GOP candidate says 'life' exception 'a tool for abortions'
October 19th, 2012
08:32 AM ET
1 year ago

GOP candidate says 'life' exception 'a tool for abortions'

(CNN) – Rep. Joe Walsh, a Republican engaged in a heated battle for re-election in Illinois against Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, questioned Thursday the necessity of allowing abortions if a mother's life is at risk, saying such an exemption to an abortion ban was simply a tool by pro-choice activists.

Speaking after a debate with his opponent, Walsh seemed to suggest medical advances made dangerous pregnancies rare.

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"This is an issue that opponents of life throw out there to make us look unreasonable," Walsh said. "There's no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing, with advances in science and technology. Health of the mother has been, has become a tool for abortions any time under any reason."

Walsh and his Democratic opponent Duckworth made headlines earlier this year as Walsh, a first-term congressman elected with wide tea party support, sharply criticized Duckworth for talking too much about her military service on the campaign trail.

A Black Hawk helicopter pilot in Iraq, Duckworth lost both legs and the use of one arm when her crew was shot down in 2004. She was later awarded the Purple Heart and continues to serve as a lieutenant colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard.

The question of when to allow exceptions to a ban on abortion sprung up in August when Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri said pregnancies rarely resulted in cases of "legitimate rape."

Democrats slammed Akin for the remarks, and some national Republicans, including GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, encouraged Akin to withdraw from his Senate bid.


Filed under: Abortion • Joe Walsh
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. vmag

    Yeah, and Akins said that rape doesn't lead to pregnancy. In the first place, Repugnants don't want poor people to have access to health care anyway, so they won't be able to get treatment for a dangerous pregnancy under their rule. They also won't be allowed abortions, so mortality will increase for pregnant women. If you're poor, the R's are fine with you dying in pain. Despite all their "Christian" rhetoric, they care nothing for the poor. They actually hate the poor and the middle class, and they demonstrate that fact daily.

    October 19, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  2. Jimm

    Wonder why this guy is losing.

    October 19, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  3. nilla

    "opponents of life"

    Give me a break. How do some of these people (on either side) get elected?

    October 19, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  4. Malory Archer

    You lie!

    October 19, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  5. tee1227

    Listen up Women this is what the Republican stand for they are not gonna change,

    October 19, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  6. nintex

    This creep has to go! Come on, Illinois, vote this guy out. Vote early and vote straight Democratic!!

    October 19, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    The social issues are not going to win this election. Indeed the country is not going to tolerate any effort to change the abortion laws, whatsoever.

    He has to run on something other than THAT!

    October 19, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    Whatever, Joe Walsh. Thank God you won't be making anymore congressional decisions on my behalf after this election.

    October 19, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  9. Wes B.

    Is this guy for real?

    October 19, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  10. Anonymous

    he is apparently opposed to the LIFE of the mother...amazing what comes out of their mouths.

    October 19, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    What about the lives of his own children, that he owes 117K in back child support? He seemed to have found an exception in the case of them and his ex-wife: its called being a deadbeat dad.

    October 19, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  12. Lionel

    Did he have a binder full of women to back up his claim?

    People please vote out these Tea Party loonies and move our great country FOWARD...

    October 19, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. g

    same old,same old all they think about is abortion

    October 19, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. Bill

    He is gone on November 6, thank goodness.

    October 19, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. MaryM

    American have had Enough of the tea people. Vote the tea people out of office before they completely destroy this great country.

    October 19, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  16. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He's not willing to have the current life preserved? This strikes me as someone who doesn't care about the living. I don't understand how he can call this a reasonable stand.

    As to his comments of his opponent talking about her military record too much just shows that he doesn't like something patriotic aired if it doesn't help him.

    October 19, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  17. PAMITCH

    How has the GOP let their base go so far right. Not worried about the life of the mother, but I bet he's pro-death penalty. Can you spell IRONY?

    October 19, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. BigTBone

    This guy is a dirtbag of epic proportions. I hope Tammy crushes him and he's left in the political dust.

    Get these nuts out of office!

    October 19, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    Joe Walsh and Mitt Romney are cut from the same cloth. Do and say anything to get campaign dollars and votes. Both worship at the alter of greed and power. Beyond that, nothing much inside of either of them morally to speak of.

    October 19, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. Pander Bear

    So says the man who has welshed on his child support responsibilities for his own children. What a defender of kids!

    October 19, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. vic , nashville ,tn

    When you running against woman candidate don’t talk about women issues

    October 19, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  22. TAK

    Yeah we in Illinois know that Joe Walsh is not the brightest representative in the House, but in this case he has carefully researched the basis for his medical expertise by consulting the works of a noted medical expert from Missouri ... Todd Akin!

    October 19, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. NEVER to VOTE REPUBLICAN again

    Please VOTE HIM OUT dear people of IL!
    xo Woman of MN

    October 19, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. Mack

    These clowns want to bring us back to pre-Civil War times.

    October 19, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  25. rs

    The GOP is all for life, from the door handle of the bedroom, right up until birth- then you are unworthy of their attention- they are destroying education, wellness programs, they hate teachers and "public" schools (ooooh! Socialism), the poor kids and families, the elderly. Nope, not for the GOP they are the 47%. They aren't swayed by the New Testament. Generally unless you get born into wealth- the GOP simply doesn't care. Zygotes however can legally trump their mother.

    These folks are hypocritical fools.

    October 19, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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