Tom Smith, the Republican candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania, said on Monday that the decision to abort an unwanted pregnancy resulting from rape is the same as one conceived out of wedlock, reports The Washington Post.
Smith made the remark while defending his 'no exceptions' policy to abortion. He was asked how he would defend keeping the baby if a daughter or granddaughter were to become pregnant as a result of rape. Smith told the Washington Post that his daughter went through “something similar” to rape when she had a baby out of wedlock.
“I lived something similar to that with my own family, and she chose the life, and I commend her for that,” Smith said. He confirmed that his daughter was not raped. “She knew my views, but fortunately for me ... she chose the way I thought.”
When questioned how that is similar to rape, The Huffington Post reports Smith said, "Put yourself in a father's position. Yes, it is similar."
Smith is challenging Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, who also opposes abortion. His comments are the latest in a string of controversial comments from Republicans surrounding rape and abortion.
It may cause more headaches for the GOP after the scandal surrounding Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri's comments claiming pregancy is rarely the result of "legitimate rape". Akin incorrectly that claimed a woman's body can shut down conception of an unwanted pregnancy.
Pennsylvania newspaper The Morning Call reports that Smith distanced himself from Akin's comments after an appearance at a Pennsylvania Press Club.
"My stance is on the record, and it's very simplistic. I'm pro-life, period," Smith told The Morning Call. "What that congressman [Akin] said, I do not agree with at all. He should have never said anything like that."