(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Steve King is once again facing Democratic criticism after he publicly surmised that he could have incestuous or rapist relatives in his blood line during a convoluted explanation of his stance on abortion.
King’s comments came during an event in his congressional district, where he attempted to explain his support for legislation banning abortions without including codified exceptions for mothers who become pregnant from rape or incest.
"What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?" King, R-Iowa, told the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa, on Wednesday, according to video posted online by the Des Moines Register.
"Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can't say that I was not a part of a product of that."
"It's not the baby's fault for the sin of the father, or of the mother," King added.
As Democratic presidential candidates campaigned across the Hawkeye State, several piled on condemnation of King and called on him to resign.
“You would think it would be pretty easy to come out against rape and incest,” South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg said while stumping in Tipton, Iowa.
“Then again, you'd think it'd be pretty easy to come out against white nationalism. So this is just one more example why there needs to be a sane representative in that district.”
King was overwhelmingly condemned by the House and stripped of his assignments on the House Judiciary and Agricultural Committees after comments he made, and later disputed, to The New York Times last year about white supremacy, with many Democrats, as well as House GOP Conference chairwoman Liz Cheney, calling on him to resign.
Cheney repeated her belief that King should resign after his comments on Wednesday and is the only congressional Republican to do so.
A spokesman for the Iowa Republican Party issued a statement saying "these comments are outrageous and are not reflective of the views of the Iowa Republican Party."
King has a fairly serious primary challenger this year in Iowa State Sen. Randy Feenstra. J.D. Scholten, the Democrat who lost to King in 2018 by just three points, is also running again in 2020.
“Yet again, Steve King puts his selfish, hateful ideology above the needs of the people of Iowa’s 4th district,” Scholten stated. “Excusing violence — in any way — is entirely unacceptable. Here in Iowa, we stand strong together in the face of violence, and strive to create a welcoming and safe community for all people.
His comments are disrespectful to survivors and don’t reflect Iowan values. We stand for bringing all people together and fighting for the positive change that we desperately need here in Iowa.”
Several Democratic presidential candidates also expressed support for Scholten.
King has a long record of provocative immigration rhetoric, including comparing immigrants to “dirt,” a claim he later denied.
He also disparaged young undocumented immigrants who have grown up in the United States and have long sought a path to citizenship, often referred to as DREAMers, in July 2013, when he said, "For every one who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there that they weigh 130 pounds, and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."
King, a major supporter of Trump, was reelected to a ninth term in the House last November.
A King spokesman did not immediately respond to an inquiry from ABC News.
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