The debate over contraception that occupied so much campaign conversation wasn’t started by Rick Santorum and Catholic bishops. Theirs was a response to President Obama’s mandate essentially requiring Catholic organizations to ignore their convictions and provide insurance coverage for birth control for their employees.

Senate candidates Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock didn’t introduce the subjects of abortion and rape, either – they were asked about them during debates. Yes, they responded atrociously, but Republicans don’t campaign wearing sandwich boards that say, “Ask me about rape.” The media cynically ask these questions to elicit crazy responses. In those two cases, mission accomplished.

So even when we don’t talk about it, liberals will find a way to get us to discuss abortion. We may as well direct the conversation instead of being dragged into it unprepared….

Half the electorate is pro-life. That means we have to talk about life in compelling, compassionate ways that resonate.

We have to stand up for life without standing against women. And, yes, we have to put up better candidates who make sane, rational pro-life arguments. The solution for conservatives isn’t to talk about it less, it’s to talk about it more – and better.

~ S.E. Cupp (pictured above), New York Daily News, November 21