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Wash. Congressional Candidate Says Abortion for Rape Survivors Inflicts 'More Violence' on Women

Wash. Congressional Candidate Says Abortion for Rape Survivors Inflicts 'More Violence' on Women

November 2, 2012 — John Koster, a Republican candidate for a House seat in Washington, recently stated that he opposes abortion in cases of "the rape thing" because it inflicts "more violence onto a woman's body," according to audio released on Wednesday, the AP/Politico reports (AP/Politico, 10/31).

Koster, who has long opposed abortion rights, was asked at a fundraiser if there are any instances in which he believes abortion should be permitted. "When a mother's life is in danger, ... I'm not going to make that decision," he said, adding, "Incest is so rare." He said that on "the rape thing," he knows a woman who became pregnant through rape and chose adoption.

He continued, "But, on the rape thing, it's like, how does putting more violence on a woman's body and taking the life of an innocent child, that's a consequence of this crime. How does that make it better?" (Connelly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10/31).

The audio was released by the liberal activist group Fuse Washington (Kaminsky, Reuters, 11/1).

Reaction

Sara Kiesler of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest said, "There are far too many extreme politicians out there that are trying to be involved in a woman's personal medical decisions about her pregnancy" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10/31).

Meanwhile, Larry Stickney, Koster's campaign manager, noted that the audio was secretly recorded, adding that it was "edited to suit [Democratic candidate Suzan] DelBene's agenda" (Reuters, 11/1). Stickney said, "To imply that he's cavalier about the issue [of rape] is preposterous" (AP/Politico, 10/31).