Indiana U.S. Senate Republican candidate Richard Mourdock speaks during a debate in New Albany on Tuesday, October 23.
(New Albany, Ind.) - Another Republican U.S. Senate candidate has made potentially controversial comments about rape.
Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock was participating in a debate Tuesday in New Albany when he was asked about abortion being allowed in cases of rape or incest.
“Life is a 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 stated.
Mourdock's Democratic opponent Congressman Joe Donnelly has pounced on the statement, saying he's shocked and stunned that Mourdock "would be disrespectful to survivors of rape." Donnelly has said that he opposes abortion. Other Democrats have weighed in, including Indiana Democrat gubernatorial candidate John Gregg who said he was shocked by Mourdock’s comment.
Mourdock's campaign has since clarified the Indiana State Treasurer’s comments, saying the candidate was not saying God intends for rapes to occur.
"Are you trying to suggest somehow that God preordained rape, no I don't think that," Mourdock said afterwards. "Anyone who would suggest that is just sick and twisted. No, that's not even close to what I said."
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign began distancing itself from Mourdock soon after the senate debate.
"Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock's comments, and they do not reflect his views,” a Romney campaign spokesperson told the Associated Press.
Prior to his controversial statement, Mourdock said that the only situation where he thinks exceptions should be made in favor of abortion is in the case of the life of the mother.
The incident comes after Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin found himself in hot water earlier this year for saying that occurrences of "legitimate rape" rarely cause pregnancy.