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1st District candidate explains comment about the ‘rape thing’

Days before the election, there's a controversy in the 1st Congressional District race involving Republican John Koster's use of the phrase 'rape thing' when talking about abortion in a secretly-recorded conversation. Democrat Suzan DelBene is leading Koster 47 percent to 44 percent, according to the most recent poll. (John Koster campaign photo)

A Washington state congressional candidate, in one of the state’s tightest races, says abortion should not be legal, even when it involves “the rape thing.”

John Koster was caught in a secretly-recorded conversation saying “rape thing” a couple of times as someone questions him about abortion.

Listen to the audio below in the YouTube video. Here’s a transcript of the conversation:

Questioner: “Is there any time that you would agree with abortion?”

Koster: “When a mother’s life in in danger. I’m not going to make that decision. You know, I know they go out and… incest is so rare, I mean, it’s so rare. But the rape thing…you know, I know a woman who was raped and kept her child, gave it up for adoption, she doesn’t regret it. In fact, she’s a big pro-life proponent. But on the rape thing, it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s a consequence of this crime, how does that make it better? You know what I mean?”

Questioner: “But she has to live with the consequence of that crime.”

Koster: “Well you know crime has consequences, but how does it make it better by killing a child?”

When asked to explain his comment, Koster issued this statement: “Rape is a vicious and horribly violent crime, and no one in Washington State has been tougher on criminals and sex offenders than I have been, period.”

The Koster camp claims the “secret recording” was edited to “suit DelBene’s agenda.”

Suzan DelBene is running against Koster in the close race.

“Consider that John was at a dinner with many people trying to get his attention. He very clearly and honestly stated his thoughts on an extremely sensitive subject. He has nothing to be ashamed of here,” says Larry Stickney, Koster’s campaign manager.

He also says it is unfair to insinuate that Koster is “callous” or “cavalier” when it comes to the subject of rape.


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