Here's what John McCain said last night in his debate with Barack Obama about how he feels about providing an exception on late-term abortions consi
October 16, 2008

Here's what John McCain said last night in his debate with Barack Obama about how he feels about providing an exception on late-term abortions considering the health or life of the mother:

He's health for the mother. You know, that's been stretched by the pro-abortion movement in America to mean almost anything. That's the extreme pro-abortion position, quote, "health."

I'm just a doofy guy, but it sure doesn't seem like smart politics to be dismissing so blithely the very real concerns women have about their health when it comes to reproductive decisions. That's not "extreme pro-abortion," last I checked -- it's "normal human being."

Even that bastion of sensitivity, MSNBC's Chris Matthews, spotted this:

I believe that it was a big mistake by John McCain tonight with regards to abortion rights. If it was his goal to win over the Hillary voter, or younger women in Florida or South East Pennsylvania, then what he said is not going to help him.

You can’t belittle the health exception with regard to abortion. You can’t say the exception is “only her possible death.” The health exception is in Roe V. Wade and characterizing it in a diminutive way is going to lose a lot of pro-choice women.

More insightful, as always, was Rachel Maddow:

I think the line that someone is going to regret, one that will resonate and will hurt McCain the most is when McCain ridiculed the idea that the life of the mother should be a concern in the abortion debate.

Women everywhere will reflect on that – that they’ll be forced by the government to carry to term and give birth. This will be seared on women’s minds: the government is not going to excuse you, short of death, from giving birth. It’s the extreme [anti]-abortion position.

Why exactly did he select Sarah Palin as his running mate? It sure as hell wasn't for the Hillary voters ...

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