Monday, August 11, 2008

McCain The Pro-Lifer? McCain The Pro-Choicer?

Sarah Blustein has written an investigative piece about John McCain's views on women's reproductive rights. A snippet:

According to one poll, about half of all women voters backing McCain said they were pro-choice, including 36 percent who say they strongly support Roe. More importantly, these women voters think that McCain might agree with them on abortion. The same research found that "more than seven in ten pro-choice McCain supporters ... have yet to learn that McCain's position on abortion is directly at odds with their own." And the issue is not that they don't care. One June poll found that, when Democratic women voters in twelve battleground states learned McCain's position on abortion, Obama gained twelve points among them.

McCain's views may matter especially to Hillary Clinton supporters, many of whom are pro-choice; according to syndicated columnist Froma Harrop, "[T]hey'll want to know this: Would McCain stock the Supreme Court with foes of Roe v. Wade?" But, she writes, "The answer is unclear but probably 'no.' While McCain has positioned himself as 'pro-life' during this campaign, his statements over the years show considerable latitude on the issue."

That, however, is simply not true. There is no "latitude" in McCain's position on abortion. Interviews with dozens of people who have dealt with him on the issue--pro-choice and pro-life activists, Hill staffers, McCain confidants, pollsters, and staffers--along with a two-and-a-half-decade-long perfectly anti-abortion voting record, make that clear. And his record on related issues, like contraception, is no better. "I think it is outrageous that people give him a pass, as they gave George W. Bush a pass," reflects Feldt. "John McCain will be that and worse."

Read the whole article for a better understanding of McCain's position. My impression is that he really doesn't care about the issue at all on a personal level, doesn't follow it, doesn't know much about it, and will vote on the issues solely based on political expediency. The latter means that a president McCain would certainly do whatever the pro-lifers want him to do. Anyone who expects him not to try to squash Roe v. Wade lives in a different place. One where the sky is pink and sausages grow on trees.