What Mourdock says he meant is that life is always intended, though violence never is. By all means, Hoosiers, reject him because he thinks needed social programs are too expensive, because fiscal cliffs and debt ceilings don’t scare him even a little bit, and because those comical “my way or the highway” Donnelly commercials contain more than a kernel of truth about his avowed contempt for compromise. But because he worships a God who likes to see women humiliated? That’s willful distortion, it seems to me.

Wednesday morning, an editor called me, wondering whether we could stop by a rape crisis center or something and find a rape victim to weigh in on Mourdock’s comments. But with 200,000 women raped in this country every year, finding such a person was easier than he imagined…

[O]pposition with no exceptions is the logical conclusion of believing that life begins at conception — just as some have argued that post-birth abortion is the logical conclusion of believing that abortion’s fine at any point and for any reason. That’s why so many of us are in the messy, inconsistent middle, wary of the investigative nightmare that criminalization would set off, but also uncomprehending of the logic that it’s only a baby if and when we say it is.