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Melissa Harris-Perry on rape and abortion

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Melissa Harris-Perry on rape and abortion

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry read an open letter to Richard Mourdock Oct 27, criticizing the Republican Indiana senate candidate's comment regarding rape and abortion.

"I believe life begins at conception . . . The only exception I have, to have an abortion, is in that case of the life of the mother," Mourdock said during a debate Oct 23. "I've struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from god. And even when life begins at that horrible situation of rape, that is something god intended to happen."

A survivor of sexual assault herself, Harris-Perry said she is not against a woman choosing to keep her rapist's child. "I do not doubt the compassion or judge the choice of a survivor who carries a rape pregnancy to term."

She continued, "But the whole point is choice, consent. You see, Mr Mourdock, the violation of rape is more than physical. Rapists strip women of our right to choose, of our right to say no, of our right to control what is happening to our bodies. Most assailants tell us it is our fault. Tell us to be silent. Sometimes they even tell us it is god's will. That is the core violation of rape -- it takes away choice."

Mourdock is facing off against Joe Donnelly to replace the incumbent, Senator Richard Lugar, on Nov 6. 

Watch Harris-Perry read her letter below.

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