John McCain, the Pro-Life Candidate August 23, 2008

John McCain, the Pro-Life Candidate

At the recent Saddleback Civil Forum hosted by Pastor Rick Warren, John McCain said this about his stance on abortion:

… I have a 25-year pro-life record in the Congress, in the Senate, and as President of the United States, I will be a pro-life President with pro-life policies. That’s my commitment. That’s my commitment to you.

In response, 23/6 presents Tips for Ladies Who Need to Terminate Their Pregnancy During a McCain Administration:

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  • Daniel Hoffman

    That is sick.

    I feel like explaining why is like explaining how to spell “cat” to a room full of Harvard professors.

  • Larry Huffman

    I agree 100%…it is sick that we are still putting a person up for nomination with such a view.

  • Erik

    Nice… it’s always weird/disappointing seeing the town where I grew up listed in a list like this. I wouldn’t paint Pierre as a bad place just because it is the capital where the abortion legislation ALMOST passed. It’s the entire state that ALMOST passed it. At least it didn’t pass.

  • Daniel Hoffman

    I’m not sure if you’re being sarcastic but I realized that my post and your’s taken together give a good bit of ambiguity.

    It is sick that anyone who won’t oppose killing young children is given a public hearing.

    Hearing groups like 23/6 talk flippantly about how happy-go-lucky it is to “terminate” “unwanted” “pregnancies” makes me think of Nazi guards laughing and playing checkers at concentration camps and is enough to make me want to throw up.

  • Daniel Hoffman


    I just noticed “Good Luck” at the bottom. That induces a second gag reflex. It is twistedly and disturbingly ironic, since some babies survive abortion attempts.

  • Siamang

    If McCain wants to define a human life at conception, then everyone using the pill is possibly committing infanticide.

    He’s too extreme. Babies shouldn’t be aborted anywhere close to viability.

    But neither should regular birth-control be outlawed, nor stem-cell research or in-vitro be criminalized.

    The extremists run this debate.

  • Holy crap that’s funny and disturbing.

  • Finn

    Babies can’t be aborted. Neither can fetuses. Only pregnancies can be aborted. Please at least try to stick to correct terminology.

    And Daniel, stay the fuck away from my uterus, kthx. (May I ask why “unwanted” is also in scare quotes? Are you suggesting that all women secretly want to be pregnant? Or, let me guess: They’re wanted by SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, therefore the feelings and welfare of the woman who has to carry the thing to term are negligible, right?)

  • SarahH

    Dhoff: I agree that it’s in bad taste, perhaps, but shock value is what the authors are counting on to help make their point.

    While I don’t think we’ll find any common ground on the first three items on that list, what do you have to say about 4 and 5? I think that measures that would, in practice, put the life of the fetus/unborn baby above that of the mother are sick.

    I also think that forcing women to keep tiny clumps of cells that are the result of rape and making them endure nine months of constant reminders of what happened to them is monstrous.

    If life begins at conception, then some women are naturally miscarrying constantly during their periods, as fertilized eggs will often be dispelled just like unfertilized eggs. Is this somehow the will of God, yet He would insist that a rape victim keep her fertilized egg?

  • Siamang

    sperm+egg+time+a willing woman with a healthy uterus + a little bit of luck = a baby

    If anyone’s got a way to make a baby with any less than that, then be my guest. Until then, don’t claim full baby when all you’ve got is half the recipe.

  • laurie

    Daniel Hoffman: “Hearing groups like 23/6 talk flippantly about how happy-go-lucky it is to “terminate” “unwanted” “pregnancies””

    Would like to point out that 23/6 is not a “group,” it’s a comedy site.

  • mikespeir

    The thing about the Bush twins really was uncalled for, regardless what merits there might be to the piece otherwise.

  • SarahH

    I agree with mikespeir and Siamang completely. Also: I find it kind of hilarious that the advertisement on the top of this page (for me, anyway) is a “John McCain for President” ad, lol.

  • Aj

    Hilarious, satire at its best. Confusing embryos and fetuses with young children is worse than the PETA freaks that confuse dogs with people. It almost always comes down to screwy ideas about “souls” and other magical thinking. Just remember…

    Every sperm is sacred! Every sperm is great!

  • Jen

    Well, unlike Daniel Hoffman, who hates this because he wants to tell women what to do with their bodies, I am disgusted because a McCain term could very well lead to overturning important pro-choice laws, and that is upseting. As a woman who has sex with men, and yet does not want babies, I want my birth control (preferably covered by insurance, and handed over by the pharmacist when I ask for it) and want abortion to be an option available to me. As a woman who is friends with a woman who can never have kids- it will kill her- I find the right to an abortion to be mandatory.

    Abortions will not end if they are illegal. Instead, women will die from unsafe abortions. Daniel, are you ok with your wife, sister, or mother dying from a coat hanger? And sure, maybe she never would have an abortion, no really, but one in three American women do. Please keep that in mind.

  • llewelly

    Wait a minute. Bill Clinton got pregnant? Who was the other father? Why was this concealed from the people? Was it part of the ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy?

