Smith, who is challenging Sen. Bob Casey, D-Penn., made the remarks during an interview with the Associated Press. Smith was asked by reporter Mark Scolforo what Smith would do if his daughter or granddaughter was raped, and became pregnant.
SMITH: I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to.. she chose they way I thought. No don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.
SCOLFORO: Similar how?
SMITH: Uh, having a baby out of wedlock.
SCOLFORO: That’s similar to rape?
SMITH: No, no, no, but… put yourself in a father’s situation, yes. It is similar.But, back to the original, I’m pro-life, period.
Smith didn’t explain why a father would view his daughter becoming pregnant out of wedlock similarly to the way he’d view his daughter being raped; one involves one’s daughter being assaulted, and one doesn’t. Most fathers would view those situations as being rather different.
Smith’s statement is another disastrous comment from a Republican candidate. Earlier in August, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., said that women could not become pregnant if they were the victim of “legitimate” rape. Akin later said he misspoke, and that he was referring to “forcible” rape. Akin co-sponsored legislation with GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan that would have barred federal funding for abortion unless the rape was “forcible,” potentially eliminating funding in cases of statutory rape and rape through coercion.
Smith’s statement will likely put the focus back on the Republican platform, which would ban abortion in all cases, including in cases of rape and incest. If there’s a silver lining for Republicans, it’s that Smith is unlikely to cost them a senate seat. Smith has been widely expected to lose badly to Casey, who is himself anti-choice.
Image Credit: Tom Smith for Senate
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