Republican U.S. Rep.
The comment stood in contrast to the
The remark caused a hue and cry among abortion rights supporters, medical professionals and Democratic foe
"Let me be very clear that when I say I am pro-life, I mean that I am pro-life for the mother and I am pro-life for the unborn child. For me, there is no distinction between the two," Walsh said.
"When it comes to having an abortion to save the life of the mother, I will say again that outside of the very rare circumstances, such as ectopic pregnancies, during which both the mother and baby will die if the baby is not aborted, and other rare health issues and circumstances, the research is pretty clear that with the advances in modern medicine an invasive and traumatic procedure like abortion is often, thankfully, not necessary to save the life of a mother," Walsh added.
Walsh did not elaborate on what that research was, but promised to send it out.
The Republican also said Duckworth was using the abortion debate to distract from the real issues, namely joblessness and struggling businesses.
"For Miss Duckworth to say that I support letting a mother die, as she did last night, is the most disgusting form of politics. That statement could not be further from the truth," Walsh said.
Duckworth told the Tribune today that she was "flabbergasted that (Walsh) is that out of touch with science."
The controversy stemmed from a Thursday night debate at
Afterward, Walsh told reporters that medical advances had rendered it unnecessary to ever perform an abortion to save a mother's life.
"With modern technology and science, you can't find one instance," Walsh declared.
Asked then if he was saying it was never medically necessary to perform an abortion to save the life of a mother, Walsh responded: "Absolutely, yes."
He did not elaborate on how he came to that conclusion.
The comments led abortion rights advocates to liken him to embattled Missouri Senate candidate
Duckworth says she is pro-choice. Her campaign manager, Kaitlin Fahey, sent an email to supporters condemning Walsh’s comments as “extreme and out of touch.”
“This is truly shocking,” the statement said. “Politicians shouldn’t ever be involved in a woman’s personal medical decisions - especially when their beliefs about women’s bodies are as offensive as this.”
Fahey coupled her statement with a fundraising pitch for $10 apiece from supporters.
Meanwhile, Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the
She likened Walsh to Akin, the Missouri Republican congressman now running for Senate in that state.
Akin appeared to hold a strong early lead over incumbent Democratic Senator
The comments created an uproar and many prominent