DES MOINES — Republican Congressman Steve King Friday afternoon said he wishes he had phrased a recent statement about abortion differently, but he said the statement “was objectively honest and accurate.”
Two weeks ago, King told a central Iowa group that given “all the rape and pillage” over the centuries, there might not be any population of the world left if all the “products of rape and incest” were removed from “all the family trees.” King hosted a news conference in Des Moines to discuss the topic.
“I would point out that genealogists have contacted me and said that’s 100% correct,” King said. “I’d rather deliver that in a little softer way, though.”
King said the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” carries that message, as an angel showed the film’s main character what life in his community would have been like had he not been born. King was joined at the news conference by a handful of people who, like King, support an abortion ban without exceptions for rape and incest. “Save the 1” president Rebecca Kiesling thanked King for his comments and accused King’s critics of classifying those who are conceived in rape as she was as “sub-human.”
“You just throw it around like it’s some kind of political game and you throw out these headlines like it’s a frickin’ joke. It’s not. You’re talking about real people, about our lives and you’re so callous and flippant,” Kiesling said. “And I am so grateful that there are others who are willing to put themselves out there when they don’t have a personal stake go like I do.”
Personhood Iowa executive director Tim Overlin said King is among the few politicians who have “gone to the wall” on the abortion issue.
“If we’re not going to back them up, then I don’t know how we can expect them to keep fighting against the folks in and outside of the party,” Overlin said.
Tamara Scott, host of a program called “Truth for Our Time” on YouTube, said the evidence of rape and incest is destroyed if there’s an abortion.
“Crimes go unnoticed, criminals go unpunished, predators run free, women and children remain in danger,” Scott said. “..The media and lawmakers have it within their means to put an end to this tragedy.”
Scott is also the Iowa Republican Party’s National Committeewoman and a lobbyist for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, but Scott said she was not at the news conference to endorse King or get involved in King’s Republican Primary. Three Republicans in the fourth congressional district are challenging King’s bid for a 10th term in the U.S. House.