Representative Steve King Asks, If Not For Rape And Incest, Would There Be Any Population Left?

King made the comments at a meeting of conservatives in Iowa.

steve king addresses a crowd in iowa
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King made the comments at a meeting of conservatives in Iowa.

Iowa Representative Steve King spoke to a group of Iowa conservatives on Wednesday, and he rhetorically asked the crowd if there would be any population left if not for rape and incest, Yahoo News reports.

King was speaking to the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa, when he addressed the subject of his stance on abortion legislation. King is reportedly anti-abortion and has tried to pass anti-abortion legislation that didn’t include exceptions for victims of rape or incest. He purportedly told the crowd that the population of the Earth would be a lot lower were it not for rape and incest.

“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?” he asked.

King then went on to say that history is filled with wars and conquests, during which invaders raped the enemy’s women, and that there’s no guarantee that there isn’t such a conception in his own family tree.

“It’s not the baby’s fault for the sin of the father, or of the mother,” he said.

Even in states with the most restrictive abortion laws, exceptions are usually made for rape or incest. As Missouri Right To Life notes on its website, such exceptions are sometimes necessary to get any anti-abortion legislation passed.

“[We]will sometimes be compelled to tolerate the addition of a rape or incest exception to a measure in order to obtain more protection for the unborn than now exists,” the advocacy group writes.

Recently, however, several states have passed restrictive abortion laws. In at least one case — that of Alabama — there are no exceptions for rape or incest.

King’s remarks are only a few hours old, and already he’s taking flack for them, Politico reports. For example, Iowa Republican Andy Feenstra tweeted that King’s comments are “bizarre.”

“I am 100% pro-life but Steve King’s bizarre comments and behavior diminish our message & damage our cause,” Feenstra wrote.

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Similarly, J.D. Scholten, who challenged King for his Senate seat last fall, said King’s remarks represent “selfish, hateful ideology.”

“Excusing violence — in any way — is entirely unacceptable,” he said in a statement.

Abby Finkenauer, an Iowa Democrat, called King an “embarrassment” to Iowa.

“This is incredibly cruel & disrespectful to survivors. Steve King & his values, his rhetoric, & his disdain for decency is a far cry from the Iowa I know,” she tweeted.