West Virginia state legislator Brian Kurcaba on Thursday said that female rape victims should not get abortions because the child resulting from the rape is "beautiful."
Kurcaba made the remarks during the state legislature's hearing on a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, even in cases where the mother became pregnant by rape, the Charleston Gazette reported.
The legislature voted down a proposal to make exceptions for rape or incest, but pregnancies where the mother's life is on the line can still be aborted after 20 weeks.
"For somebody to take advantage of somebody else in such a horrible and terrifying and brutal way is absolutely disgusting," Kurcaba said during the hearing on the proposed abortion restrictions. "But what is beautiful is the child that could come as a production of this."
After the comments were picked up by a number of media outlets, people on social media became outraged.
While he did not exactly issue an apology for the statement, Kurcaba did apologize to people who "took my comments about the sanctity of human life to mean anything other than that all children are precious regardless of circumstances."
On Saturday, Kurcaba's Facebook and Twitter pages had been deleted. He did not return BuzzFeed News' request for comment.
Kurcada's comments on rape and abortion are reminiscent of statements made by GOP leaders during the 2012 election cycle, when many Republican losses were attributed to controversial statements candidates made on issues of women's rights.
In a debate in October 2012, Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Indiana Richard Mourdock said, "I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
In what perhaps became the most controversial comment on rape in 2012, Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin notoriously said "if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." He added, "But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child."