Republicans want members of their party to stop making controversial comments about rape.
The recent backlash after Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey attempted to explain defeated Senate candidate Todd Akin's rape remarks gave many a bad case of deja vu. Gingrey said Akin was "partially right" when he said last year that a woman has the power to shut down a pregnancy from a "legitimate rape," Politico reported.
This new round of controversy over Gingrey's comments has made some Republican operatives determined to prevent future incidents. Kevin Madden, who was a senior adviser in Mitt Romney's campaign offered some clear cut advice.
"This is actually pretty simple. If you're about to talk about rape as anything other than a brutal and horrible crime, stop," he told Politico. "Our pro-life values as a party should be framed in terms of the culture of life. It's easy enough to do that. It shouldn't be conflated with other issues."
The Susan B. Anthony list, an anti-abortion group, has been developing a training program to keep candidates and lawmakers from making such controversial statements. The group's president Marjorie Dannenfelser told Poltico that lawmakers who make the comments are falling for a trap set by supporters of abortion rights who want to focus the debate on extreme situations like rape instead of other abortions. The program will "make sure that in future elections, a candidate can never with a straight face say, 'I never thought about that' or 'I got caught flat-footed,'" she said.