US President Barack Obama said bluntly on Wednesday "rape is rape" in a swipe at Republican politicians who have made a string of controversial comments about women's health and abortion.
Obama, appearing on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, said that women should be trusted to make their own decisions about their bodies, in consultation with their doctors, and politicians should not intrude.
"I don't know how these guys come up with these ideas... rape is rape. It is a crime. These various distinctions about rape don't make too much sense to me, don't make any sense to me."
The latest controversy flared up after Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said that pregnancy caused by rape was "something God intended to happen."
The Obama campaign called on his Republican White House rival Mitt Romney to repudiate his endorsement of Mourdock.
The Romney campaign said the Republican candidate disagrees with Mourdock and the Indiana candidate's remarks did not reflect the presidential candidates views.
"We disagree on the policy regarding exceptions for rape and incest but still support him," said Obama spokeswoman Andrea Saul.