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Pregnancies Due To Rape Were Something ‘God Intended To Happen’: US Republican Senate Candidate

“I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” Richard Mourdock said.

WASHINGTON – US Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock drew fire late on Tuesday after saying that pregnancies caused by rape were “something God intended to happen” while defending his opposition to abortion.

Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney was quick to distance himself from the gaffe as Democrats pounced, sensing an opening to brand him as an extremist among vital women voters less than two weeks ahead of election day.

Speaking at a Senate debate, Mourdock said he believed life begins at conception and opposed abortion in all cases except when the mother’s life was in danger.

“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize 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,” he said.

Indiana Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker quickly responded, issuing a statement saying that “as a pro-life Catholic, I’m stunned and ashamed that Richard Mourdock believes God intended rape.

“Victims of rape are victims of an extremely violent act, and mine is not a violent God. Do we need any more proof that Richard Mourdock is an extremist who’s out of touch with Hoosiers?” he asked, referring to Indiana natives.

Romney’s campaign moved to distance him from the remarks, with spokeswoman Andrea Saul saying “Governor Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments, and they do not reflect his views.”

Romney has said he opposes abortion except in cases of rape or incest, or to save the mother’s life. The exchange threatened to put the divisive issue of abortion front and center in the closely-fought presidential race.

President Barack Obama has long accused Romney and other Republicans of having extreme views on abortion and other women’s rights, and the Democratic National Committee quickly moved to link Romney to Mourdock.

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