Steve King: Without Rape and Incest, “Would There Be Any Population in the World Left?”

The incendiary Iowa Republican says he can’t rule out that he isn’t the product of rape or incest.

Tom Williams/Zuma

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

The twisted logic of the most extreme elements of the anti-abortion movement just got even more absurd. Laws restricting abortion access should not have exceptions for rape and incest, says Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), because throughout history, many people have been born as a result of rape and incest—including, perhaps, himself.

“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest, would there be any population in the world left if we did that?” King said at a Westside Conservative Club meeting in Urbandale, Iowa, on Wednesday, according to the Des Moines Register“Considering all the wars and all the rape and pillage that’s taken place…I know I can’t certify that I’m not part of the product of that.”

King has a history of making offensive statements about immigrants, Muslims, and transgender people. In January, he was removed from the House Judiciary and Agriculture committees for telling the New York Times, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?” Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested he resign.

On Wednesday, he asserted that women who conceive as a result of rape and incest should be forced to carry the pregnancy to term, “because it’s not the baby’s fault.”

“I’d like to think every one of the lives of us are as precious as any other life,” he said. “And that’s our measure. Human life cannot be measured. It is the measure itself against which all things are weighed.”

Watch King’s comments below:

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate