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On Tuesday, Tea Party Senate candidate Rick Mourdock echoed what many Republicans feel about abortion, but in language so direct and striking that it’s drawing national attention:

“I’ve struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said. “And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Mourdock defeated Indiana’s incumbent Senator Richard Lugar in the primary and is facing a tight race—and is the only Senate candidate in the country for whom Mitt Romney has filmed a commercial, a fact the Democratic National Committee has pointed out in this new web ad:

Mourdock’s belief that there should be no exception that allows a woman to end a pregnancy is shared by the GOP platform and at least 40 Republican candidates for the House and Senate including Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP nominee for vice-president, and Rep. Todd Akin. Akin tried to justify this belief earlier this year by claiming that in cases of “legitimate rape” women do not get pregnant.

Former Senator and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination Rick Santorum suggested that women should “make the best of a bad situation”:

…I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you. As you know, we have to, in lots of different aspects of our life we have horrible things happen. I can’t think of anything more horrible, but nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation and I would make the argument that that is making the best.

Former Republican nominee for the Senate in Nevada, Sharron Angle, had a folksier way of putting it:

And my counsel was to look for some alternatives, which they did. And they found that they had made what was really a lemon situation into lemonade.

Mourdock is countering the attacks by saying his opponents are charging that he said rape was God-intended.

“Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments, and they do not reflect his views,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Tuesday evening in an email to The Associated Press.

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