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Koster Opposes Abortion, Even in Cases Involving 'The Rape Thing'

The Republican Snohomish County Council member is in a tight race against Suzan DelBene in the 1st Congressional District.

Just six days before the general election, an audio recording has surfaced in which 1st District Congressional Candidate John Koster reportedly says abortion should not be legal, even in cases involving "the rape thing."

An AP story published by several news outlets reports Koster, a Republican from Arlington, was speaking at a fundraiser on Sunday when he stated that he believes abortion ought to be an option when the mother's life is in danger. But the Snohomish County Council member went on to say he would oppose abortion in cases of rape or incest, according to the AP:

Koster twice uses the phrase "the rape thing" in the recording, saying it doesn't make the situation better by "putting more violence into a woman's body."

Koster spokesman Larry Stickney says Koster is not cavalier about the issue and supports tough punishments for sex offenders.

The audio recording was provided to the AP by a liberal advocacy group.

Koster's campaign website reflects the views the candidate stated at the fundraiser, indicating he has a "100% pro-life voting record," and that the exception he makes to his views are in cases when the mother's life is in danger.

Koster's opponent, Democrat Suzan DelBene of Medina, says on her campaign website that she supports abortion rights: "The recent assault on women’s health care is unacceptable and I will fight against any attempt to reduce access to birth control or reproductive health services."

The latest poll from KING 5 shows DelBene leading Koster by just 3 percentage points, which is within the survey's margin of error.

What do you think of the candidates' views on abortion? Is it an important issue in this race? Tell us in the comments section.

