Of course words were never the problem. The “thinking” was the problem. Akin’s belief that legitimate rape so scrambles the female’s signals that even biology is thwarted was born of conversations he says he had with doctors. Akin at least should surrender the names of those doctors so that they can be removed from the practice of medicine. For those still confused, raped women do get pregnant, which is why many who are strongly pro-life nevertheless allow abortion exceptions for rape victims. Even so, the Republican Party platform calls for a “human life” amendment to the Constitution that, strictly applied, likely would prohibit any abortion under any circumstances.

Akin’s gift to Democrats wasn’t just a probable campaign killer for him personally. It also reminded critics that Akin once co-sponsored legislation with Paul Ryan redefining rape as “forcible” versus, what, voluntary? To be fair, there is a difference between morning-after remorse that some call “rape” and rape as most understand it. But for these purposes, as President Obama said, “Rape is rape.” Does a raped woman need bruises to qualify for an abortion? …

Perhaps so, but the cumulative effect of Republican actions aimed at limiting women’s access to abortion rather than seeking remedy through education poses an existential threat to the GOP. You don’t change people’s hearts by insulting their minds.