Meet 8 Romney-Backed Senate Candidates Who Would Force Victims to Have Their Rapists' Babies
Photo Credit: A.M. Stan
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With all of the excitement attending the recent comments of Richard Mourdock, the Indiana Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, that a pregnancy conceived in rape is a "gift from God," much of the political class is shaking its collective head at the refusal of presidential candidate Mitt Romney to revoke his endorsement of Mourdock -- or at least to pull his endorsement ad for the former state treasurer from the Hoosier state airwaves.
What they’ve missed is the fact that, in today's Republican Party, Mourdock’s position is the new normal. Among the handful of Republican senatorial candidates who echo Mourdock's contention that even a rape-induced pregancy is sacred are several who, like Tom Smith in Pennsylvania, are polliing well against their Democratic opponents.
Of the 33 Republicans running for U.S. Senate this cycle, all but three are anti-abortion, and among them, at least 10, including Mourdock and pariah Todd Akin, oppose any exceptions in cases of pregnancy by rape and incest. (It's even more troubling that the incest portion of this position has gotten little attention; should an 11-year-old girl really be required to bear her father a child?) After all, the position they've taken is simply that stated in the GOP platform, adopted at the Republican National Convention where Romney accepted his party's presidential nomination.
That very month Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, told WJHL-TV, a Virginia station: “I’ve always adopted the idea, the position, that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.” Ponder that: rape as "a method of conception." Kind of like in-vitro, but without the consent.
Nearly all of the Republican presidential primary candidates take the same position: that a rape-induced pregnancy is the will of the Creator. They signed a pledge in Iowa that said as much, and Romney gratefully accepted the endorsements of pledge-signers Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.
Against some stiff odds, the Republican Party is smelling winds of change that would render it control of the upper chamber this year, which would require a net gain of four seats. Romney doesn’t dare risk harming a single candidate, or his own chances of winning the votes of religious-righters, which he could if he withdrew his support from any of them..
Rape-Baby Senate Candidates
Here are eight additional GOP Senate candidates who think a woman or girl who is impregnated by rape or incest should be made to have her attacker's baby. We offer you some choice quotes from news reports and from the Republican Senate candidates themselves.
1. Josh Mandel, Ohio.
Mandel, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, will campaign in Ohio with Romney running-mate Paul Ryan this weekend. In a spot interview by Marc Kovac of Ohio Capital blog conducted the day after Mourdock made his infamous comments, Mandel confirmed his no-exceptions anti-abortion position. While Mandel declined to comment on the Mourdock statement, he did offer this:
KOVAC: But it’s true that you do not have an exception when it comes to abortion. You’re pro-life in all cases--
MANDEL: I think it’s important to protect the life of the mother, and I’m proud to be pro-life.
KOVAC: Even in the possibility of rape?
[MANDEL DOESN’T SPEAK, BUT NODS]
Very clever, don't you think, the way Mandel avoids being quoted by bobbing his head up and down on the rape question?
2. Pete Hoekstra, Michigan
The Detroit News askedHoekstra, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, to respond to remarks by Missouri Republican senatorial candidate Todd Akin that women’s bodies have the ability to “shut down” the process of conception during a “legitimate rape":