Rep. Steve King on abortion stance: We're all products of rape and incest

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, on Wednesday offered a unique justification for opposing any exceptions to an abortion ban: that rape and incest have been common throughout history and have made decisive contributions to the human population.

“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest?” King asked while speaking to a group of conservatives in Urbandale, Iowa. “Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?”

King’s comments were first reported by the Des Moines Register.

“Considering all the wars and all the rape and pillage that’s taken place and whatever happened throughout culture and society, all these different nations,” King continued, “I know I can’t certify that I was not a part of a product of that.”

Casting abortion as a form of punishment for the unborn, he added: “It’s not the baby’s fault for the sin of the father, or of the mother.”

Rep. Steve King (AP photo/Charlie Neibergall)

King, who represents Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District, has a long history of stirring controversy.

In an interview with the New York Times in January, King lamented that “white supremacy” and “white nationalism” are now considered “offensive” terms, which led the Republican leadership to suspend his committee assignments for two years. The House also passed a resolution condemning white supremacy and white nationalism the same month.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., whose comments about Israel prompted a similar House resolution against hate, pounced on King’s latest remarks. Omar has been the target of rumors spread by her political opponents — and President Trump — that she married her brother, a claim she has dismissed.

Democrats — including presidential candidates such as former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — urged their supporters to donate to J.D. Scholten, who launched a campaign to unseat King earlier this month.

“Steve King is a racist, a misogynist and a disgrace to the country,” Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted. “He should not be a member of the United States Congress.”

The 70-year-old King, who has served in the U.S. House since 2003, is also facing a primary challenge from state Sen. Randy Feenstra. King suggested the publication of the Times interview was timed to coincide with Feenstra’s campaign launch, which was announced the day before.

“People think it was an organic media feeding frenzy,” King said Wednesday. “But no, it was orchestrated from the beginning.”

In 2017, King faced a backlash for sharing on Twitter a political cartoon featuring the far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders plugging a hole in the wall protecting “Western Civilization” as a flood of water bearing the star-and-crescent symbol of Islam comes crashing over the top.

“Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny,” King tweeted in a message accompanying the cartoon. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

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