Steve King

Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King contends the Protecting Access to Care Act is needed to "preserve fiscal sanity and federal health policy." (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

(KMAland) -- Republican Congressman Steve King is drawing criticism from Democrats and a Republican challenger for remarks King made Wednesday morning about his “heartbeat bill” that has no exceptions for rape and incest and would ban nearly all abortions.

“What if it was okay and what if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that considering all the wars and all the rape and pillage that’s taken place and whatever happened in culture after society?” King asked rhetorically today. “I know I can’t certify I’m not part of a product of that.”

King made his comments Wednesday morning at the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale. Last year, King argued abortion opponents needed to “swing for the fences” since President Donald Trump had secured a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court. King introduced “The Heartbeat Protection Act” which would effectively ban abortions after about the sixth week of a pregnancy.

“Maybe we could have gotten that to the floor if I had compromised. It wasn’t going to move through the senate anyway,” King said, “but we still stand on these principles of life.”

State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull, one of the Republicans who’s challenging King’s bid for a 10th term, tweeted that he is “100 percent pro-life” but Feenstra said “King’s bizarre comments and behavior diminish” the pro-life cause.

Some of the Democratic presidential candidates have started to comment on King’s remarks about rape and incest, too. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker released a written statement calling on King to resign. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted the same message. Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke castigated King and tweeted out a link for donations to J.D. Scholten. Scholten is the Democrat who’s running again in the fourth congressional district after coming within three percentage points of defeating King in 2018. Scholten issued a written statement, saying “excusing violence — in any way — is unacceptable” and he called King’s comments on rape and incest “disrespectful to survivors.”