Rep. Joe Walsh made waves this week when he asserted at a debate that medical advancements made it unnecessary for an exception to abortion laws for the health of the mother, and, after taking heat in the nationwide media, his campaign has officially backed off those comments.
During a debate with Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Joe Walsh had said that he was “pro-life without exception,” ABC OTUS News noted. He added that he didn’t believe abortion should even be allowed to save the life of the mother as there were no real instances where this would be necessary.
On Friday, a day after the debate and after a whirlwind of negative media attention, the office for Rep. Joe Walsh issued a statement clarifying his stance on abortion.
“Let me very clear [sic] that when I say I am pro-life, I mean that I am pro-life for the mother and I am pro-life for the unborn child. For me, there is no distinction between the two,” Walsh said.
In a reversal of his earlier stance, Rep. Joe Walsh then said he does think abortion should be allowed in the “very rare” case where “both mother and baby will die if the baby is not aborted.”
But as he went on further, Walsh seemed to contradict himself, ABC OTUS News noted.
Rep. Joe Walsh wrote:
“While, I do not support abortion, I do of course support medical procedures for women during their pregnancies that might result in the loss of the unborn child. When such an occurrence takes place, that decision on whether to perform that procedure is a very difficult one and one that should be left up to the mother and her family.”
Duckworth also jumped on the opening left by Rep. Joe Walsh, issuing a statement of her own:
“I fully support a woman’s right to control her own body. I do not support any further restrictions beyond the framework established by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey on a woman’s right to choose or her access to safe, affordable reproductive health services. I trust that women will make the right decisions for themselves and their families in consultation with their own medical and religious advisers. I believe that all Americans are afforded a right to privacy and the right to make personal decisions about their health care without coercion.”
Rep. Joe Walsh’s reversal may be too little too late, CNN noted. The outrage over his comments has spilled over into the national media, though polling has yet to show if it will affect his race at all.