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Richard Mourdock One Of At Least 15 GOP Senate Candidates Who Oppose Abortion For Rape Victims

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Richard Mourdock One Of At Least 15 GOP Senate Candidates Who Oppose Abortion For Rape Victims

Post by Lighterside on Fri Oct 26 2012, 16:09

WASHINGTON -- GOP Senate candidates Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin have faced outrage and derision from both Democrats and Republicans for their controversial comments about whether rape victims should have access to abortion.


Akin famously said that women who have been victims of a "legitimate rape" are physically unable to become pregnant. Mourdock, more recently, said he believes that pregnancies resulting from these horrific assaults are "something God intended."


At the heart of these comments is their belief that rape victims who become pregnant should not be able to have access to abortion. While Akin and Mourdock perhaps stumbled in explaining why they hold this view, it's a position that is actually not that uncommon in their party: At least 13 other GOP Senate nominees this cycle, as well as dozens of House candidates and incumbents, agree.


The political action committee Republican National Coalition for Life submits questionnaires to GOP candidates about their positions on choice issues and then endorses candidates who advocate a strict anti-abortion platform. Selected candidates must be "unconditionally pro-life" and "recognize the inherent right to life of every innocent human being, from conception until natural death, without discrimination."


So far, the group has endorsed 10 such Republican Senate candidates: Akin and Mourdock, as well as George Allen (Va.), Rep. Rick Berg (N.D.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Deb Fischer (Neb.), Sen. Dean Heller (Nev.), Rep. Pete Hoekstra (Mich.), Josh Mandel (R-Ohio) and Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.).

As Slate's William Saletan notes, there are also five other Senate candidates who hold this position: Michael Baumgartner (Wash.), Wendy Long (N.Y.), John MacGovern (Vt.), John Raese (W.Va.) and Tom Smith (Pa.).

Smith and Heller -- as well as a number of other GOP Senate candidates -- distanced themselves from Mourdock when contacted by The Huffington Post on Wednesday. But in the end, they all share the underlying view that rape victims should not have access to abortion.


And while Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) canceled her fundraising appearance for Mourdock on Wednesday, she still went to campaign with Berg the following day. Ayotte's office did not return a request for comment.


According to a CNN/ORC poll taken in August, the belief that victims of rape and incest should not be allowed to get an abortion is not held by mainstream Republicans.

Seventy-six percent of Republicans believe that abortion should be legal in cases of rape and incest, along with 90 percent of Democrats and 81 percent of independents.


Democrats have quickly tried to tie Mourdock's remark to Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee came out with a new ad on Thursday afternoon using Mourdock's comments. It's part of a new $1.1 million ad buy in Indiana and will be running until Election Day.


Romney has endorsed Mourdock, and his campaign cut an ad on Mourdock's behalf that also began running in Indiana on Tuesday. Romney's campaign has said the former Massachusetts governor disagrees with Mourdock's comments, but has not withdrawn the endorsement or asked that the ad stop running. On Thursday morning, the GOP presidential nominee refused to answer reporters' questions on the matter.

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Lighterside
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Re: Richard Mourdock One Of At Least 15 GOP Senate Candidates Who Oppose Abortion For Rape Victims

Post by Lighterside on Fri Oct 26 2012, 16:20

The Republicans' "Rape" Problem
by Andrew Sullivan
The Daily Beast

In a debate Tuesday for Indiana's Senate race, GOP candidate Richard Mourdock - the Tea Party favorite who ousted moderate Richard Lugar in the primaries - explained why he opposes rape and incest exceptions for anti-abortion laws:

Life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.

Mourdock has since clarified that "God does not want rape," arguing those who say he implied that that God intends rape are "absurd and sick." TNC doesn't buy it:

[I]f you believe that all human life is a gift, and if you believe God is a personal motivating force behind every single conception of human life, then it seems pretty logical to conclude that all pregnancies, even ones induced by rape, are "a gift from God."

Jonathan Weisman notes the irony that Mourdock's Democrat opponent, Joe Donnelly, co-sponsored the 2011 federal ban on abortion funding that changed the "rape" exception to "forcible rape." Irin Cameron zooms out:

Here’s why this is happening: The newer crop of Republican candidates and elected officials are, more often than not, straight from the base. They’re less polished than their predecessors; they’re more ideologically pure. As a result, they’ve accidentally been letting the mask slip and showing what’s really at the core of the right-to-life movement.

And at that core is a vision of God controlling every tiny detail of our lives. I think Christianity is at its best accepting the mystery of the Hidden God, and seeing a distance between every act we choose or every event that happens the divine will or control. But then I'm not a fundamentalist. I've learned to let go as a Christian - and see in Christianity a divine intervention in our human affairs that asks of us simply to love God and each other as best we can, rather than an infinitely complex guide to everything in life. If you don't you end up in Mourdock land. Steve Benen supplies the above chart and underscores why the GOP should worry:


For the record, 83% of Americans believe it should be legal to terminate rape pregnancies. With public opinion, and basic human decency, in mind, perhaps Republicans should try to avoid discussing the issue for a while until the party comes up with a more compassionate, and less extreme, position.

Mourdock is so far the only Senate candidate Romney has released an ad for this year - something the DNC quickly pounced on with a web ad. Steve Kornacki analyzes the implications for the presidential election:


Key to Obama’s reelection is driving up support and enthusiasm among his core groups – which means, among other things, maximizing his already strong support from women. Republicans have been assisting Democrats with this task since 1980, but they’ve made it easier than ever this year, with a series of legislative initiatives and inflammatory comments from prominent party figures. News that a Republican Senate candidate is now talking about rape as part of God’s plan plays right into Obama’s hands.

On cue, the president capitalized on the comments last night on "The Tonight Show". One place you won't see them discussed:

Looking ahead, Jonathan Tobin explains how Akin and Mourdock's rape comments are likely to guarantee the survival of Obamacare:


[S]ince the [Mourdock] race was already a tossup, it’s hard to see how Donnelly can avoid pulling ahead in the coming days. That creates a situation where even Mitt Romney’s coattails — assuming he has any — won’t be enough to win the Republicans the four seats they need to become a majority in the Senate. This means that even if Romney is elected and the Republicans hold the House of Representatives, the repeal of ObamaCare is going to need some Democratic support in the Senate. If the repeal effort fails, the two seats the GOP appears to be losing as a result of the issue of rape and pregnancy will loom large in the history of this chapter of political history.

Daily Beast

NOTE: There are a couple of grafts in the article that I can't seem to reproduce but you can see them at the link above.

Lighterside
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