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10/16/2008

Why no one with a uterus should vote for John McCain

Senator John McCain, Republican candidate for president, on late-term abortions, and whether they should remain legal when the health of the mother is at stake:

"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."

For purposes of my argument, it doesn't matter how you feel about abortion.  Forget your own feelings about abortion.  My own are rather liberal, offputtingly so to many people, so forget those, too.  Forget your disappointment, if you feel it as I do, in hearing Senator Obama use the anti-choice movement's buzzwords, "partial-birth abortion," without busting out an angry McCainish sneer.

Focus instead on the air quotes McCain used, the belittling wiggle of his fingers as he summarily dismissed women facing what's possibly the ultimate lose-lose situation: your baby or your life.

[Source: Talking Points Memo]

Your baby.  Your life.  If you're reading this blog, chances are good that you're a mother, a pregnant woman, a woman who plans to become pregnant, or a woman who's trying.  He means you.  He means us when he holds up his hands and says with that single scornful gesture that we don't matter.  That we are a figment of the "pro-abortion movement's" imagination.  That — what, we're making this whole "staying pregnant might kill me" thing up?  (That he did this on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is, of course, coincidental, but the irony, it is not lost.)

This is important to all of us, but to infertile women it has a particular significance.  Everyone in the infertility blogosphere knows women who delivered babies prematurely because of life-threatening complications.  Most of us know women whose illness set in too early for their babies to survive.  And many of us know that simply by virtue of needing IVF to get pregnant, we're more than twice as likely to develop preeclampsia, which causes, by conservative estimates, 76,000 maternal deaths and 500,000 infant deaths worldwide each year.  [Source: Preeclampsia Foundation]

Not only is John McCain saying we shouldn't have the right to terminate a pregnancy in the event that our lives are at stake, he's telling us he's skeptical that that happens at all.

We know better.

Look, I wasn't going to vote for him anyway.  That's true for more reasons than I can list.  But this is why I think no one should — no one of childbearing capacity.  No women.  In fact, no one who cares about women.  No one who cares about even just one specific woman.  In fact!  In fact, no one with a brain.  Because even if you're implacably, unconditionally opposed to abortion, a matter on which reasonable people disagree, I don't see any way a thinking person can look at those air quotes and see anything but pandering, contempt, and a dangerous willful ignorance.

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