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August 17, 2019
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Steve King under fire for questioning if humanity would exist without ‘rape and incest’

Steve King under fire for questioning if humanity would exist without 'rape and incest'

Steve King

Rep. Steve King faced calls to resign from prominent Democrats after saying the human population may not have existed without rape and incest. | Joshua Lott/Getty Images

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Updated


Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on Wednesday said the human population may not exist if not for rape and incest, drawing scorn — and renewed calls for resignation — from scores of Democrats.

King, who was speaking at an event in Urbandale, Iowa, was intending to make the case for a GOP policy that bans nearly all abortions, including in cases when the woman is a victim of rape or incest.

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“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?” King said, according to the Des Moines Register, which first reported the comments.

“Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can’t say that I was not a part of a product of that,” King continued.

Democrats in Congress and on the 2020 campaign trail said the comments amounted to excusing violence against women and disregarding the victims of rape and incest.

GOP leaders, so far, have not commented, though King’s primary challenger was quick to condemn the remarks as “bizarre comments and behavior.”

“I am 100% pro-life but Steve King’s bizarre comments and behavior diminish our message & damage our cause. Trump needs defenders in Congress, not distractions,” Iowa State Sen. Randy Feenstra wrote on Twitter.

King’s comments to the Westside Conservative Club add to a long legacy of contentious and insensitive remarks, some of which have drawn fire from leaders of his own party. The Iowa Republican was stripped of his committee assignments this year after noting to the New York Times that white supremacy has become an offensive term.

King’s Democratic challenger, J.D. Scholten, who lost to King by roughly 3 percentage points last fall, swiftly condemned the lawmaker’s “selfish, hateful ideology.”

“Excusing violence — in any way — is entirely unacceptable,” Scholten said in a statement. “His comments are disrespectful to survivors and don’t reflect Iowan values.”

Several Democratic presidential candidates, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey, and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigeig, called for King to resign.

Several others, including former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is also seeking the nomination for president, called for a flood of donations to Scholten, tweeting out the link to a fundraising page.

Democratic lawmakers, too, reacted fiercely to King’s latest controversy.

“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,” freshman Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa) wrote on Twitter. “He doesn’t represent who we are & he continues to be an embarrassment to our state & federal delegation.”



https://www.politico.com/story/2019/08/14/steve-king-1463539

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