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October 26, 2012

Donnelly addresses controversial Mourdock remark

Senate hopeful makes stop in Terre Haute

TERRE HAUTE — Joe Donnelly, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, describes himself as a pro-life candidate who respects the views of other pro-life candidates.

But comments made by Republican Richard Mourdock about rape, pregnancy and God’s will “went an extra step,” Donnelly said during a visit to Terre Haute today.

Mourdock’s comments have drawn national attention — and criticism — and focused even more attention on a close race for the seat that has belonged to six-term Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, who lost in the primary to Mourdock.

“I’m a pro-life candidate, but this [Mourdock’s comment] is not about pro-life,” Donnelly said. “This is about his comments regarding rape and pregnancy and that God intended for that to happen. I respect all pro-life candidates. I respect all candidates’ views on these issues, but this went an extra step,” he said.

Mourdock’s comments, made during a debate Tuesday, “were hurtful to women, to survivors of rape and to their families. I had thought Mr. Mourdock, after some reflection, might say that as well. He apparently has chosen not to and I think the comments were really inappropriate and wrong … to those women who have been survivors of rape, to their families and to women in general,” Donnelly said.

Mourdock has received national criticism since, only two weeks before Election Day, he said “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, it is something that God intended.” Mourdock the next day clarified his comment and added, “Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick.”

Mourdock says he was misunderstood and his comments twisted.

Donnelly was in Terre Haute to visit St. Ann Medical Clinic and Dental Services, which is working to become a Federally Qualified Health Center.

See Saturday’s Tribune-Star and visit www.tribstar.com for a full report.

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