Skip to comments.Misperceptions About McCain's Abortion Stance
Posted on 02/03/2008 1:52:10 PM PST by Mr. Brightside
Misperceptions About McCain's Abortion Stance
by Julie Rovner
Weekend Edition Saturday, February 2, 2008 · Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's departure from the presidential race earlier this week means that once again, whoever the Republicans nominate will oppose abortion rights and whoever the Democrats nominate will be pro-choice. Many Republican voters, however, seem to believe, incorrectly, that the current Republican front-runner, Arizona Sen. John McCain, supports abortion rights, too.
The misperception is interesting, considering that McCain has not attempted to keep his pro-life views a secret. Here's how he put it on an appearance last year on NBC's 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," McCain said. "To me, it's an issue of human rights and human dignity."
And while now former candidate Fred Thompson, the former senator from Tennessee, won the coveted endorsement from the National Right to Life Committee, McCain's voting record on the issue is just fine, says David O'Steen, the group's executive director.
"He's been very consistent; he hasn't changed his position," O'Steen says. He says that his group has supported McCain in every one of his senate races. "We've always considered him pro-life," he says.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, says her group has always considered McCain pro-life as well. And it's not just abortion, she says.
"He voted against family planning, he voted against the freedom of access to clinic entrances that was about violence against women in clinics," Keenan says, adding, "He voted against funding for teen pregnancy-prevention programs, and making sure that abstinence only was medically accurate. This is very, very extreme."
Yet in Florida's GOP primary on Jan. 29, McCain won 45 percent of Republican voters who said abortion should be legal. That's nearly twice the total of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who used to be pro-choice, but now says he has changed his mind. And Giuliani, who says he still is pro-choice, received just 19 percent of those pro-choice voters.
NARAL's Keenan thinks it's because voters see McCain splitting with Republicans on so many other issues, they assume he must split with them when it comes to abortion as well.
"I think it comes back to that moderate maverick image that he's tried to portray," Keenan says. "But when you peel the onion back, the record shows that this is a guy who's been very anti-choice since he entered the U.S. House of Representatives back in 1983."
Those pro-choice McCain voters may also remember the very public feud McCain has had with the National Right to Life Committee. But that argument wasn't over abortion, says the NRLC's O'Steen; it was over the campaign finance measure that McCain sponsored with Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, a Democrat.
"The McCain-Feingold Act limited the ability of non-PACS [political action committees] to even mention the name of a candidate within 30 days of a primary, or 60 days of a general election," O'Steen says.
In other words, the dispute was a freedom of speech issue.
McCain's pro-life record isn't totally spotless: He did vote in favor of expanding federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. But both pro-choice and pro-life groups say that if McCain becomes the Republican nominee, they'll work hard to make sure voters know what his abortion position really is.
Wisconsin Right to Life versus John McCain.
National PEOPLES Radio???
To some here, it’s the only issue.
He favors fetal stem cell research, and said so again just the other day.
Also, yes, he is pro-life in his voting record. But I am not at all confident what kind of judges he will appoint.
No, it isn’t the only issue. I would never vote for anyone who was pro-abortion. Since McCain is also for Illegal Immigration Amnesty, voted against the Bush tax cuts, co-authored the biggest farce in “campaign reform” and generally insulted all Christian conservatives, McCain could be Mother Theresa on the abortion issue and I would STILL not vote for him.
If McCain is so Pro Life, why did he Father the Gang of 14 Compromise to ensure dozens of solidly Conservative Pro Life Judges did not get appointed to Federal Courts?
If McCain is Pro Life why did he father the CFR bill which has significantly damaged Pro Life movements ability to influence elections.
McCainiancs are desperately trying to obfuscate between the Mccain record of the 1980s-early 1990s and the McCain record of the last 10 years.
Conservatives will not be fooled again by McCain’s rhetoric.
The next president may get two picks this next presidential term if Stevens and Bader-Ginsberg retire.
Obama/Clinton would definately give us two younger liberals.
Hopefully, we with McCain we might get one conservative out of the two. Or he might give us two Sandra Day O’Connors.
But even adding ONE swing vote to the court would help us a LOT!
Where are the supposed intellectually honest Conservative supporting McCain? So far all we see are seeing is a bunch of lying frauds who routinely lie about what the Anti Mccain people are saying.
What the Anti McCain people have said is there are very little differences between McCain and Hillary in Political Philosphy. Both are Big Govt Authoritrians. NO ONE has ever said they agree on every single issue.
Yes, it is to some...go back through the last couple years, and read the abortion threads.
McCain recently complained that Justice Alito wore his conservatism on his sleave. I have yet to hear him issue a complaint against Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
Hey, it’s important to me! But I would vote against McCain even if abortion was not an issue, as would most other conservatives here.
That's complete and utter BS and you know it, since you read the same posts I do, i.e. "there is NO difference" blah, blah, blah ?
Off topic but this is the current delegate count as of Feb 3:
I agree. McCain cannot carry the conservative base in any event.
What no one is mentioning is that McCain has opted for Federal matching funds, when he was in dire straits. Now he will be severely limited, while the opposition will NOT have any limits. Soros will bury a McCain campaign. It will be more disastrous than the Ford or Dole campaigns, likely losing dozens more house seats and even more Senate seats. I sincerely hope that Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman are happy with their dismantling of the GOP.
That's extremely lame since CFR can be said to damage ALL movement's ability to influence elections.