May 27, 2008


Unmasking McCain: His Reactionary Record on Reproductive Rights (Arianna Huffington, 5/27/08, Real Clear Politics)

Since 1983, in votes in the House and the Senate (where he has served since 1987), McCain has cast 130 votes on abortion and other reproductive-rights issues. 125 of those votes were anti-choice [pdf]. Among his voting lowlights:

He has repeatedly voted to deny low-income women access to abortion care except in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother's life (although McCain is now wavering on trying to put these exceptions into the party platform).

He voted to shut down the Title X family-planning program, which provides millions of women with health care services ranging from birth control to breast cancer screenings.

He voted against legislation that established criminal and civil penalties for those who use threats and violence to keep women from gaining access to reproductive health clinics.

He voted to uphold the policy that bans overseas health clinics from receiving aid from America if they use their own funds to provide legal abortion services or even adopt a pro-choice position.

Of his anti-choice voting record, McCain has said, "I have many, many votes and it's been consistent," proudly adding: "And I've got a consistent zero from NARAL" through the years. And last month he told Chris Matthews: "The rights of the unborn is one of my most important values."

What's more, McCain has made it very clear that if he becomes president he will appoint judges in the Scalia, Roberts, Alito mold. His big judicial speech earlier this month was filled with coded buzz words that make it clear that, if given the chance, he'd replace 88-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens with an anti-choice Justice who would tip the scales against Roe v Wade. Throw in an additional anti-choice replacement for the 75-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and you can kiss the right to choose good-bye for a long, long time.

That's why the unmasking of John McCain is job Number One between now and November. they're panicking. Mr. McCain staunchly pro-life record does make for a stark contrast with Senator Obama, who's a moral monster on the issues, Obama's Abortion Vulnerability (Philip Gailey, 5/27/08, Real Clear Politics)
[O]bama not only voted against a ban on so-called partial-birth abortion, a procedure the late Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York once called "too close to infanticide,'' but opposed a bill to protect the life of an infant who survived a late-term abortion.

This could be a problem for Obama, who already has tripped over guns and religion. A majority of Americans support the right to abortion with some restrictions, generally approving the procedure in the first and second trimesters and in case of rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother.

Republicans will try to convince voters that Obama is outside this mainstream by focusing on his opposition, as an Illinois state senator, to a state version of the federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which passed the U.S. Senate in 2002 by a unanimous vote. The law prevents the killing of infants, usually by denying them medical care, when they are mistakenly left alive, outside the mother's womb, after an abortion.

Speaking against a similar bill in the Illinois Senate, Obama sounded like the constitutional law professor he was before going into politics.

"Number one,'' he said, "whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the Equal Protection Clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a child, a 9-month-old child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it — it would essentially bar abortions, because the Equal Protection Clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this were a child, this would be an anti-abortion statute.''

And if there's one thing the Democrats demand it's the "right" to kill children.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 27, 2008 8:24 PM

"a pre-viable fetus"

So 23-25 weeks is now the limit? Won't NARAL be surprised. And how does he square that with voting against the Infant Born Alive act? Certainly a 36-40 week old "fetus" is completely viable, no?

"and if this were a child"

The intellegentsia may accept that formulation, but most voters will not. Especially in those scary, Middle America states.

While this issue has yet to be explored, imagine the irony if the November election turns on abortion. The diminishing Left will have seizures for years afterwards.

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 27, 2008 10:18 PM

I wish McCain had included Clarence Thomas in his list of the type of judges he would appoint.

Posted by: h-man at May 28, 2008 4:46 AM

Mr. Hamlen, it is not so clean a line as that. SOmetimes fetuses as early as twenty-two weeks survive, but they're the ones who hold the record. Many of them survive, but with serious brain damage. At thirty-six weeks, a fetus has a good chance of living, but I'd call that mostly viable, not completely viable.

It sounds like Mr. Obama voted against the law because it was really a disguised anti-abortion law. The reason that I would be against that law is because "protecting the life of the fetus" is probably code for "give doctors such a fine line to walk that they'll be more worried about going to jail than treating their patients properly." It's part of the constrictor approach to limiting abortion.

In theory, there's no problem with taking a fetus that accidentally survived and giving it the same treatment as a premature baby, but in practice, such a law would require built-in protections for doctors who've acted in good faith. Give them no legal motive for harming the post-abortion fetus and every benefit of the doubt. Then such a law will be more about protecting babies and less about frightening doctors.

Posted by: DRF at May 28, 2008 7:24 AM

Unmasking McCain? That is going to be tough to do because John McCain has been in the public eye for so long most people have already formed a gut-level opinion of him that would need a startling revelation to begin to change.

Huffington would be better off trying to keep Sen. Obama from unmasking himself so much. He's the relative newcomer that needs to have the advertising match the gut-level opinion if he wants to win. Unfortunately, he is misstepping too much.

Posted by: Mikey at May 28, 2008 7:41 AM

Effendi Obama has already let it slip out that he holds pregnancy to be a "punishment." One need not be graced with Bibical gift of discernment of spirits to sense the elemental evil here.

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 28, 2008 8:10 AM

Isn't Arianna & Real Clear Politics a contradiction in terms.

Posted by: narciso at May 28, 2008 9:40 AM

DRF has it exactly, as does Senator Obama. As the law's proponents have been shouting from the housetops for years, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act is all about replanting in our law the seeds that, when full grown, will choke out the noxious weed that is the abortion license. And if in the interim it makes abortionists (good faith baby-killers, forsooth) live in fear of tort suits or jail time, so much the better. It's an anti-abortion statute, full stop.

Senator Obama is Bright, not Stupid; the issue is not intellectual, but moral.

Posted by: Random Lawyer at May 28, 2008 10:29 AM

The bill only has one point--to make the public aware that abortion practices are so horrific and standards so non-existent that they can result in a live birth. Make people aware of these secrets that they currently WANT to not know and you expose the pro-abortion crowd for what they are, and drive more people away from calling themselves "pro-choice."

Posted by: b at May 28, 2008 11:06 AM

Gotta love that formulation - "accidently survived". I suppose nothing is more frightening to an abortionist than that.

And of course Lou is right - Obama let his indifference shine through with what he said about his daughters. The indifference of the well-manicured nails, designing (enabling) the machines of death.

Posted by: ratbert at May 28, 2008 12:25 PM

So it's ok for doctors to kill a born alive baby to avoid tort claims?

Posted by: steve at May 29, 2008 12:33 AM