McCain and Obama: worse and better than you thought

By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, October 8, 2008 14:24 EDT
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I was given an assignment to research the two Presidential candidate on the issue of contraception access, and I think the article turned out well. I already knew they had wildly different health care plans, but I was afraid I’d find out the difference ended there and the rest of the article would be boring, “On this issue, they’re the same,” over and over. It never occurred to me what a victim I was of campaign-driven media narratives about the candidates. I knew McCain was further to the right on abortion than people think he is, but I didn’t think he had an anti-contraception agenda. I knew he wouldn’t lift a finger to help women get contraception, but what I found was he’s been pro-active in fighting against access for both men and women, at least if they’re lower income.

I also bought the Clinton-driven narrative that while Obama is spotlessly pro-choice in every way, he doesn’t consider the issue a priority. What I found was that’s not true at all. Obama doesn’t just sign off on pro-choice legislation, but he actively introduces it. He’s introduced the Prevention Through Affordable Access Act, and was a co-sponsor of the Prevention First Act, which reads like a wish list of pro-choice policy items.

So check it out. I just have to say that I both overestimated McCain and underestimated Obama on this issue, which surprised even me.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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