WASHINGTON — A Michigan Republican candidate for governor recently said that rape victims who become pregnant shouldn’t get abortions, according to a video of the comment that went viral Monday.
Garrett Soldano made the remark on the right-wing podcast “Face the Facts with April Moss,” and a liberal news site, Heartland Signal, tweeted a video of the conversation Monday.
Soldano, a chiropractor running in a crowded Michigan race, said that he wants to promote a culture that inspires pregnant women to have their babies and lets them know "how heroic they are and how unbelievable that they are, that God put them in this moment. And they don’t know that little baby inside them may be the next president, may be the next person that changes humanity.”
Soldano shared a story about how one of his mentors was adopted and learned that his birth mother had been raped by several men in a subway station.
“It kind of like tore out his heart when he found that out, but then he started to really appreciate and understand what his birth mother went through, that she had the courage to deliver him,” Soldano said, adding that his mentor went on to help thousands of people improve their lives.
Several Michigan Democratic lawmakers blasted Soldano for his comments.
State Rep. Mari Manoogian tweeted, “This is truly sickening. I have no other words.” State Sen. Erika Geiss called Saldano's remarks “disgusting.”
“We should be inspiring women who’ve been raped to press charges & we should have a system that takes them seriously,” Geiss tweeted. “We should have a world where men don’t think they’re entitled to women’s bodies. We should have a world where ppl respect #ReproRights.”
Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is running for re-election to a second term in November. Her political director, Ron Owens, tweeted that Soldano's comments were "absolutely disgusting and dangerous," adding that "every candidate in the GOP primary has said they will undermine a woman’s right to choose."
Soldano’s remarks on abortion were reminiscent of the late Republican Rep. Todd Akin’s comments during his 2012 Senate campaign that “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy. Akin said “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Although Akin said amid backlash over his remarks that he was wrong, he later retracted his apology in a political memoir that criticized his treatment by his party.