Tuesday, September 2, 2008

An in-depth look at McCain-Palin on abortion

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough Misrepresented Extreme McCain-Palin View On Abortion

September 2, 2008: Scarborough:
"Nobody Associated With John McCain Is Suggesting To Outlaw Abortion." On the September 2, 2008 airing of Morning Joe on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough said, "Nobody associated with John McCain is suggesting to outlaw abortion." The full exchange is below:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Nobody. Nobody associated with John McCain is suggesting to outlaw abortion. That abortion should be outlawed. This is a fundamental misreading of Roe v. Wade.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: That's [Palin's position].

SCARBOROUGH: This is a fundamental misreading of Roe v. Wade that has been propagatedby the mainstream media . . .

MATTHEWS: You're propagating something totally wrong here.

[ . . . ]

SCARBOROUGH: What will happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned is states . . . will make the decision . . .

MATTHEWS: But that's not her position, her position is within the state of Alaska, outlaw it in all circumstances.

[MSNBC, Morning Joe, 9/2/08, emphasis added]

McCain: "I do not support Roe v. Wade. I think it should be overturned."

McCain Said Roe v. Wade Should Be Overturned.
McCain said, "I do not support Roe v. Wade. I think it should be overturned." [New York Times, 2/24/07]

McCain Web Site Said Roe v. Wade was "Flawed Decision."
Sen. McCain's 2008 presidential campaign website states that he "believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned." [John McCain for President 2008 campaign website, On the Issues: Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life, accessed 3/24/08]

McCain Derided Roe Decision And Said He Would "Welcome" Its Reversal.
Speaking on the Senate floor in 2006, McCain said, "Decisions such as Roe v. Wade continue to distort the democratic process in ways large and small to this very day." McCain continued, "Those of us who consider ourselves pro-life would welcome the Supreme Court's reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision that found a Constitutional right to an abortion. The result of that reversal would be to return the regulation of abortion to the states, where the values of local communities would be influential." [McCain Senate press release, 6/6/06]

McCain Supported Overturning Roe v. Wade;
Said it Was "Very Likely." Speaking on ABC News, McCain said, "I do believe that it's very likely, or possible, that a Supreme Court should - could overturn Roe v. Wade which would then return these decisions to the states which I support." [ABC News, 11/19/06]

McCain Said He "Never Agreed With Roe v. Wade"
and Claimed it's Reversal "Wouldn't Bother" Him. During an appearance on CBS's The Early Show John McCain, when asked about the possibility of abortion being banned, said, "I don't know the answer to that. I've never agreed with Roe v. Wade, so it wouldn't bother me any." [CBS, Early Show, 1/25/06]

McCain Said He Supports A Constitutional Amendment
Banning "All Abortions."During an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" in 2000, McCain voiced his repeated support for a ban on all abortion. Here is the exchange:

MR. RUSSERT: A constitutional amendment to ban all abortions?

SEN. McCAIN: Yes, sir.

MR. RUSSERT: You're for that?

SEN. McCAIN: Yes, sir.

MR. RUSSERT: If, in fact, all abortions were banned in America...

SEN. McCAIN: I understand.

MR. RUSSERT: ...under President McCain...

SEN. McCAIN: Understand.

MR. RUSSERT: ...let's look at our country. What would happen to a woman who had an abortion?

SEN. McCAIN: Obviously, it would be illegal, but I would not prosecute a woman who did that. I would think that it would be such a terrible trauma that--but I would not make those abortions available or easy as they are today in America. And I think that, again, we're talking about a situation which is very unlikely at this time, and I would like to see us ban partial-birth abortion, pass parental notification, parental consent and move forward in the areas that we can move forward in, including working with pro-life, pro-choice Americans on trying to make adoption easier, which is very difficult in America, trying to improve foster care, trying to move together in areas that we can agree on, rather than polarizing us as both ends of the spectrum have done.

MR. RUSSERT: But, Senator, women across the country would say, "Senator McCain, prior to Roe vs. Wade, hundreds of thousands of women a year went to the back alleys to have abortions."

SEN. McCAIN: I understand that.

MR. RUSSERT: Many died.

