Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) had a Todd Akin moment of his very own Thursday night when he said “advances in science and technology” have eliminated risks for pregnant mothers and therefore done away with the need for abortion exceptions.
“There’s no such exception as life of the mother,” Walsh said after a debate with Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth in Chicago. “And as far as health of the mother, same thing. With advances in science and technology, health of the mother has become a tool for abortions any time, under any reason.”
Asked if he believes there is never a medical need to perform an abortion to save a mother’s life, Walsh said, “Absolutely.”
In August, Rep. Todd Akin (R), who is running for the U.S. Senate in Missouri, set off a national firestorm when he told a TV station that women have biological defenses to prevent pregnancy after what he described as “legitimate rape.” The comment has been a black eye on the Akin campaign and drew wide criticism at the time from his Republican colleagues. He later apologized.
After Akin’s comment, however, Walsh came to the embattled Senate candidate’s defense. While he labeled Akin’s comments “offensive, insulting and wrong,” Walsh said he was troubled by their fellow Republicans piling on. “And I’m bothered by the silence of members of our own party to stand up for him.”
A recent poll from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling shows Duckworth, a veteran of the Iraq war, leading Walsh in the race for Illinois’ 8th congressional district 52 percent to 38 percent.
Watch Walsh’s press conference after the debate, via WTTW’s Chicago Tonight:
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com