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Steve King questions if there would be any population left if not for rape and incest

Posted: 2:00 PM, Aug 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-14 15:00:33-04
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WASHINGTON (CNN) — Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa questioned on Wednesday whether there would be any population left on Earth if not for rape and incest.

"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?" he said in Urbandale, Iowa, according to video posted online by the Des Moines Register , which was first to report on the remarks Wednesday.

"Considering all the wars and all the rape and pillage that has taken place ... I know I can't certify that I was not a part of a product of that," King said. "I'd like to think that every one of the lives of us are as precious as any other life," he added.

The remarks came as King was defending not allowing exceptions for abortion in cases of rape or incest.

The Iowa Republican is a controversial and polarizing figure on Capitol Hill who has a track record of making racist comments that have generated backlash across the political spectrum.

In January, House Republicans stripped King of committee assignments, an action that took place after an interview in which he appeared to lament that the term "white supremacist" is considered offensive.

CNN has reached out to King's office for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.