US Senate candidate draws fire over rape remarks
WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States Senate candidate Richard Mourdock drew fire late last night after saying that pregnancies caused by rape were "something God intended to happen" while defending his opposition to abortion.
Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney was quick to distance himself from the gaffe as Democrats pounced, sensing an opening to brand him as an extremist among vital women voters less than two weeks ahead of election day.
Speaking at a Senate debate, Mr Mourdock said he believed life begins at conception and opposed abortion in all cases except when the mother's life was in danger.
"I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realise life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen," he said.