McCain on contraception [12-second pause]

With friends like Tom Coburn, McCain's an enemy

Topics: 2008 Elections, Abortion, Broadsheet, Tom Coburn, John McCain, R-Ariz., Love and Sex,

OK, remember how John McCain is not moderate? Well, we’d all better, says Cristina Page at the Huffington Post. “Pro-choice Americans haven’t yet pegged McCain as the extreme anti-choice copy of George W. Bush he is,” she writes. “In fact, the Straight Talk Express has skidded off the road that most Americans drive. He is more extreme than even some who consider themselves ‘pro-life.’”

That’s to the degree that McCain has even bothered to think about these things in the first place. Page reports that, except when saying things like “I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past; I have to find out what my position was,” he has indicated that he’s mostly happy to leave the thinking to Sen. (and Dr.) Tom “I favor the death penalty for abortionists” Coburn of Oklahoma. (Reporter: “But you would agree that condoms do stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Would you say: ‘No, we’re not going to distribute them,’ knowing that?” Mr. McCain: [Twelve-second pause] “Get me Coburn’s thing, ask Weaver to get me Coburn’s paper that he just gave me in the last couple of days. I’ve never gotten into these issues before.”)

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When otherwise left to his own devices, McCain has, let’s see:

— “consistently voted against the right to a legal abortion and … against contraception.”

— voted to end the Title X family planning program, credited with helping prevent over 9 million abortions, and quite a bit of teen pregnancy as well.

— opposed government financing of condom distribution.

— voted against legislation that would have a) required insurance coverage of prescription birth control and b) provided more women with prenatal care. (“So throw in anti-baby too.” Speaking of which …)

— found himself ranked among the 25 worst senators for children by the Children’s Defense Fund.

— voted against making abstinence-only education medically accurate.

— supported taking $75 million from the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant for an abstinence-only program.

Well, there you go. If you need reminding on your positions, Senator, you can just check with us.

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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