“It’s incredibly irresponsible for anyone to take what Richard said about his views on life to demean his opposition to the detestable act of rape,” McConnell said, according to the Indiana paper. 

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“We’re at the end of an election season here and I understand each side is looking to make hay out of every comment, but sharing the view of millions of Americans that life begins at conception is Richard’s deeply held personal belief that shouldn’t be misconstrued by partisans to imply something it does not."

At a debate Tuesday night against his Democratic opponent, Rep. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyGOP sees fresh opening with Dems’ single payer embrace Trump steps up courtship of Dems Trump having dinner with Schumer, Pelosi on Wednesday MORE (D-Ind.), Mourdock said he believes abortion should be illegal in cases of rape and incest, and "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something God intended to happen."

Mourdock and Donnelly are running to replace Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), whom Mourdock defeated in the GOP primary earlier this year.

Some Republicans distanced themselves from Mourdock after his comment, including GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteStale, misguided, divisive: minimum wage can't win elections Trump voter fraud commission sets first meeting outside DC RNC chair warns: Republicans who refused to back Trump offer 'cautionary tale' MORE (R-N.H.).

Mourdock did not apologize for his comment, saying it's part of his “deepest level” of faith.

—This story was updated at 4:56 p.m. to reflect changes made by The Courier-Journal's initial report.