McCain: I was against Roe before I was for it before I was against it

As the senator courts the right, he says that the Supreme Court could and should reverse Roe v. Wade.

Tim Grieve
November 20, 2006 7:45PM (UTC)

Remember when John McCain was "too liberal" to get through the Republican primaries? Think Progress points us to the flip and the flop and the flip:

McCain in 1998: The National Right to Life Committee asked McCain if he supported "the complete reversal of the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions, thereby allowing the state legislatures and the Congress to once again protect unborn children?" His answer: "Yes."


McCain in 2000: McCain told at least two media outlets that he did not support the reversal of Roe because it would force too many women into dangerous, back-alley abortions. "I'd love to see a point where it is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary," he told the San Francisco Chronicle. "But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations."

McCain in 2006: George Stephanopoulos asked McCain Sunday if he favors a constitutional amendment outlawing most abortions. McCain's response: "I don't think a constitutional amendment is probably going to take place, but I do believe that its very likely or possible that the Supreme Court should -- could overturn Roe v. Wade, which would then return these decisions to the states, which I support." Stephanopoulos asked McCain if he'd support the reversal of Roe. "Yes," he said, "because Im a federalist. Just as I believe that the issue of gay marriage should be decided by the states, so do I believe that we would be better off by having Roe v. Wade return to the states. And I dont believe the Supreme Court should be legislating in the way that they did on Roe v. Wade."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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2008 Elections Abortion John Mccain, R-ariz. War Room

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