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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

October 31, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Koster draws fire over comments about abortion, “the rape thing”

Republican congressional candidate
John Koster

Congressional candidate John Koster has been very squeamish in recent weeks when talking publicly about his views on abortion. The Republican is a longtime foe of abortion rights, but on a KING-TV appearance he sidestepped questions about how he would vote, saying he would uphold the current law.

“My personal beliefs are my personal beliefs on abortion,” heĀ told Robert Mak on Up Front.

But Fuse Washington, a liberal organization based in Seattle, secretly audio-taped Koster speaking frankly about abortion over the weekend at an Everett fundraiser. They say his comments are “disturbing.”

On the tape, an activist with Fuse asks Koster whether there is any situation in which he would “agree” with abortion. He responds that he would make an exception for the life of the mother, but not for rape or incest, and describes his thinking in detail, using the phrase, “the rape thing” twice.

“Incest is so rare, I mean it’s so rare. But the rape thing, you know, I know a woman who was raped and kept the child, gave it up for adoption and doesn’t regret it. In fact, she’s a big pro-life proponent. But, on the rape thing it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s a consequence of this crime, how does that make it better?”

The activist says, “Yeah, but she has to live with the consequences of that crime.”

And Koster responds, “Yeah, I know. I know crime has consequences, but how does it make it better by killing a child?”

Koster’s campaign manager, Larry Stickney, said the candidate has nothing to hide.

“Consider that John was at a dinner with many people trying to get his attention, yet his words were still thoughtful and heartfelt,” Stickney said. “He very clearly and honestly stated his thoughts on an extremely sensitive subject. He has nothing to be ashamed of here.”

0 Comments | More in homepage, Politics Northwest, U.S. House of Representatives | Topics: abortion, John Koster, rape

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