Ronald Long November 01, 2012 at 02:39 AM
I saw a Koster political ad today, where he makes much about his surviving cancer. I find it especially sad that, having faced his own death, he appears to have learned nothing about compassion for others from that experience.
Ronald Long November 01, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Dear Maureen - there is no such thing as a "pro-abortion faction", except in your fevered imagination. There are many of us who believe that the question of ending a pregnancy is a profound and deep one, and the right answer can only come from the heart and conscience of the woman herself, with the support of those that she loves and trusts. The only thugs I see here are those who march about with their "life begins at conception" slogans, and try to force their opinion (which is all that statement is) on the rest of us. I also find it deeply ironic that so many of you who claim to care so deeply about a little collection of cells in someone else's womb, seem to feel nothing but contempt for these beings as soon as they are born - especially if they think in any way differently than you do.
Ronald Long November 01, 2012 at 02:48 AM
" i believe abortion to be a justification for laziness, immorality, and inhumanity". I am speechless. And you probably call yourself a Christian, right?
Joe November 01, 2012 at 04:14 AM
There are many mean things in the world but it would be unimaginably cruel to force a person to unwillingly bring forth a child that was conceived in hate and violence (i.e. rape). Koster supports that, a neanerthal position that says that women are irrelevant and circumstances should be ignored. Therefore, Koster should not be voted into office.
Ralph November 01, 2012 at 04:45 AM
I've rather enjoyed subscribing to the Patch, partly because it has seemingly dealt with local events and happenings in a professional, factual, non-subjective manner. But now someone identified only as "Patch staff" has inserted themself and their personal opinions into the final days of a very competitive congressional campaign, taking it upon themself to concoct their version of an "October Surprise". I assume from the responses to comments that some heretofore unknown person named Caitlan Moran with the Patch has decided to do her part to sway the outcome of the election, focusing on what is no doubt her pet issue... abortion I don't mean to discount the importance of this topic... from either perspective... but if she were a genuine reporter, and the Patch were a genuine e-newspaper, they should insist that she also then do articles on the multitude of glaring weaknesses exhibited by Susan DelBente. If we fail as a country, the issue of abortion is totally irrelevant. Yet it seems that to Ms. Moran, our very future hangs in the balance based on this single issue. If I conclude that the Patch is anything less than balanced, I'll no longer have any use for it.
Ronald Long November 01, 2012 at 05:41 AM
I remember that Caitlan was introduced to the Patch community when Anne Archer left. And I see nothing being done by the Patch staff other than reporting a newsworthy story, just the latest in a series of stories across the nation about Republican candidates for office with "interesting" perspectives on rape and women's rights, a story that was also reported by most, if not all, of the other news outlets in the area (as well as nationally, by the way). The only October surprise, in my opinion, is that Koster would choose such a stunningly inept and insensitive way to express himself on such a delicate issue in a public forum a week before the election. I think it speaks volumes. And I think it would have been as just much of a story if he had made a similarly clumsy reference to "the racism thing". And I think she deserves an apology from you.
Caitlin Moran November 01, 2012 at 07:39 AM
Hi Ralph, since you seem to have many questions about me personally, let me start off by saying that my name is Caitlin (with a second 'i') Moran, and that I've been the editor of Redmond Patch for close to two years. (As you might have noticed earlier, my fellow Puget Sound-area Patch editors and I have taken turns covering various political issues that affect the region this election season, which is why you might be seeing me pop up on your Patch site). You are correct in assuming that I wrote the above post, but I almost never give myself a byline when I'm posting something that's entirely based on information you can find elsewhere on the web. In this case, virtually my entire post was based on an AP article widely disseminated in other Puget Sound area media, along with information readily available on the respective candidates' websites. Regarding your claim that abortion is my "pet issue," please know that I spend far too much time writing about things like Redmond's new youth homeless shelter, the local Tully's shops closing, the latest news with the Movie Bandits, a middle-school principal spending a day on the roof, and the like to develop a political pet issue of any kind.
Steve Cotton November 01, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Does his opponent support abortion, even in cases involving "The Infanticide Thing"?
WendyB November 01, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Mr. Koster. When it is your body - or more realistically - what if it was your daughter's body? Would you change your mind then? Until you can become pregnant by a despicable human being - shut your big mouth. I'd also like to point out that we patently should NOT be continuing the genetic line of rapists. People put more thought into breeding their dogs.
Thomas Liberty November 01, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Ron, what does my religion or lack thereof, have to do with anything? (i'm agnostic). AK - am i not entitled to an opinion on matters of life and death, just because i don't carry the baby myself?
Thomas Liberty November 01, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Good point.
Ronald Long November 01, 2012 at 02:54 PM
>Ron, what does my religion or lack thereof, have to do with anything? (i'm agnostic). Thomas - you're right, that was a cheap shot on my part - though your harsh judgemental attitude is sadly typical of far too many so-called Christians. http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/11/01/1120731/catholic-bishop-who-compared-obama-to-hitler-orders-anti-obama-letter-read-from-pulpit/?mobile=nc
Thomas Liberty November 01, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Ronald - you're being intellectually dishonest. I understand that your agenda is to get Del Bene, andother big government statist elected, but you are conflating two out of context, and poorly phrased words, with the false narrative that Koster lacks compassion. Let's put this "rape thing" in context. First, we all know he could've said "rape issue", but that doesn't change the meaning of his entire statement, which was; "But on the rape thing, it's like, how does putting more violence onto a woman's body and taking the life of an innocent child that's a consequence of this crime, how does that make it better? You know what i mean?" He want on to question the justification for killing a child. So, why we may all disagree with his opinion, it is completely dishonest to say that he has no compassion, or despises women. One last point - we all know this is good red meat for the left, but fidddling with political half-truths, will not save Rome.
Marv Scott November 01, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I don't support Koster's view on abortion but i do support him for the position. Why, because no matter his views Roe vs. Wade will never be reversed. Even if we had a conservative leaning majorinty on the supreme court, the court has never, read never, reversed a previous decision by the court. Susan Delbene is an ultra liberal trying to buy her way into congress. She is using some of the many millions made by being in the right place at the right time at Microsoft to try to overwhelm her opponent with negative campaign ads. Hopefully the 1st district voters will see through all this
Local Guy November 01, 2012 at 03:47 PM
http://abcnews.go.com/US/massachusetts-rapist-seeks-visitation-victims-child/story?id=17349095#.UJKZDWf4LXY Rapes a 14 year old girl, now fighting for visitation rights.
David Blatner November 01, 2012 at 03:58 PM