SEN. McCAIN: I understand that. [NBC, Meet The Press, 1/30/00]

2007: McCain Supported Federal Abortion Ban.
On the Federal Abortion Ban, Sen. McCain said, "Today's Supreme Court ruling is a victory for those who cherish the sanctity of life and integrity of the judiciary. The ruling ensures that an unacceptable and unjustifiable practice will not be carried out on our innocent children. It also clearly speaks to the importance of nominating and confirming strict constructionist judges who interpret the law as it is written, and do not usurp the authority of Congress and state legislatures. As we move forward, it is critically important that our party continues to stand on the side of life." [McCain for President Press Release, 4/18/07]

McCain Has "Unbroken Record Of Opposing Abortion Rights,"
Including In Cases of Rape and Incest. According to the Associated Press, McCain has an "unbroken record of opposing abortion rights for women. McCain has repeatedly voted against federal funding for abortion; he has opposed federal Medicaid funds for abortion even in cases of rape or incest." [Associated Press, 5/6/08]

McCain: "I Pledge to You to be Loyal and Unswerving Friend of the Right to Life Movement. "If I am fortunate enough to be elected as the next President of the United States, I pledge to you to be a loyal and unswerving friend of the right to life movement." [Statement by Sen. McCain read by Sen. Sam Brownback at the March for Life in Washington, DC, 1/22/08]

Washington Times: McCain Record Shows
a "Striking Opposition" To Right To Choose. The Washington Times reported, "Though the Arizona senator and all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee doesn't detail his voting record on the campaign trail, an examination reveals a striking opposition to abortion in most of the major fights such as partial-birth abortion down to the smallest of skirmishes, even when he was in a distinct minority. Those votes include joining just 20 other senators in voting to delete family-planning grants from a spending bill in 1988 and joining 18 others in voting against spending Medicaid funds on abortions in cases of rape and incest." [Washington Times, 2/18/08]

Sarah Palin: Anti-Choice, Including In The Case Of Rape Or Incest

Palin: "I Am Pro-Life."
During the 2006 Alaskan gubernatorial election, Eagle Forum Alaska sent each candidate a questionnaire. In response to a question on the legality of abortion, Sarah Palin answered: "I am pro-life. With the exception of a doctor's determination that the mother's life would end if the pregnancy continued. I believe that no matter what mistakes we make as a society, we cannot condone ending an innocent's life." [Eagle Forum Alaska, 7/31/06, emphasis added]

Palin Said She Would Want Her Daughter
To Have The Child If She Were Raped. According to the Anchorage Daily News, during the final 2006 gubernatorial debate, "The candidates were pressed on their stances on abortion and were even asked what they would do if their own daughters were raped and became pregnant. Palin said she would supportabortion only if the mother's life was in danger. When it came to her daughter, she said, 'I would choose life.'" [Anchorage Daily News, 11/3/06, emphasis added]

Palin Described Herself As "Pro-Life As Any Candidate Can Be."
As reported by theAnchorage Daily News, "In 2002, when she was running for lieutenant governor, Palin sent an e-mail to the anti-abortion Alaska Right to Life Board saying she was as 'pro-life as any candidate can be' and has 'adamantly supported our cause since I first understood, as a child, the atrocity of abortion.'" [Anchorage Daily News, 8/6/06]

· Palin Opposes Abortion "Even In The Cases Of Rape And Incest."
According to the Los Angeles Times, "What's known about [Palin's] policy positions and public statements has been tremendously reassuring to conservatives, who issued numerous statements Friday praising the 44-year-old governor. But one person's solid conservatism -- opposing abortions, even in the cases of rape and incest; denying human contributions to global warming; supporting the teaching of creationism in public schools -- is another's extremism." [Los Angeles Times, 8/30/08]

Palin A Member Of Feminists For Life.
In a release published on the Feminists for Life website, the group confirmed Sarah Palin's membership and detailed the aims of the organization: "Feminists for Life's policy is that all memberships are confidential. However, since Governor Palin has been public about her membership, we can confirm that Palin became a member in 2006… 'FFL members represent a broad political as well as religious spectrum, and we remain both nonpartisan and nonsectarian. There are many issues outside Feminists for Life's mission. Feminists for Life is dedicated to systematically eliminating the root causes that drive women to abortion - primarily lack of practical resources and support - through holistic, woman-centered solutions. We recognize that abortion is a reflection that our society has failed to meet the needs of women and that too often women have settled for less. Women deserve better than abortion,' said [FFL President Serrin] Foster." [WomenDeserveBetter.com, accessed 8/31/08, emphasis added]

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