GOP gov. candidate Garrett Soldano: Rape victims must ‘protect the DNA’ by giving birth

By: - February 1, 2022 1:30 pm

April Moss (left) and Garrett Soldano (left) | Screenshot

In a clip that is now receiving widespread backlash, GOP gubernatorial candidate Garrett Soldano told a right-wing podcast on Jan. 19 that rape victims who become pregnant must “protect that DNA and allow it to happen.”

“What we must start to focus on is not only to defend the DNA when it’s created, but however, how about we start inspiring women in the culture to let them understand and know how heroic they are, and how unbelievable that they are that God put them in this moment,” Soldano said on the “Face the Facts” podcast hosted by former CBS Detroit meteorologist April Moss, who was fired from the company in June for opposing COVID-19 measures on live TV.

“And they don’t know, that little baby inside them may be the next president, maybe the next person that changes humanity,” Soldano continued.

The video of the segment went viral Monday after being posted on Twitter by the liberal news site Heartland Signal.

Soldano is a chiropractor from Southwest Michigan who’s one of 13 Republicans running in the August primary. The winner likely will face Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who backs abortion rights, in November. He often espouses false or misleading claims about COVID-19 and YouTube banned his channel in September for “severe or repeated violations” of the site’s guidelines.

During Soldano’s interview with Moss, he also said he will “do everything in my power” to implement something like Texas’ six-week abortion ban in Michigan if he wins the election.

“This is beyond outrageous. Reminder: Nearly 80% of Michiganders think abortion should be regulated by law or left as a decision between a woman and her doctor,” tweeted Rodericka Applewhaite, Michigan Democratic Party spokesperson, tweeted in response to Soldano’s comments.

State Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) also chimed in, tweeting that the remarks are “disgusting.”

“We should be inspiring women who’ve been raped to press charges & we should have a system that takes them seriously. We should have a world where men don’t think they’re entitled to women’s bodies,” Geiss said.

In a statement Monday, the Committee to Protect Health Care also shot back at Soldano’s comments. 

What we must start to focus on is not only to defend the DNA when it's created, but however, how about we start inspiring women in the culture to let them understand and know how heroic they are, and how unbelievable that they are that God put them in this moment.

– Garrett Soldano, GOP candidate for Michigan governor

“Nobody should be forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, and Mr. Soldano’s extremist belief otherwise goes against what the majority of Michiganders firmly believe,” said Dr. Farhan Bhatti, the committee’s Michigan lead and a family physician in Lansing.

“As a physician, I know that what victims of sexual assault need and deserve is compassionate medical care and access to the full range of reproductive health care options, including abortion. Mr. Soldano’s dangerous views on this topic are a threat to Michiganders’ lives, health, and well-being.”

Dr. Rob Davidson, the committee’s executive director and an ER physician in West Michigan, added that this issue is particularly important given the ongoing U.S. Supreme Court case that could end in Roe v. Wade being overturned.

“Should the Supreme Court decide to overturn the law of the land on abortion access, it’s critical that our governor work to protect access to this critical part of health care, not force people who’ve been sexually assaulted to carry their pregnancies,” Davidson said.

In response to the public backlash and Washington Post article on his comments, Soldano said Tuesday on a stream with supporters that the coverage is “great news” by exposing his candidacy to a national audience.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).

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