Don't be fooled: It's not just the fringes of the Republican party that oppose abortion rights for rape victims. In fact, at least 12 of the 28 nonincumbent Republican Senate candidates would ban abortion, even in cases of rape, writes William Saletan at Slate. "That’s a plurality of the party’s primaries," he notes. The uproar over Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock isn't a matter of "a couple of gaffes by renegade crackpots. It’s the predominant view among Republican nominees for the nation’s highest legislative body," and it's the "party's official position," based on its platform.
Saletan offers specific comments by each of these Senate candidates affirming their shared position. New York nominee Wendy Long called herself "100% pro-life," as opposed to opponents who would offer "exceptions." When asked if he would made an exception for rape, North Dakota Rep. Rick Berg, for instance, said no; asked if the victim should be jailed or fined, he said such matters "need to be worked out through the legislative process." Three other candidates appear not to have taken a stance on the issue. "But given what they’ve said already, it’s a good bet that at least one of them would refuse the exception"—espousing a view that most Republican voters don't share, according to polls. Click through for Saletan's full column. (Read more Richard Mourdock stories.)