ADVERTISEMENT

The News does not have a lot of influence in the state of Indiana, but the outrageous comment made by Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock bears some attention.

Mourdock, a tea partyer who defeated Republican Sen. Richard Lugar and now finds himself in a hot race, made the second-most-infamous comment recently regarding pregnancy and rape.

It happened during a debate with Rep. Joe Donnelly, the Democratic candidate, and Libertarian candidate Andrew Horning. All of the men are pro-life, but Mourdock stood out by saying that a pregnancy resulting from rape “is something that God intended to happen” and must be protected. Really?

Mourdock’s claim followed the notorious comment by another Midwesterner, Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin, that “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but two comments coming from the same region of the country and from the same Republican Party – with its decidedly radical right lean – is disturbing.

If these men find themselves in Congress, along with others who share their contorted ideas, this country could eventually find that the clock has been turned back on the rights of women.

That would satisfy those opposed to the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Men and women who share the view that abortion is unwarranted under any circumstances – or who ascribe to Akin’s idea that women can magically control their own pregnancies – would rejoice.

Akin became a political pariah following his comments. Republicans and Democrats took turns verbally pummeling him and Republicans pressured him to leave his race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. He refused.

While Mitt Romney’s campaign still supports Mourdock’s candidacy, the Republican presidential nominee’s camp quickly denounced the comment.

Rather than apologize, Mourdock expressed regret that some may have misconstrued and “twisted” his comments. He said that “God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that he does.”

That may well be the case. But America just got a peek inside the mind of another man who wants to take his unacceptable views to Congress. These men believe that government, not women, must have final say over women’s bodies. It is scary to think of them winning.