As a pro-life apologist, I am more than just disappointed with Todd Akin. I am also angry. Over the course of the summer, I gave seven speeches on abortion - all of which addressed the issue of the so- called rape exception, which first appeared in my native state of Mississippi seven years prior to Roe v. Wade. In all seven lectures, I urged students to use caution when talking about the sensitive issue of rape and abortion. But I urged them not to run from the issue. In fact, I went so far as to say that we cannot win the debate until we make a reasoned argument for banning abortion even in cases of rape and incest.
In the event that there are prospective Republican congressional candidates who want to argue the issue (on CNN or elsewhere), here is how I would advise broaching this difficult subject. I would also request that Todd Akin keep his mouth closed until he has finished reading the following guidelines for discussion of the so-called rape exception:
A. Assess your opponent’s true position. In all likelihood, the person urging a rape exception does not really believe in it. In order for there to be an exception to a rule banning abortions, there has to be a rule banning abortions. That much is obvious. It is also obvious that pro-choicers do not merely want abortion to be available in cases of rape. They want it available in all cases. Call them out on it. Tell them you will write the rape exception into law just as soon as they write the law banning all other abortions. They will never take you up on it. The reason is simple: they are lying.