Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock says when a woman is impregnated during a rape, "it's something God intended."
Mourdock was asked Tuesday 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."
In response to Mourdock's comment, Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly said after the debate that he doesn't believe "my God, or any God, would intend that to happen."
Mourdock and Donnelly have been locked in a tight race since the Republican primary in May, when Mourdock defeated longtime GOP Sen. Richard Lugar.
Mourdock released the following statement after the debate:
"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," Mourdock said.
Mourdock said after the debate that he was misunderstood, and answered numerous questions from reporters. One asked if the rape comment will damage his campaign. "I suppose that depends on how people who want to twist what I said into some meaning other than what I said, and what I meant, which is God creates life. That is a fundamental part of my faith. I think I heard Joe say effectively the same thing."
Mourdock further explained his comment during the media availability in New Albany following the debate. "God creates life. It is as simple as that. I mean, God creates life. Does God want people raped? Of course not," Mourdock said. "Anyone who would suggest such a thing is sick and that's pathetic and that's a twist beyond my imagination, frankly, because I said God creates life." Donnelly also issued a statement on the topic following the debate:
"I think rape is a heinous and violent crime in every instance," said Donnelly. "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."
Other Democrats agreed with Donnelly, including National Democrat Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in this tweet: "Richard Mourdock's rape comments are outrageous and demeaning to women."
Donnelly, Mourdock keep up attacks in 2nd debate
Indiana Senate candidates Richard Mourdock and Joe Donnelly have kept up their attacks on each other in their final debate before Election Day.
Republican Mourdock used his opening statement in the debate Tuesday night to criticize Donnelly for claiming to be a fiscal conservative after voting for the federal health care law that will expand Medicaid rolls if it stands.
Democrat Donnelly jabbed Mourdock for his partisan stances. Donnelly says he'll be a strong independent voice who will support all Hoosiers like Sen. Richard Lugar and former Sen. Evan Bayh have.
Libertarian nominee Andrew Horning joined them for the debate at Indiana University-Southeast in New Albany.
Auto workers supporting Donnelly and tea partiers backing Mourdock held rival demonstrations outside the debate amid a large police presence.
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