McCain And Women's Issues: It's More Than Just Roe

Obviously, John McCain’s intention to move the Supreme Court even further to the right and overturn Roe is high on the list of concerns regarding wo

Obviously, John McCain’s intention to move the Supreme Court even further to the right and overturn Roe is high on the list of concerns regarding women's issues, but Scott Lemieux had a good item this week reminding us that Roe is just part of a bigger picture.

Yes, it’s true that replacing John Paul Stevens and/or Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a Republican appointee will be bad for abortion rights, although this is likely to occur by further draining content from Casey rather than overturning Roe outright.

But even when it comes to women’s rights, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The enforcement of civil rights protections for women is likely to be much less in a Republican administration, for example. The global gag order will remain firmly in place. And in general, four more years of a tax-cut-supporting, massive-defense-spending GOP president will not only make any kind of serious progressive reform (much of which disproportionately benefits women even if not specifically targeted to do so) virtually impossible for four more years but will also make it more difficult in the future. A McCain presidency would be very, very bad for women even if not a single Supreme Court vacancy opens up during his tenure.

Quite right. We’re not just talking about esoteric issues like Supreme Court cases and speculative high court retirements; this is about the kind of impact McCain policies can and would have on women’s lives every day.

As St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, an enthusiastic Clinton backer, said this week, “You don’t spend your life fighting for women’s rights and then vote for Sen. McCain.”

As it turns out, we can even go further on this point.

David Greenberg, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood in Oregon, had an especially good item this week on the subject.

John McCain is one of only a few Senators to earn a Zero percent lifetime rating from Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund, and he only scored that high because the organization doesn’t have a lower rating…. Let’s look at his record:


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He voted against requiring health care plans to cover birth control (3/22/03).

He voted against comprehensive, medically accurate sex education (7/25/06).

He voted against international family planning funding (3/14/96).

He voted against funding to prevent teen and unintended pregnancies (3/17/05).

He voted against public education for emergency contraception (3/17/05).

And he voted against restoring Medicaid funding that could be used for family planning for low-income women (3/17/05).

NPR reported (2/2/08) that, “Many Republican voters seem to believe, incorrectly, that the current Republican front-runner, Arizona Senator John McCain, supports abortion rights.”

John McCain wants us to believe that he’s a moderate who supports improving the health of women in the United States, but in fact he’s among the most extreme members of Congress who voted against common sense measures on family planning, sex education and access to basic healthcare.

In contrast, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton agree on all of these issues.

Just sayin'.

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