One of the things that Richard Mourdock's remarks, and the subsequent rallying-around by pretty much the entire GOP including Mitt Romney, is that the GOP's position on abortion and contraception is all of a piece, and essentially the entire party supports it.
At the heart of it is fetal personhood, the notion that when the sperm cell bonks into the egg cell, voila! - instant person, whose moral worth is to be reckoned on a par with yours or mine.
That's why they regard their stand against abortion even in the case of rape and incest as principled - if that fertilized egg is a person, just like you and me, then of course its manner of having been brought into the world is irrelevant. The only thing that could possibly justify risking the life of this person is if the life of the woman carrying it is in danger, and even then there's little reason to favor the life of the woman over the life of the person inside her. (Bet that makes every woman reading this feel all tingly - that if it comes down to her life, or the life of the person inside her, we ought to just flip a coin over it. Swell.)
And of course, if the newly fertilized egg is a person, just like you and me, then any form of birth control that might work, even some of the time, by keeping this person from implanting in the uterine wall, thus ending that person's life - well, that form of birth control must be banned.
There's a reason why the GOP lined up behind the Catholic bishops on the inclusion of contraceptive access in ObamaCare: this is their position too, not for whatever reasons Pope Paul VI found to argue against contraception back in the 1960s, but because they have concluded that it's abortion under another name.
Now this is obviously a ridiculous position, and it's obviously a theological position. They can do in vitro fertilization in a petri dish - so is that a person, just like you and me, in that petri dish? Of course not - and you'd have to be the sort of person that would put theory and theology over the evidence of your lying eyes and your functioning brain (a thing the newly fertilized egg doesn't have, incidentally - you and I would stop being persons if our brans were to suddenly be removed, but apparently the fertilized egg can be a person without a brain, kind of like Republicans) to believe that it was.
But that's the position of the GOP. And despite his occasional talk of rape-and-incest exceptions (scary how that's now the 'moderate' position), the positions Mitt has taken across the board have largely been consistent with his party's overall position.
So in a week and a half, one thing we're voting on is not only whether a woman's right to choose will be preserved, but also whether access to birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives will be preserved, and with it, a woman's autonomy, a woman's right to control her own destiny. The Democratic Party is enthusiastically in favor of this; the GOP is increasingly dead set against it all.
If that were the only difference between the two parties, this would be a high-stakes election.
It's not, of course. And maybe SC and I can take turns illustrating the high stakes across the board in this election: I suspect SC may be finding that it's hard to wrap it all into a single post. So I thought I'd take on one issue, and we can take it from there.