney is serious about repudiating these heinous views on rape, he will take down this ad immediately. National Republicans cannot paper over Richard Mourdock's heinous views on rape. Enough is enough. The Republican Party needs to stop the coddling and take a stand against the horribly offensive and dangerous views of the Tea Party and their extreme candidates."

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence

"I strongly disagree with the statement made by Richard Mourdock during last night's Senate debate. I urge him to apologize."

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, chairman National Republican Senatorial Committee

"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. In fact, rather than condemning him for his position, as some in his party have when it’s come to Republicans, I commend congressman Donnelly for his support of life.

"But this election is about big ideas and the reality that our country is going in the wrong direction. If you support Obamacare, government bailouts, reckless spending and higher taxes than you should vote for Joe Donnelly. But if you believe, as I do, that our government is too big, our taxes are too high, and we are passing an irresponsible debt onto future generations, than Richard Mourdock is your candidate to help get our country back on track."

Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Horning

"While I would not unconstitutionally craft federal policy in this matter, I do agree with Mr. Mourdock that, if you have any notion of a deity at all, then God's mercy could be seen in the birth of a child. No matter what else may have happened up to that point.

"I'm sorry if that offends people who might have come my way by way of Mourdock's words. But I don't want anybody to vote for me under false premises or hasty judgments."

Indiana Right to Life PAC Chairman Mike Fichter, Tuesday

"Tonight, Richard Mourdock showed Hoosiers that he will stand up for all innocent, human life once elected to the U.S. Senate. Richard recognizes what our Founding Fathers wisely proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. They declared that we are endowed by our Creator with the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

"Rape is a vile act, committed in evil. When a pregnancy results out of this horrific crime, every bit of care and love must be shown to the victim. We believe that life begins at fertilization and with fertilization comes the right to life as affirmed in the Declaration of Independence."

Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg, Tuesday

"I was shocked by Richard Mourdock's comments regarding survivors of rape. Rape is rape, and statements like these rub salt in the wounds of sexual assault survivors everywhere.

"Unfortunately this extreme way of thinking has found its way into our political discourse more and more. Hoosiers have a choice in this election between honoring the Mitch Daniels truce on social issues, and the uncompromising, Pence-Mourdock Tea Party extremism on display tonight. Congressman Pence did not stand up when Mourdock attacked Richard Lugar in the primary and he did not take a stand against Todd Akin this fall."

Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Vi Simpson, Tuesday

"As a woman and a mother, I was appalled by Richard Mourdock's insensitive and incendiary comments tonight. Congressman Pence has stood with Mourdock on this issue before. As Election Day approaches, Hoosier voters deserve to know whether or not Congressman Pence shares Mourdock's extreme beliefs."

Betty Cockrum, president Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana, Tuesday night

"Tonight Indiana voters heard from a candidate who suggests that a pregnancy resulting from rape is a gift from God -- that God intended for it to happen. Are we heading back to the days of courtrooms where the discussion regarding a rapist focuses on what the alleged victim was wearing? Women need a respite from this party's unconscionable insensitivity. It seems right to ask what those men would say if they found themselves pregnant after suffering an unspeakable and life-altering violation. It seems likely they might view the matter very differently."

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, via spokeswoman Andrea Saul, 9:17 p.m. Tuesday

"Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments, and they do not reflect his views."

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker, 8:33 p.m. Tuesday

"As a pro-life Catholic, I’m stunned and ashamed that Richard Mourdock believes God intended rape. Victims of rape are victims of an extremely violent act, and mine is not a violent God. Do we need any more proof that Richard Mourdock is an extremist who’s out of touch with Hoosiers?"

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's post-debate statement, 8:13 p.m. Tuesday

"God creates life, and that was my point. God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that He does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick."

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Joe Donnelly's post-debate response, 8:09 p.m. Tuesday

"I think rape is a heinous and violent crime in every instance. The God I believe in and the God I know most Hoosiers believe in, does not intend for rape to happen -- ever. What Mr. Mourdock said is shocking, and it is stunning that he would be so disrespectful to survivors of rape."

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's original debate remark, 6:44 p.m. Tuesday

"I struggled with it myself for a long time but I came to realize 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."


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