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.).
CONTINUED at the Huffington Post.