Republican Rep. Joe Walsh (Ill.) said Thursday that abortions are "absolutely" never necessary to save the lives of pregnant women.
"With modern technology and science, you can't find one instance," Walsh said. "There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing."
The comment was first reported by WGN radio. It came after a debate between Walsh, a House freshman, and his opponent, Democrat Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran. The race is a likely Democratic pickup, according to ratings by The Hill.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund released a statement blasting Walsh.
“Joe Walsh’s ignorance about women’s health is alarming. It is deeply troubling that he and some politicians have such a fundamental disregard for women and women’s health. As the advocate for Planned Parenthood health centers, we know that ending a pregnancy can often be a very complex, personal decision and that there are absolutely times that a woman’s life depends on it," said Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens.
Abortion and women's health issues have been at the forefront of several races this election cycle, including the contest for the White House.
The Republican Party platform would ban the procedure with no exceptions, and the Democratic Party platform would allow it with no exceptions. Most Republicans, however, do believe in exceptions in the case of rape, incest and life of the mother.
— This story was updated at 10:58 a.m.