Local Congressman Ed Royce this week denounced the controversial comments of a fellow Republican Congressional candidate who suggested a woman can’t get pregnant by “legitimate rape,” but he stopped shy of calling on his colleague to exit the race.
Royce, who represents Los Alamitos, came under pressure this week from his political opponent in the Nov. election for the newly formed 39th Congressional District. Jay Chen, a Hacienda-La Puente School District board member who is running against Royce, called on him to repudiate the remarks an embattled lawmaker made about rape and pregnancy. He further strove to tie Royce to Missouri Congressman Todd Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape,” noting they each cosponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which originally proposed to limit abortion funding to “forcible rape,” language that was eventually changed when it was criticized as an effort to redefine rape.
Chen said that while other political figures, both Republican and Democrat, denounced Missouri Congressman Todd Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape,” Royce, R-Fullerton, had not spoken out.
"I call on Ed Royce to officially repudiate Congressman Akin's statement and join with Republicans and Democrats alike in asking Akin to abandon his bid for the United States Senate immediately,” Chen said in a statement.
“Californians expect their leaders to uphold the dignity of Congress when other members embarrass the institution, and Congressman Royce must demonstrate to his constituents where he stands on these disturbing statements made by his Tea Party colleague."
Chen got his wish.
Dave Gilliard, a spokesman for Royce, said that the long-serving congressman issued a statement of his own on Tuesday.
Royce said in the statement that he has worked to protect the rights of crime victims, so he was “shocked and troubled” by Akin’s remarks on rape. He did not call for Akin to abandon his run.
"His comments were offensive, ignorant and indefensible. It should be made clear that in no way do these comments reflect my views on this subject.
"My legislative record shows my consistent opposition to taxpayer funding of abortion and I have always supported a woman’s right to have an abortion in the horrific case of rape."