Duckworth, Calif. Rep Attack Walsh on Abortion

Rep. Joe Walsh says his challenger is using "fear politics" in attempt to win 8th Congressional seat

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who once told her congressional colleagues about her painful need for an abortion, said she fears women's health is at risk with Republicans in office.

"Congress has become a sandbox for extremists," Speier said at a news conference in Illinois' newly-redrawn 8th Congressional District, where Democrat Tammy Duckworth hopes to unseat Rep. Joe Walsh.

Both women criticized Walsh and Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, both Republicans, for the controversial comments on abortion and rape.

"Who would ever believe that a female body would try to shut down a pregnancy in a case of rape?" said Duckworth. "Or in the case of Mr. Walsh, that an abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of a mother."

Duckworth, the former director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, was referring to comments the incumbent made last week during their fourth and final televised debate.

Walsh maintains Duckworth is twisting his words.

"This is sort of that fear politics," said Walsh. "My heart goes out to Congresswoman Speier and I agree with her decision. What's disappointing is this seems to be all Tammy Duckworth can talk about."

In an Indiana debate earlier this week, Mourdock told a televised audience that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, "that's something God intended."

Mourdock later explained that he did not believe God intended the rape, but that God is the only one who can create life.

Still, Duckworth and Speier said the comments by male Republicans were reckless.

"We have every right to say, 'Yes, let's talk about the jobs and stop messing with our bodies and stop getting into our bedrooms," said Speier.

"It's not just about abortion. It's about access to contraception. It's about trusting women," added Duckworth.

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