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.).
Terkel also notes that some of these candidates tried to distance themselves by the verbal “miscues”/political damage self-inflicted by Akin and Mourdock, but essentially it meant nothing — they hold the same womb-controlling positions.
These GOP pols calling for an apology by Mourdock or Akin, etc. when they “misspeak” about rape and access to abortion or contraception miss the point. Why should these men apologize for saying what they really believe? It informs us about how they would vote on the reproductive freedom of women and their inability to separate church and state. No amount of bleating about being “misunderstood” changes any of that. And they aren’t even listening to their rank and file.
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.