Republican Representative Joe Walsh (IL) spoke during a televised debate on Thursday, stating that he is opposed to abortion under any circumstance.
While this is similar to the Republican Party’s national platform, Walsh went further by saying that abortion shouldn’t be an option even to save the life of the mother, reports NPR. Walsh stated:
“I’m pro life without exception. Understand though, that when we talk about exceptions, we talk about rape, incest, health of a woman, life of a woman. Life of the woman is not an exception.”
Walsh’s Democratic opponent, Tammy Duckworth, immediately denounced Representative Joe Walsh’s comments, saying that the Republican representative would let a woman die before allowing her access to abortion. Walsh countered that her comments were not fair but was not given more time to explain himself. He did, however, explain himself to reporters after the debate, telling CNN:
“This is an issue that opponents of life throw out there to make us look unreasonable. There’s no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing, with advances in science and technology. Health of the mother has been, has become a tool for abortions any time under any reason.”
Representative Walsh has already made headlines during this year’s campaign when he criticized his opponent for talking too much about her military service on the campaign trail. His opponent, Tammy Duckworth, was a Black Hawk helicopter pilot in Iraq. She lost both legs and the use of one arm when her crew was shot down in 2004. She was later awarded the Purple Heart for her service.
When asked by reporters following the debate if his comments meant he thought it was never medically necessary for a woman to have an abortion to save her life, Joe Walsh stated, “Absolutely.” He explained, “With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance. There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as the health of the mother, same thing.”
Walsh’s biological knowledge of women’s reproductive health is incorrect, according to statistics from the National Institutes of Health. One life-threatening risk that women may face during pregnancy is an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fetus forms outside the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy can “occur in 1 in every 40 to 1 in every 100 pregnancies.
What do you think of Representative Joe Walsh’s comments that a woman’s life is not in danger when she is pregnant, making the “life of a woman” argument for abortion invalid?