Mark Davis

Not radically pro-choice in some Susan Sarandon/ Barack Obama way, but observant of a narrow window within which a woman may terminate pregnancies for rape, incest, or any other reason-- a birth control mishap, a lapse in judgement, or she has all the kids she wants already.

If those justifications seem to be a lower bar than the horrors of rape or incest, that’s correct. But here is the ultimate truth: newly created life is either sacred or it is not.

If it is not, abortion becomes permissible for a wide range of reasons.

If it is, abortion is never permissible, except to save the life (not the health) of the mother.

Good luck with that on the campaign trail. But this is not about what is expedient, it is about what is morally sound.

It is far easier to straddle the fence and profess various anti-abortion views from bans on federal funding to parental consent, all the while parroting the calming song of the rape and incest exception.

But those exceptions are a death sentence for the babies who have no say in the circumstances of their creation.

Every Republican-- every conservative-- must pick a side. Will it be the safer option of placing asterisks alongside any stated passion for protecting the unborn? Or will it be the more challenging, tougher to sell yet morally principled side of acknowledging that “sacred” is not an adjective to be trifled with, even to get votes?

Like the slow enlightenment toward our societal rejection of slavery, it will be a long journey for those seeking to make this view the default setting of a nation. Arguments are one tool. Examples are another.

I have had the pleasure in recent years of adding a profound blessing to my circle of friendships. James Robison of Life Outreach International is both a friend and neighbor, with a Texas-based broadcast empire that has welcomed me as I have welcomed him to various shows of mine. We have enjoyed many discussions of faith and politics, on and off the air.

Purely personally, he and his wife Betty are an inspiration. In word and in deed, they are living examples of what Christianity teaches.

If you are thinking that James and I have had some discussions about this issue which have given me clarity, you would be right.

But it is not his words that should open your eyes. It is the fact that he is here to speak them.

James Robison is the product of rape. The years he has spent enriching countless lives, mine among them, would be erased if his mother had chosen to compound the atrocity of what happened to her by eradicating the resulting life.

Richard Mourdock, and all who are truly pro-life, do not condone rape by wrapping it in the justification of God’s will. But any resulting pregnancy is God’s miracle, and we are the stewards and protectors of it.

No one said that stewardship would be easy. The choices are hard, for rape and incest victims themselves, and for the politicians who need the spine and clarity to speak challenging truths if they wish to say they are genuinely pro-life.