Iowa Rep. Steve King questions whether families would exist without rape and incest

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

J. Scott Applewhite/AP


We ran the numbers: There are 894 news articles covering this topic. 16% (139) are left leaning, 53% (470) center, 32% (285) right leaning.

On Wednesday, Iowa representative Steve King suggested that humanity might not exist if it were not for cases of rape and incest, inciting a storm of backlash. According to the Des Moines Register, King said “What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that? Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can’t say that I was not a part of a product of that.” The remarks came in a discussion at the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa, where King was defending his belief that abortion should not be allowed even in cases of rape and incest.

In a left-leaning article, the Washington Post focuses on the backlash that King’s remarks provoked among his challengers in the Iowa election, Republican and Democrat alike. They also note King’s history of provocative comments, support of a Toronto mayoral candidate considered to be a white nationalist, and meetings with a far-right Austrian group with historical Nazi ties. He has made a variety of remarks widely viewed as racist, anti-Semitic or insulting to minorities.”

The right also criticizes King’s remarks. Fox News published a right-leaning article focusing on Republican Wyoming representative Liz Cheney’s condemnation of the comments. She took to Twitter to call the remarks “appalling and bizarre.” The article also notes that King has been stripped of committee assignments in the House and formally condemned for his remarks.

Centrist coverage from The Hill details more of King’s remarks at the Urbandale event, in which he said that a fetus should not pay for the sins of its father and mother, that he was the victim of an orchestrated media conspiracy, and called the United States “the flagship for Western civilization.”