Americans are disgusted by Rep. Steve King’s comments about denying abortion to rape victims, but King openly stated what the GOP has endorsed for years: that rape victims should carry their rapist’s child. And there is no greater proponent of this extreme philosophy than NJ’s congressman Chris Smith.
Smith tried to ban federal funding for all abortion in 1985, and with 177 GOP cosposnors tried to redefine rape as “forcible rape” in his 2011 bill HR3. (This would mean that rape wasn’t “real” unless a victim was beaten, and that statutory rape didn’t count).
Smith will cite rape exceptions in the Hyde amendment as cover. However, he has never disavowed his no-exceptions legislation, and only dropped the “forcible” from HR3 after public backlash.
When abortion bans without rape exceptions swept through statehouses, (and were introduced in NJ) this spring, Smith - head of the Congressional “pro-life” caucus - was silent. Why didn’t Smith want to distance himself from the “carry your rapist’s child” crowd?
Further, groups integral to Smith’s career and who contribute to his campaigns, like the Family Research Council, March for Life, Operation Rescue, and Priests for Life, (who employ Smith’s wife Marie, and who he has praised from the House floor,) signed a letter urging Republicans to eliminate rape exceptions and pursue total abortion bans.
While Smith is more careful when he speaks, his record and associations show that like King, he believes rape victims should carry their rapist’s child. Is that the representation NJ wants in Washington?