John McCain, alleged head of the Republican Party, summarily failed to get the GOP to change their position on abortion in the cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother – although it’s not like he did anything to try to get them to change it. Such a maverick!
The Republican Party platform this year will reassert the party’s opposition to abortion. And again it will not allow for exceptions in the cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother, even though Senator John McCain, the presumptive presidential nominee, has long called for such exceptions.
Mr. McCain argued strongly in 2000 for the platform to include the abortion exceptions. He affirmed that position as recently as May, in an interview with Glamour magazine to appear in its October issue.
“My position has always been: exceptions of rape, incest and the life of the mother,” he said. Asked if he would encourage the party to include them in the platform, he said, “Yes,” adding: “And by the way, I think that’s the view of most people, that rape, incest, the life of the mother are issues that have to be considered.”
But Mr. McCain in fact did little to push for the exceptions, and told Glamour on July 30 that he had “not gotten into the platform discussions.”
Suppose that you’re a candidate running to lead the United States of America, and a central part of your appeal is that you fight your party when their positions are not in the best interests of your country. Your party drafts their official platform for the next four years, and includes these three items:
- When a woman is impregnated by sexual assault, she should be compelled by force of law to carry through any resultant pregnancy, no matter the psychological aftereffects of the violation or the impact of the involuntary pregnancy on her life.
- When a woman is impregnated by a family member’s sexual assault, she should be compelled by force of law to carry through any resultant pregnancy, no matter the psychological aftereffects of the violation, the impact of the involuntary pregnancy on her life, or the sure-to-be-damaging effects of having a child fathered by a rapist to whom you are inextricably and irrevocably linked by blood – both on the mother and the child.
- When a pregnancy threatens to kill a mother and leave a child motherless or even entirely parentless, the mother should be compelled by force of law to carry through the pregnancy, even if the pregnancy also threatens to kill the child.
It seems rather obvious that protecting the rights of women to have control over their own lives after a horrific act of violence has occurred (or just protecting the right of women to live through childbirth) would be a far more mavericky, independent and valuable thing to do than fighting a “bridge to nowhere” or railing against studies of bear DNA. It is, however, much braver than McCain seems to have the stomach for recently, and requires taking on the retrograde ideas that percolate in the GOP hive mind about rape and pregnancy, which means that we can expect our faux maverick to take it on about the fifth of Never.