Delegate apologizes for rape/abortion comment; says it was misrepresented

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Delegate Brian Kurcaba (R-Monongalia) apologized Friday for suggesting that “beautiful” children can be a silver lining to rape, a comment the pro-life lawmaker said was misrepresented by some media agencies and pro-choice advocates.

“I apologize to anyone who took my comments about the sanctity of human life to mean anything other than that all children are precious regardless of circumstances,” Kurcaba said in a statement Friday afternoon. “It is unfortunate that only portions of my statement were publicized resulting in misrepresentation.”

Delegate Brian Kurcaba

Kurcaba’s comments stemmed from Thursday when the House Health Committee debated an amendment to a 20-week abortion ban that would allow exceptions in cases of rape or incest. “Obviously rape is awful,” said the first-term delegate. “What is beautiful is the child that could come from this.”

The comment garnered nationwide attention and severe criticism from the pro-choice side. Belinda Biafore, acting chair of the state Democratic Party, called Kurcaba’s remarks “unthoughtful, hurtful and downright insensitive to women.” She called on Kurcaba to step down.

“I am outraged that someone who represents our state could make such remarks regarding such a horrific, violent act against a woman and for that he should resign,” Biafore said. “It’s time to stand up for West Virginia women and not allow said leaders to get away with this kind of extreme radical behavior.”

The amendment Kurcaba spoke against failed and the committee passed the fetal pain bill 20-5 with bipartisan support. The legislation bans abortions after 20 weeks, the point at which supporters claim the unborn child can feel pain.

Kurcaba’s statement concluded: “I will ensure that my focus continues to be on making West Virginia a better place to create jobs and raise a family.”

The House Judiciary Committee passed the bill Friday evening. The measure will be before the full House next week for consideration.

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