Our View: Choosing words more wisely

DKS Editors

In Tuesday’s debate between Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock and Rep. Joe Donnelly, both vying for a U.S. Senate seat, conversation turned to controversy.

During the final minutes of the debate, Mourdock faced the question of whether abortion should be allowed in cases of incest or rape.

He responded: “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that 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.”

The comments came just two days after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney officially endorsed Mourdock in a TV ad and a couple of months after Rep. Todd Akin’s controversial comments about “legitimate rape.” Also a few months before, though much less in the media, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, when asked where he specifically stands on the abortion issue, said, “The method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.”

While we recognize everyone’s right to individual beliefs, we think the comments are heinous and clueless. The acts of rape or incest can leave long-lasting, traumatic stress on the victims for the rest of their lives. And if pregnancy occurred because of those acts, it would be a lasting reminder of the distressing crime.

We believe women who so unfortunately are the victims of rape or incest have the right to an abortion if those acts resulted in pregnancy.

After Mourdock made those statements, he attempted to clarify them in a press release.

“God creates life, and that was my point,” he said. “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.”

But the fact is, the media was not twisting his words. They were reporting them as he said them. Mourdock supports all life as a gift from God. He does not believe mothers who conceive children from rape or incest should have the option of abortion. And when asked in a later news conference if pregnancy after rape was God’s plan, Mourdock responded:

“I believe God controls the universe. I don’t believe biology works in an uncontrolled fashion.”

So while Mourdock may continue to argue his statements were twisted, we will continue to argue his statements were unacceptable and clueless.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.