John Koster: ‘Rape thing’ not cause for abortion

OLYMPIA — A Republican congressional candidate said abortion should not be legal, even when it involves “the rape thing,” according to audio provided Wednesday to The Associated Press.

An activist working on behalf of liberal group FUSE Washington asked questions of Republican hopeful John Koster during a fundraiser Sunday. Koster said he does not oppose abortion when the life of the mother is in danger but then explains he would oppose it when it involves rape or incest.

Koster twice uses the phrase “the rape thing” when describing his views, first saying that he knows a woman who was raped and gave up the child for adoption without any regrets.

“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?” Koster said in the exchange.

Koster’s campaign manager, Larry Stickney, said the candidate has long been a proponent of dealing strongly with sex offenders. He noted that Koster worked in the state legislature on legislation to crack down on sex offenders and has daughters of his own.

“To imply that he’s cavalier about the issue is preposterous,” Stickney said.

Koster is locked in a competitive House race against Democrat Suzan DelBene.

Republicans have been beleaguered this year by comments about rape that some have deemed offensive. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who is challenging Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, said women’s bodies have ways of avoiding pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.”

More recently, Indiana GOP candidate Richard Mourdock has been criticized for saying that pregnancy resulting from rape is God’s will.

Collin Jergens, a spokesman at the advocacy group FUSE Washington, said one of the group’s activists went to the fundraiser to ask Koster about the issue of abortion. Democrats have been trying to portray Koster as out of touch with the district, which stretches from areas east of Seattle to the border with Canada, and they have focused particularly on his stance on social issues.

Sara Kiesler, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, said the Koster’s remarks are proof that he shouldn’t be involved in a woman’s decision about her pregnancy.

“My gut reaction was that rape is violence, and that rape is a crime, and that his choice of words diminishes that violence,” Kiesler said.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Looking east toward the U.S. 2 trestle as cars begin to backup on Thursday, March 1, 2018 in Everett, Wa. The aging westbound span needs replacing and local politicians are looking to federal dollars to get the replacement started. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
U.S. 2 trestle rebuild part of Senate transportation package

Time is short to get the $17.8 billion plan passed. Its link to climate change bills adds intrigue.

Eric Adler, the mystery man who is on Twitter as @EdmondsScanner (E. Wong)
Revealed: The mystery man behind the @EdmondsScanner tweets

He’s a 50-year-old mail carrier who dusted off his English degree to curate 6,000 tales on Twitter.

Man identified in fatal Mill Creek crash

Ian Jensen, 32, died after a multi-vehicle accident Saturday on 35th Avenue SE.

Package funding U.S. 2 trestle, Monroe bypass on the move

A $17.8 billion plan dealing with highways, ferries and transit has cleared the state Senate transportation panel.

Explosion shatters Everett apartment complex windows

Police were called to the Monte Cristo apartment complex, 2929 Hoyt Ave., Tuesday night.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Things are heating up in Olympia — and not just the weather

Here’s what’s happening on Day 94 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

Jesse L. Hartman (Everett Police Department)
Suspect in fatal Everett shooting captured at U.S. border

Jesse Hartman was arrested in California as he tried to re-enter the country from Mexico.

(Getty Images)
How to get vaccinated in Snohomish County

Availability of doses is always changing, so keep checking back.

“We are still trying to figure out what to do with him,” said Everett Police Department property crimes Det. Adam Gage, who transports the statue back to a room using a rolling chair on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Everett, Washington.The Batman statue was recovered after it was stolen from an Everett comic book store last year.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Batman returns! Stolen Funko statue is in police custody

The supersized bobblehead was taken from Everett Comics in an October “smash-and-grab.”

Most Read