But this is now: Mourdock mostly has received votes of confidence, including a continuing endorsement from Mitt Romney.
(Time out: The surreal conversation about abortion during this election campaign has essentially been limited to whether to deny abortion rights to all women except victims of rape and incest or those whose lives are in danger - or to deny abortion rights to everyone. So to reiterate: Every woman has a constitutional right to autonomy over her body, including the right to choose to end a pregnancy, without having to explain her reasons to the government - at least as long as there are enough justices on the Supreme Court to uphold Roe v. Wade. Of course, that could change depending on who's doing the appointing.)
Mourdock's statement confirms yet again that extreme anti-abortion activists have captured one of our political parties. Frankly, though, we shouldn't need yet another wacko pronouncement about "lady parts" from a Republican candidate to recognize the threat to reproductive rights. We just need to look at the history of the past two years.
In 2010, the tea-party movement swept the nation, claiming that it cared little about so-called "social issues" and only about the economy. But, after they took office, many conservatives promptly forgot their supposed focus on jobs - and turned it toward limiting women's rights on a whole range of issues.
On the state level, the tilt was just as striking, with more than 1,000 bills aimed at limiting reproductive rights introduced in state legislatures, including Pennsylvania's. Not only did our representatives impose unnecessary regulations on abortion clinics in an obvious attempt to shut them down, but it also pushed (unsuccessfully) for a law that would have required women seeking abortions to submit to medically unnecessary ultrasounds. They could close their eyes, Gov. Corbett famously said, if they didn't want to view them.
Now, as if on cue, a bill was introduced into the Pennsylvania House this month that would deny benefits to children born to women on welfare, even those who had become pregnant through rape, unless the women reported it when it happened. (More than half of rapes are never reported to police, often because women fear their attackers.)
Think of it: women are prevented from obtaining abortions and then denied benefits to help the children who are born.
As the election looms, it's important to remember that what people say may not match what they have done - and would do if they get the chance.