In another string of controversial comments from the conservatives, Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith said on Monday that there is no difference between being impregnated out of wedlock or due to rape as he defended his position on rejecting abortion in all cases.
Tom Smith, challenger Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, was asked how he would defend keeping a baby if his own daughter were to get pregnant due to the result of a rape. Smith said that he sees no difference between a pregnancy due to rape and the one his own daughter experienced when she conceived without being tied in the wedlock.
“I lived something similar to that with my own family, and she chose the life, and I commend her for that,” Smith said to reporters at the Pennsylvania Press Club, according to Bloomberg Business Week. “She chose the way I thought.”
A week back, Missouri congressman Todd Akin attracted criticism from the Democrats when he made a similar statement. Akin later on apologized for saying that women have a natural biological defense against getting pregnant because of rape.
On a followup question, Smith tired to clarify his statement, saying that he was not comparing pregnancy due to rape or the one out of wedlock. "No, no, no, but, well, put your self in a father's position. Yes, I mean, it is similar, this isn't, but I'm back to the original, I'm pro-life — period," he said.
Asked to elaborate, he replied, "I'm not going to argue about the method of conception. It's a life, and I'm pro-life. It's that simple."
Drawing media and Democratic criticism, his communication director, Megan Piwowar, was quick to issue a statement, saying that while the senate candidate’s answer might not have been very artful, at no point during his talk with the media did he try to draw any comparison that some might have inferred.
“Tom Smith is committed to protecting the sanctity of life and believes it begins at conception," Piwowar said. “When questioned if he was drawing that comparison, Tom’s answer was clear, ‘No, no, no.’”
A poll released yesterday shows that Casey leads Smith by 19 percentage points. Meanwhile, Republicans gathered at the Party’s National Convention in Tampa, Florida, insist that the November general election will focus on economy and jobs and not on social issues like abortion or gay rights.