North America

If it wasn’t for incest and rape, 'would there be any population?': US congressman

US congressman Steve King's defence of anti-abortion legislation has attracted stern criticism. Source: Getty Images North America

Steve King’s defence of a strict anti-abortion bill was followed by claims the human race may have been wiped out without cases of rape and incest.

A key ally of US President Donald Trump has attracted the ire of Democratic opponents by suggesting humanity might not exist if not for historic rape and incest, as he defended anti-abortion legislation.

“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest?,” Republican congressman Steve King told a public meeting in his home state of Iowa.

“Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?”

The US President has praised Steve King as possibly being “the world’s most conservative human being”.
The US President has praised Steve King as possibly being “the world’s most conservative human being”.
CQ-Roll Call Group

Mr King made the remarks as he defended a bill to ban abortion, including pregnancies brought on by cases of rape and incest.

The US politician remained steadfast in opposing exceptions in the anti-abortion legislation, despite Republican leaders taking steps to brush the bill aside.

Democratic senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker are taking a stronger approach than their political opponents, arguing its time Mr King tendered his resignation from public office.

Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is calling for Mr King's resignation.
Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is calling for Mr King's resignation.
Getty Images North America

Former Democratic congressman and 2020 Presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke took to Twitter to share his condemnation of the remarks.

Despite strong results in his 4th Congressional District, Mr King is now facing a challenge from a number of rivals including conservative state Senator Randy Feenstra.

Mr Feenstra has joined the chorus of critics, arguing that while he remains “100 per cent pro-life” there is little doubt Mr King’s messaging has damaged the broader Republican cause.

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