Tuesday, July 08, 2008

John McCain: Right on Life

So it took longer than I thought, but I've finally done the research about John McCain to contrast his positions on abortion with Obama's (see "Obama is Far, Far Left on Abortion"). Here's the good news for conservatives: McCain appears to be solidly pro-life.

Starting with his own website:
John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench.

Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, returning the abortion question to the individual states. The difficult issue of abortion should not be decided by judicial fiat.

However, the reversal of Roe v. Wade represents only one step in the long path toward ending abortion. Once the question is returned to the states, the fight for life will be one of courage and compassion - the courage of a pregnant mother to bring her child into the world and the compassion of civil society to meet her needs and those of her newborn baby. The pro-life movement has done tremendous work in building and reinforcing the infrastructure of civil society by strengthening faith-based, community, and neighborhood organizations that provide critical services to pregnant mothers in need. This work must continue and government must find new ways to empower and strengthen these armies of compassion. These important groups can help build the consensus necessary to end abortion at the state level. As John McCain has publicly noted, "At its core, abortion is a human tragedy. To effect meaningful change, we must engage the debate at a human level."
There's a lot more at the link, including encouraging views on adoption, marriage, and stem-cell research.

One of the reasons you may not know much about McCain's views on abortion is that many pro-life groups resent his campaign finance bill, which restricted what they could say about candidates in pre-election advertising. So they aren't solidly behind him, and they aren't out there stumping for him. Here's what National Right to Life has to say:
National Right to Life PAC strongly supports Senator John McCain for United States President and we have supported him in all of his U.S. Senate races.

Even while National Right to Life disagreed with Senator McCain on campaign finance reform, Senator McCain did not waver in his votes against abortion.

Senator John McCain has a solid voting record against abortion and has cast 31 pro-life votes since 1997.

Since pro-life groups are a little lukewarm due to the campaign finance issue, some of the best information actually came from NARAL. NARAL, which wholeheartedly endorsed Obama, considers McCain to be "solidly anti-choice" and gives him a 0% score on abortion votes in the past 6 years. If NARAL doesn't like him, that's a pretty good reason to vote for McCain right there.

One last thing--John McCain doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk. From a Karl Rove editorial in the Wall Street Journal (most of the article is a fellow POW, Medal of Honor winner Col. Bud Day, talking about McCain's time in Vietnam, and that's a good read too):
The stories told to me by the Days involve more than wartime valor.

For example, in 1991 Cindy McCain was visiting Mother Teresa's orphanage in Bangladesh when a dying infant was thrust into her hands. The orphanage could not provide the medical care needed to save her life, so Mrs. McCain brought the child home to America with her. She was met at the airport by her husband, who asked what all this was about.

Mrs. McCain replied that the child desperately needed surgery and years of rehabilitation. "I hope she can stay with us," she told her husband. Mr. McCain agreed. Today that child is their teenage daughter Bridget.

I was aware of this story. What I did not know, and what I learned from Doris, is that there was a second infant Mrs. McCain brought back. She ended up being adopted by a young McCain aide and his wife.

"We were called at midnight by Cindy," Wes Gullett remembers, and "five days later we met our new daughter Nicki at the L.A. airport wearing the only clothing Cindy could find on the trip back, a 7-Up T-shirt she bought in the Bangkok airport." Today, Nicki is a high school sophomore. Mr. Gullett told me, "I never saw a hospital bill" for her care.

Contrast that with Obama:
Obama said the battle for abortion rights should be fought from the offensive, instead of a simple defense of what activists have achieved thus far.

And he reiterated his opposition to the two justices appointed by Bush who sit on the Supreme Court--Roberts and Samuel Alito. Obama voted against both.

“It is important for us, obviously, not only to get a Democratic White House as well as a stronger Congress to protect these rights,” Obama said.

I have to admit I'm not thrilled with all of John McCain's policies and proposals. Like a lot of people I know, I wish he was more conservative. But at least he's got this one right. and it's a big one.

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