  • I would hope that a President would make policy decisions based on reason and on his or her morality based on good, well thought out reason rather than an emotional response. It doesn’t really matter if I agree with the decisions as long as I can follow the reasoning.

    I think that the current law on terminations is pretty balanced for the most part. They are available where needed yet are not so easy to get as to be a replacement for contraception.

    If McCain has a pro-life AND an anti contraception\abstinence only opinion then America is in for an increase in disease, risky illegal medical procedures and unwanted children who must rely on the state for support.

    Yeah, good luck with that.

  • Daniel Hoffman

    We (men OR women) don’t have free reign over our bodies. We are not allowed, by law, to use our bodies to pick up a gun and shoot a stranger on the street. Saying abortion should be legal “because it’s my body” makes about as much sense as saying “I am going to take this knife and stab my neighbor, and don’t try to stop me, this is MY hand and MY arm!”

    Abortion should be legal because if it isn’t people will have coat-hanger abortions? In that case, let’s legalize theft so that people will steal in a safe and risk-free manner.

  • Siamang

    Come on, Daniel.

    You’re assuming that a pre-viability blastocyst is a person. It’s not. Neither is a seed a tree, nor a blueprint a skyscraper.

    The anti-choice people won’t get anywhere with their failed arguments if they do not address the actual reality that a baby is the results of more than just sperm and egg. It’s sperm+egg+time+uterus+luck.

    If you can get a baby without all 5 of those, I think the Nobel committee would like to hear from you. Mr. McCain seems to think it only takes the first two, and would like to skip the other three and hand out cigars that say “Congratulations, it’s an Amoeba!” before any of the hard work of childbearing has even begun.

    Such is the problem with magical thinking. There isn’t a bright clear line of instant creation. Development and gestation is a slow, fuzzy process. On one side is merely unimportant gametes, on the other side a need to be protected baby. And somewhere in that magic, mysterious middle is an ethical crossroads where difficult decisions need to be made thoughtfully.

    The anti choice people want to pull the Overton window all the way to foreplay, I’m afraid. And perhaps all the way back to a boy’s first boner. Why else would they be trying to get the pill and the IUD reclassified as “abortion”? At this point, we’re not talking about babies at all, but rather attempting to control the sexual activities of others.

    Let’s face it, the same people who want to outlaw abortion don’t particularly like gay sex, sex toys, straight oral sex or even masturbation. Which is a big clue that it’s not about the babies, it’s about the fact that they don’t like the idea that other people might be having some fun with their bits and pieces, without having to pay the wages of sin!

  • EKM

    Responding to what Siamang said, I don’t know if it is that religious people don’t like sex so much as they want to control other people’s lives.

    A lot of christians think that everybody should have kids because it’s “god’s plan.” Who are you to tell other people what they should do with their lives?

    Plus a lot of christians think that people who do not have children are selfish. Which brings us to yet another christian paradox: Selfishness according to them is not christians telling you what to do; selfishness is you not doing what they tell you.

  • Jen

    We (men OR women) don’t have free reign over our bodies. We are not allowed, by law, to use our bodies to pick up a gun and shoot a stranger on the street. Saying abortion should be legal “because it’s my body” makes about as much sense as saying “I am going to take this knife and stab my neighbor, and don’t try to stop me, this is MY hand and MY arm!”

    I think you are missing the point. Actually, the belief in bodily autonomy would mean that it would be legal to take the knife and stab yourself. When you stab someone else, you are infringing on their bodily autonomy. When a woman is pregnant, the pregnancy is taking resources (calories, calcium, etc, etc). This is fine if that’s what you want, but difficult if you do not want it.

    Let’s participate in a thought exercise. Let’s say I am pregnant, and I have a gyno who is going to perform an abortion on me. In my other hand, I have a knife that I am holding to the throat of my next-door-neighbor, a grandmother helping to raise her three grandkids. You burst in the room, because you are mighty interested in my uterus. Either the fetus or my neighbor is going to die, and I leave the choice up to you, because in McCain’s America, that is what women must do. Who do you choose to die?

  • ash

    Daniel Hoffman,

    We (men OR women) don’t have free reign over our bodies.

    you’re right, it is illegal to get our hair cut, to have tattoos + piercings, to refuse medical treatment, to prosecute another who inflicts physical damage on us…oh wait.

    in your world, should i ever find myself with legal power over you, i’m guessing you would find it perfectly acceptable for me to decree that i have decided for you that you should not be allowed to breed and therefore have to undergo a mandatory vasectomy. that would be ok, right?

    funny how women having authority over men’s bodies never seems to be an issue tho. i’m sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that some men can’t even conceive of woman as even being autonomous, thinking entities.

    rapists will never have their testicles removed because that would be a violation of their human rights. McCain and his ilk appear to argue that women’s human rights are dependant on, and subservient to, parasitical flesh that (in the early stages) has no heartbeat, feelings nor brain.

    tell me again who’s sick?

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