Repro Rights Stuff

This is the segment from the debate last night that I mentioned in my Cif piece: "McCain makes air scare-quotes around the 'health of the mother,' with regard to late-term abortion exceptions. The 'pro-abortion movement,' he says, has stretched that term to mean 'almost anything.' Ah, yes. Hello there, Straw-Woman Who Gets Abortions Willy-Nilly in Her Third Trimester Because She's a Silly Flibbertigibbet With a Hangnail. Nice to see you again. If McCain hasn't reached the nadir of his appalling campaign with that moment, I don't want to see it when he does."

[Transcript below.]

Nicole, LeMew, and Cara have more. (Also see Shaker CJ_in_VA's comment here re: McCain's snidery about Obama's "eloquence.") Cara says: "I sure as hell did not agree with every word that came out of Senator Obama's mouth regarding abortion, but in the end what we got was the picture of a man who respects the health of women and their right to control their own bodies. What we got from Senator McCain was a clear picture of an extremist who disregards women's autonomy and their very lives. And as a woman, yes, I do take that personally."

I agree almost totally with that, with the caveat that, for me, wholly "respect[ing] the health of women and their right to control their own bodies" necessarily includes respect for their opinions about their decisions, too—and consistently saying as if it's axiomatic that abortion is always a tragedy and sexuality is always sacred doesn't do that. That said, Obama has come as close to articulating an unadulterated respect for women's autonomy and decisions as any other major-party nominee (though not every candidate) in my lifetime, so, as always, teaspoons…

McCain, of course, is just a despicable disgrace.
Obama: There surely is some common ground when both those who believe in choice and those who are opposed to abortion can come together and say, "We should try to prevent unintended pregnancies by providing appropriate education to our youth [And contraception!—MM.], communicating that sexuality is sacred and that they should not be engaged in cavalier activity, and providing options for adoption, and helping single mothers if they want to choose to keep the baby." Those are all things that we put in the Democratic platform for the first time this year, and I think that's where we can find some common ground, 'cause nobody's pro-abortion. I think it's always a tragic situation. [Ugh!—MM.] We should try to reduce these circumstances.


McCain: Again—just again, an example of the eloquence of Senator Obama, he's: "health [air quotes] of the mother." You know that's been stretched by the pro-abortion movement in America to mean almost anything. That's—that's the extreme pro-abortion position, quote [air quotes], "health."

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