I applaud Patch for making this news. No, it's not "breaking news," as his old, conservative opinions have been around for a long time. But it's still worth reporting on. Patch is not conservative or progressive; it's just a news source. But Marv: The Supreme Court has reversed decisions a lot! Even a quick google search finds sites like http://money.howstuffworks.com/10-overturned-supreme-court-cases.htm and on wikipedia "For example, in the years 1946–1992, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed itself in about 130 cases..." The future of our great country is in danger, which is why we need to look forward, not backward. I'm voting Progressive, which is why I support Del Bene. If nothing else, she'll do less damage to the country than Koster would.
Ronald Long November 01, 2012 at 04:01 PM
actually Thomas, you don't understand my agenda, not by a long shot. In painting me as a classic "bleeding heart big government liberal" (my projection of what you think I am), you miss the mark by miles. Why I even voted for a Republican...once. But - at least you're clearly an intelligent "bigot" (deliberately provocative, I know) - there's a thinking person behind the buzzwords, which is a hopeful sign. In your misunderstanding, you bring up the question that is closest to my heart, which is finding a way beyond the current paralysis, where we all speak past each other, and cannot hear or understand each other because of the layers of prejudice that we each carry. I absolutely include myself in that description That to me is the real challenge, and the "battleground" (much as I hate the militaristic metaphor) where we will save or lose our country.
Nancy Cunningham November 01, 2012 at 04:48 PM
The first thing I said when I got the "Breaking news" was that it was not breaking news. THAT'S the issue here.
Kendall Watson November 01, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Touche, mon amis.
Maureen McCurdy November 01, 2012 at 05:35 PM
I concur Ralph. I will no longer have any use for the WP because with Caitlin's post, they've crossed a line. Caitlin says her post was "something that's entirely based on information you can find elsewhere on the web." Like info from the AP will heal the planet and lower the seas. This is pure liberal propaganda disguised as "news." People who disagree with the liberal mantra that a child begins as a "blob of cells" are called insensitive and uncaring. How unscientific and naive! An acquaintance recently told me his reasons for supporting more public funding of abortion. "Because we need to get rid of more of 'them." Wendy B wrote "I'd also like to point out that we patently should NOT be continuing the genetic line of rapists." I was reminded of a place and time in Germany in the '30s, and I am perplexed by the fact some believe they somehow have these God like powers to make such decisions. Oh dear...there's THAT word. I hope the secularists here aren't too put out and are able to control their urge to go into full blown outrage. I know this whole post of mine is quite un-PC, and the jackles will pounce, but this pro-abortion "faction" is alive and hiding in plain sight. Just look at any 3 sq block area of our inner cities. The Supreme Court Justice liberals love to love said: CONCERN ABOUT POPULATION GROWTH AND PARTICULARLY GROWTH IN POPULATIONS THAT WE DON'T WANT TO HAVE TOO MANY OF," http://voices.yahoo.com/ See what you've done Caitlin!
Trent Latta November 01, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Don, this came from the Times. If you ever want to be a grown up person, think before you speak (or write). Trent
Laura Latta November 01, 2012 at 08:52 PM
The fact that people, men and women, have such vastly different veiws on this matter is exactly the reason the government ought to have nothing to do with a woman's decision to carry a pregnancy to term whether she is raped or not. This is a decision between a woman, her partner, family and her own faith. That's the definition of a free society. We shouldn't have to be concerned about the persoanl morals of John Koster or any other represenative on this issue. But in light of the fact that it does, unfortunatley matter, I believe Koster's "rape thing" comment shows that while he apparently holds the life of unborn children as inviolate, he has very little respect for the lives of 52% of the living breating population I.e. women. Based on that disrespect he's totally comfortable substituting his own moral calculus for everyone elses. No thanks. I've already voted for Del Bene.
Kirkland Tony November 01, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Laura, for your philosophy to hold, you must believe an unborn baby to be not a life at all. Less than a goat. Less than a food animal. Those have protections. Because otherwise, we have a vested interest in protecting the weak. You probably believe in having government protect, feed and heal the poor... why would you deny the pre-orphan this? This isn't a view into my position on abortion; I'm just pointing out that your moral compass is a bit extreme considering.
Saira V. November 01, 2012 at 10:29 PM
This story is not about John Koster, rather it's about how low a trailing candidate will stoop to win. Go to the 1st hand source rather than the biased story spun by opponents. "Koster Statement Regarding Video Circulated by DelBene Surrogates Lacking in ideas and solutions for the enormous economic issues facing America, many "progressive" organizations and campaigns rely on dirty tricks and deception to sway close elections." ---- http://www.kosterforcongress.com/news/press-releases/489-koster-statement-regarding-video-circulated-by-delbene-surrogates.html
Rob Sandelin November 02, 2012 at 06:46 AM
Hmmm, based on these comments stil not much movement on abortion. Same old polarization. It's too bad people get so locked up on one issue that they miss or choose to overlook a lot of other things about candidates. This one issue litmus test is not getting us the best candidates to choose from. Its also dumb because abortion is legal and this has been upheld by the supreme court so Koster can't do anything about it no matter what he says. So why is this even an issue for a congressional election? I would think the candidates understanding of economics would be a much more important decision point. WHich BTW is why I vote Delbane.
Susan November 02, 2012 at 10:58 PM
I agree with Caitlin the election is only a few days away why would you sit on this story. Whether or not you are opposed or for his comments, it is very relevant information. Its hard to stand up and just report the truth but as long as you're being honest your are doing your job reporting on it!
Ann November 04, 2012 at 04:17 AM
This is certainly how I feel. Thanks for summing it up like that Rob!
Cynthia Sherstad/Proxy PR & Marketing Solutions November 06, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Religious "extremists?" By who's standards of 'extreme' might that be? I'll consider the source before I would ever accept that adjective to describe a person/people of faith. I find it rather humorous, in a sickening sort of way, how so many liberals "Progressive" thinkers and much smarter people, consider a person of faith to be an "embarrassment" to a State. That's absurd. Why would someone of your superiority be so threatened by a group of individuals, unless deep down inside you secretly think they may be right? But hey! It's much more "cool" to be accepted as progressive. Are you being forced to bend a stiff knee in reverence and respect to the Creator? You walk this earth only because there is a GOD who is merciful toward all His creation. He even loves His creation that blasphemes His Holy name and that He gave His own life for. Now as a Christian, I too might consider someone as yourself (a fellow human being) an "embarrassment" to my Creator, if not the world, but Jesus, the Son of God said in Matthew 5:22, "...Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you..." so I do. Truth, spoken in love, is a blessing even when it hurts.
Cynthia Sherstad/Proxy PR & Marketing Solutions November 06, 2012 at 01:42 AM
It's referred to as "Celebrating Life." All life.
David Blatner November 06, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Cynthia: Religious feeling is certainly no embarrassment! The problem is applying religious feeling toward government over all of us. This is why I'm against using the Muslim Sharia laws in government, too. The separation of church and state is one of the core values of our American constitution. Progressives believe in fundamental freedoms and share many libertarian values such as getting government out of the bedroom, house, and especially our bodies. It is a mother's role to make decisions about her body and even her fetus, not the government or religious figure.

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