Abortion question captures spotlight
Republican state treasurer Richard Mourdock incited national attention in Tuesday’s U.S. Senate debate when he said he does not accept rape as an excuse for abortion.
Even pregnancies from rape are the will of God, Mourdock said.
“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said. “And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
U.S. Senate candidates Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd District, Mourdock and Libertarian candidate Andrew Horning participated in Indiana’s final U.S. Senate debate last night at IU-Southeast New Albany. The event was moderated by Dennis Ryerson from the Indiana Debate Commission Board.
The question of abortion was one of several questions posed by voters across the state.
Mourdock said he believes the only time an abortion should occur is when the mother’s life is at risk. Following the debate, Mourdock said it was “sick” and “bizarre” that anyone would believe he said God intended the rape, according to the Indianapolis Star. He said regardless of the circumstances, God created the life.
Indiana Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker, a self-proclaimed pro-life Catholic, said he is ashamed Mourdock believes God intended rape.
“Victims of rape are victims of an extremely violent act, and mine is not a violent God,” Parker said. “Do we need any more proof that Richard Mourdock is an extremist who’s out of touch with Hoosiers?”
All three candidates declared themselves pro-life, but Donnelly said he considered rape and incest legitimate exceptions. Horning said he considered abortion a state matter.
“As a federal legislator, there isn’t that much that I can do,” Horning said.
The debate began with a question regarding foreign policy.
“The greatest threat to our national security is our national debt,” Mourdock said.
Mourdock and Donnelly agreed that the U.S. should stand by Israel and ensure Iran does not attain nuclear weapons.
Horning said he would support a non-interference strategy to foreign policy.
During the Lincoln-Douglas portion, each candidate was invited to pose a question. Mourdock brought up the topic of health care, criticizing Donnelly for casting the deciding vote on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or what he referred to as “the greatest tax intrusion and intrusion on American liberty in history.”
Donnelly responded by claiming that Mourdock plans to give $716 billion in tax breaks instead of investing it in care for senior citizens.
Throughout the debate, Donnelly’s statements contained themes of bipartisanship. Multiple times, he said Mourdock told media outlets he enjoys “inflicting his opinion on other people.”
“I love to get people to think about these issues,” Mourdock said, responding to Donnelly. “It’s important stuff. This is the future of our country.”
Horning said he disapproves of the two-party system.
“The solution is pretty much me,” he said. “There comes a time when you need to kill the monster. You don’t need to keep feeding it.”
About the question of gay marriage, both Donnelly and Mourdock said they agreed “marriage is between a man and a woman.”
In his closing statement, Donnelly said he was proud to have helped create “$2.4 trillion in spending cuts” and said he stood by Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and the people of Indiana.
“The wisdom does not come from Washington,” Donnelly said. “There’s a whole lot more wisdom in Indiana.”
Mourdock said he pledged to stand by his principles and said Donnelly did the exact opposite when he voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, he joined Donnelly in giving a nod to his fellow Hoosiers.
“We need to make Washington work like Indiana,” Mourdock said.
Horning gave his closing remarks by vowing to stand by the Constitution at all costs.
“We have screwed up everything,” he said. “We had something special in this country and I want it back.”
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