Firstly, it seemed to me that Todd Akin's answer was coached, and coached badly. This could lead me to believe that he was one of about half the open pro-life candidates, that became pro-life as a way to win an election. (Hello Mr. Romney!) Or perhaps he is truly pro-life but let someone else prepare his answers. Either way it suggests he hasn't thought about this topic all that much.
I always try to think the best of people so you probably won't find me berating him over the slip of "legitimate rape". I won't speculate into what he meant. I think he has apologized and tried to correct. He also tried to claim that women are less likely to be pregnant when raped - I've yet to see any real data on that and I'm highly skeptical. Add that as another part of our growing need for the Abortion Wiki to save pro-lifers from themselves.
What I'd like to discuss instead is what the answer to the question would be from me. Not that I am a genius or the gold standard for pro-life, but I am a father of a 10 year old girl and an advocate for the ending of abortion without exceptions for rape. So I have an obligation to give an answer to this question as best as I can.
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." (Robert Frost)
First, let me freely admit the obvious, if my daughter was raped it would be devastating. It would shatter not only her but my wife and I as well. It would not end us, but it would break off a piece of us. It would be terrifying and difficult to deal with. My heart goes out to anyone who has gone through that nightmare already.
At this point in my daughter's life she is not able to raise a child. She is still very much a wonderful child herself. She is currently 10 years old. I don't know how it could work. If you've had it work, please write me and tell me about it. I would love someone's first hand take on this. As for adoption --- while she could put up her child for adoption, I do not think I could bear it. Adoption is a wonderful option to be certain, but I cannot imagine I would be restful knowing that I have a granddaughter or son somewhere in the world and I could not be a part of her life.
My ultimate wish would be that I could get custody of my granddaughter and raise her. I don't pretend to know how this would work, but I know that I could love my grandchildren. Maybe this arraingement wouldn't last forever. Maybe when my daughter gets older I should turn custody back over to her. Whatever the case I know we could deal with each day as it comes -- just as we do today with five children. Millions of families make difficult situations work all the time. I'm sure I can take it.
What would never be an option would be to kill the child. For what purpose? What did the child do to deserve death?
So the argument is, "isn't it cruel to make your own daughter carry her attacker's child"?
As far as I can understand, an attacker would have no claim over a child in this situation. Solomon showed that the parent of the child is the one who will take care of her. A rapist has no such claim.
When any woman is victimized by rape, it is a bad time to take advantage of her mental state and suggest to her actions that could cause her more pain and regret later on. Killing a child is not a magic pill that makes the hurt go away. It will not miraculously heal the pain and the pro-aborts suggesting such only help to build up victims for a fall. A daughter is not the same as her father and promoting the connection only exacerbates a bad viewpoint. It is an unhealthy mind that would make that connection. The most beneficial position to take for a rape victim, and her family, is to maintain the boundaries in life that are universal constants. Doing right by the child gives the added benefit of creating an assuring boundary for the victim during an otherwise confusing and chaotic time.