Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Vs. McCain myths: Abortion

Somehow, John McCain's deviation from a few of today's conservative standards has lead many people to believe that his views are moderate on every issue. The record will indicate that on several issues Senator McCain is not moderate; today let's address abortion.

On February 2, 2008, National Public Radio ran a "Weekend Edition" story by Julie Rovner, "Misperceptions About McCain's Abortion Stance." She contrasted the belief of many Republicans that McCain is pro-choice with his public statements. She quoted him from a 2007 appearance on "Meet the Press,"
"I have stated time after time after time that Roe v Wade was a bad decision, that I support a woman — the rights of the unborn — that I have fought for human rights and human dignity throughout my entire political career."

David O'Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee said that McCain had been "very consistent" in his opposition to abortion. He said that the RTL Committee had supported him in every one of his senate races. This appreciation of McCain is reflected in the Committee's rating of McCain. In 2005-2006 the Committee gave him a 75% rating. And in 2003-2004 the Committee gave him an 82% rating.

How have abortion rights advocates rated him? The National Abortion Rights Action League gave him a zero rating in each of these years. The February NPR report added: NARAL's president, Nancy Keegan, noted that "He voted against family planning, he voted against the freedom of access to clinic entrances — that was about violence against women in clinics." She further noted, "He voted against funding for teen pregnancy-prevention programs, and making sure that abstinence only was medically accurate. This is very, very extreme."

See the interest group ratings here.

McCain often responds to queries about positions on major issues and then responds by saying that he's uninformed on the issue. (For snippets of his confusion, see Brave New Film's compilation, "McCain's YouTube Problem Just Became a Nightmare," toward the upper right of this page.) A July 23, 2008 NPR "Morning Edition" report noted that Carla Fiorina, a McCain adviser, complained about health insurance plans that will cover Viagra, but will not cover contraceptives for women.
A reporter asked McCain on July 10 about Fiorina's concern and about McCain's vote against legislation requiring insurance companies to cover contraceptives. McCain responded, "I certainly don't want to discuss that issue." He also said that he didn't know enough about the issue to give her an answer and that he cast thousands of votes. Watch him squirm as this exchange was recorded on CNN.

Let's remind on-the-fence voters about his stance on contraceptives and abortion. Keep in mind that two Supreme Court Justices are might retire during the next administration: John Paul Steven will be 89 next April. Ruth Bader Ginsburg will 76 next March. These are the court's two most liberal justices. Do we want an anti-birth control, anti-abortion president selecting their replacements?


The Choice is clear!
Download this National Abortion Rights Action League web page and comparison chart or the PDF flyer: "Sen. Obama or Sen. McCain"

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