Anti-choice politicians have been struggling recently to properly define reproductive terms. Missouri Rep. Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” moment was followed by a number of politicians and activists explaining that for the “baby” involved, it’s all the same when it comes to the “means of conception.”
Presumably, that was the point that Pennsylvania senate candidate Tom Smith was going for when he tried to tell reporters he understood how challenging it would be to tell a rape victim to carry a pregnancy to term, since he had to do the same thing when his daughter got pregnant and wasn’t married.
Robert Vickers, Patriot News: In light of Congressman Akin’s comments, is there any situation that you think a woman should have access to an abortion?
Tom Smith: My stance is on record and it’s very simplistic: I’m pro-life, period. And what that Congressman said, I do not agree with at all. He should have never said anything like that.
Vickers: So in cases of incest or rape…
Laura Olson, Post-Gazette: No exceptions?
Smith: No exceptions.
Mark Scolforo, Associated Press: How would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will? Do you have a way to explain that?
Smith: I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to.. she chose they way I thought. No don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.
Scolforo: Similar how?
Smith: Uh, having a baby out of wedlock.
Scolforo: That’s similar to rape?
Smith: No, no, no, but… put yourself in a father’s situation, yes. It is similar. But, back to the original, I’m pro-life, period.
Smith tried to clarify that he was saying a life is a life, regardless of its “method of conception.” But it kinda came across as suggesting that his property had gotten “soiled” and his daughter’s role in the whole thing affected him the same way as if she had been raped. And it seems “fortunately” for him, his daughter chose the “right” thing in a difficult situation so he did’nt have to be made to feel uncomfortable. Never mind how she felt one way or the other.