Richard Mourdock is running for the US Senate in Indiana under the Republican banner. His recent comments regarding rape and the role his relgious beliefs play have drawn a considerable amount of attention.
At a debate on 23 October, Mourdock stated that pregnancies which result from rape are the will of God. Mourdock supports abortion in cases where the mother's life is at risk, but a report filed by CNN reveals Mourdock's position on the issue of rape-induced pregnancies as follows,
"I struggled with it myself for a long time, and I realized that life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen,"
Mourdock clarified that he does not believe God wants rape, and that he understands rape to be horrible, but maintains is stance regarding the pregnancy issue.
His opponent replied in a written statement,
"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."
Mourdock is supported by Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has campaigned for him and also appeared in a TV advertisement for Mourdock.
The Romney campaign quickly distanced itself from Mourdock, as evidenced in response by Andrea Saul, who is a campaign spokesperson,
"Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock's comments, and they do not reflect his views."
This latest controversy regarding the subject of rape come on the heels of comments made by other Republicans, such as U.S. Rep. Todd Akin's comments about 'legitimate rape' rarely resulted in pregnancy and Republican Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh's statement that modern science and technology is unable able to find any instances where abortions have saved the life of mothers.
The CNN report states that Mourdock's campaign is not concerned about his statement beause Indiana is a very pro-life state. The report also includes a statement made by Senator John Corynyn, the Texas Republican that chairs the 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"
Democrats have not reacted in kind, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, stated that Mourdock's comment was outrageous and demeaning to women. She also urged the Romney campaign to remove the Mourdouck television ad.