An Australian pro-life politician has said there is "no acceptable reason" for abortion, claiming that rapists and paedophiles use the procedure to dispose of evidence of their crimes.
Bernie Finn, a member of the Victorian Legislative Council representing the Western Metropolitan Region, told the Werribee, Hopper Crossing and Point Cook Star that rape was not an acceptable circumstance to justify abortion.
Finn, who organises the pro-life March for the Babies protest each year, has previously been criticised for his "out of step" views.
The politician also commented that terminating a pregnancy was like being raped for a "second time".
He told the newspaper: "I think many rapists and particularly paedophiles use abortion as a defence, they use it as a way to destroy the evidence."
"I've spoken to a number of women who have been raped and then had abortions and they told me that from their point of view having an abortion was like being raped a second time.!
"I don't think abortion is acceptable under any circumstances and I don't see why we should be killing babies for the crime of the father."
Finn also commented: "In years gone by when they need to kill the baby to save the mother, then it might have been acceptable, but in today's world I think that's a very 1950s argument."
It is not yet understood what research or data his claims are based on.
Denis Napthine, a Premier of the Parliamentary Liberal Party, has distanced himself from Finn's statement and described it as "inappropriate".
He said: "I totally disagree with Bernie Finn's comments. I think that they are inappropriate, I disagree with them, and we've had a debate on abortion in the Victorian parliament where people according to their conscience voted and that abortion issue was settled through that process."
Abortion was decriminalised in Victoria in 2008, and Napthine reiterated that the government would not be introducing any legislation to chance the state's stance on abortion.
The comments are reminiscent of those made by the former US Republican senate hopeful Todd Akin, who claimed that "legitimate rape" is unlikely to cause pregnancy.
He said: "If it's legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Jo Wainer, from Reproductive Choice Australia, called on the Liberal Party to disendorse Mr Finn for his "extreme view which has no sympathy at all for women's situations". Speaking to The Age, Wainer stated only a small minority of the community shared his opinion.