Liberal site: media twisted Rep. King’s abortion comments to keep Akin ‘legitimate rape’ story going

The Iowa pro-life congressman never suggested a girl cannot get pregnant from rape, a liberal website states.
Wed Aug 22, 2012 - 3:38 pm EST

DES MOINES, August 22, 2012, ( – Shortly after Rep. Todd Akin put his foot in his mouth with his “legitimate rape” comment, the media jumped on another statement on the subject by one of his colleagues, Republican Rep. Steve King. But in the media firestorm over King’s comments the Iowa pro-lifer has an unusual defender: an ultra-liberal website in his home state, Ames Progressive, which is reporting that the media have taken King’s response completely out of context.

KMEG reporter Heather Leigh had asked King if the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” would exclude funding for a hypothetical 12-year-old victim of statutory rape.

“Well, I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King replied, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”

Republican Congressman Steve King speaks at the 2012 March for Life in Washington, D.C. SOURCE: Congressman King's Flickr page

In response, the liberal website Talking Points Memo claimed King had endorsed the theory that rape victims cannot get pregnant. Soon media outlets from The Washington Post to Politico reported the exchange with the same slant.

The Ames Progressive posted the full context of the question and its response, coming to a more honest, if less politically advantageous, conclusion.

“King was not suggesting he believed girls can’t get pregnant from statutory rape, but that he hasn’t spoken to anyone who has and would be willing to hear their case for keeping federal funds for this type of abortion,” the website stated.

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The comments caused an uproar just days after Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin said that pregnancy is rare in cases of “legitimate rape.” Despite national pressure to step aside, Akin, who has a spotless pro-life voting record, has vowed to remain in the race

King spokeswoman Brittany Lesser said the Congressman had only said he did not know anyone who had become pregnant through rape “personally.” He was not questioning that such pregnancies can or do occur.

“The liberal press and their allies have again twisted my words,” King said in a media statement. “I never said, nor do I believe, a woman, including minors, cannot get pregnant from rape, statutory rape or incest. Suggesting otherwise is ridiculous, shameful, disgusting and nothing but an attempt to falsely define who I am.”

However, the congressman’s opponents, including his Democratic challenger Christie Vilsack and the state’s pro-abortion movement, were quick to accuse him of ignorance.

“Rep. Steve King is spreading misinformation and inaccurate figures to support his extreme ideological views against abortion,” said Jill June, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

King has sharply criticized the nearly half-a-billion dollars in federal funding that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of abortion, receives each year.

His full comments in context are:

Leigh: You support the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act that would provide federal funding for abortion to a person who has been forcibly raped, but what if someone isn’t forcibly raped, for example a 12-year-old who gets pregnant? Should she have to bring this baby to full term?

King: Well, I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way, and I’d be open to hearing discussion about that subject matter. Generally speaking, it’s this: That there are millions of abortions in this country every year, and millions of them are paid for, at least in part, by taxpayers. I think it’s immoral of us to compel conscientious objecting taxpayers to fund abortion through the federal government, or any other government for that matter. So that’s my stand, and if there are exceptions there, then bring me those exceptions and let’s talk about it. But in the meantime, it’s wrong for us to compel pro-life people to pay taxes to fund abortion.”

A full video of the question and answer is available here.

  media bias, rape, steve king, todd akin

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