Debate, controversy over abortion rights continues

4:23 PM, Aug 28, 2012   |    comments
Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Tom Smith, who opposes abortion rights even in cases of rape or incest, on Monday was asked what he would say if his daughter or granddaughter became pregnant as a result of rape.
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

 


 


(CBS News) It's been more than a week since Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin's controversial remarks over rape and abortion were thrust into the national spotlight, but the controversy isn't fading away just yet.

Another Republican Senate candidate on Monday walked into similarly controversial remarks, seemingly comparing an unwanted pregnancy resulting from premarital sex to one conceived through rape. Meanwhile, an anti-abortion rights group announced Tuesday a six-figure television ad campaign, starting in Akin's state, to highlight President Obama's record on the issue of abortion.

Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Tom Smith, who opposes abortion rights even in cases of rape or incest, on Monday was asked what he would say if his daughter or granddaughter became pregnant as a result of rape.

Smith said he had "lived something similar to that with my own family, and she chose life." He was quick to add, "Don't get me wrong, it wasn't rape," and he later clarified he meant "having a baby out of wedlock."

Asked whether he meant to compare the two situations, Smith said "No, no, no," but then added, "But, well, put yourself in a father's position. Yes, I mean, it is similar."

Smith later emphatically said he was not comparing pregnancy from rape to pregnancy from sex out of wedlock. His office said in a statement that Smith's initial remarks were "less than artful, [but] at no time did he draw the comparison that some have inferred... Tom was speaking to the difficult decision faced by his family, not the nature of his daughters conception."

While Republicans have for the most part tried to move on from Todd Akin's initial remarks, at least one conservative group is taking this moment to slam Mr. Obama on the issue of abortion.

The conservative Susan B. Anthony List launched a $150,000 television ad campaign Tuesday, starting with an ad in Akin's home state of Missouri featuring "abortion survivor" Melissa Ohden.

"I was aborted, and my body discarded, like I didn't exist," Ohden says in the ad. "But a nurse heard me crying and cared enough to save my life."

The ad attacks Mr. Obama for voting against bills in the Illinois state Senate that would have bolstered already-existing rules protecting infants that survived an intended abortion.

Stephanie Condon, CBS News

Most Watched Videos