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Meet John McCain, Part I - Women's Rights

By       Message Sophia Eralich     Permalink
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Eleanor Roosevelt cautioned that "the battle for the individual rights of women is one of long standing and none of us should countenance [support] anything which undermines it."

Upon closely examining John McCain's voting record on critical issues affecting women, it is evident that despite his campaign's attempts to lure Hillary Clinton's female supporters by exploiting their disappointments rather than appealing to their intellect, McCain is certainly no champion of female concerns.

A recent indication of the McCain campaign's hypocritical appeal to women is the fact that despite Clayton Williams's well-publicized disparagement of women by likening rape to the weather - "as long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it"; and promising to "head her [Ann Richards] and hoof her and drag her through the dirt" just like a cow on his ranch, this individual remained a prominent fundraiser for McCain. True to form, McCain's response was to simply postpone rather than cancel a fundraiser to be hosted by Williams, while refusing to return any of the $300,000 Williams had already raised for him.

Indeed, the McCain-Palin response to the "18 million cracks" in the glass ceiling made by Senator Clinton's supporters will likely be to replace the ceiling by overturning Roe v. Wade and consistently supporting legislation that perpetuates existing barriers to equality. For example, McCain has repeatedly reiterated his opposition to pro-choice concerns by stating:- "I think it [Roe v. Wade] was a bad decision"; and- "I am unalterably opposed to partial birth abortion" (medically necessary late-term abortions).

Additionally, McCain's voting record provides ample evidence of his dismissive attitude towards numerous other issues of importance to women. For example, he:

- opposed the Equal Pay Bill for Women, and skipped a vote on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that would ensure women an opportunity to recover back pay for discrimination once discovered (he later acknowledged he would have voted against the Act);

- initially supported abandoning the Family and Medical Leave Act;

- opposed legislation to extend the Title X federal family planning program, which provides low-income and uninsured women with health care services such as breast and cervical cancer;

- opposed a Senate initiative to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program;

- promotes abstinence-only education, a policy that overlooks HIV/AIDS prevention;

- opposed allocating $100 million to expand access to preventive health care services to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, teen pregnancies, and abortions;

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- opposed legislation designed to improve the availability of contraceptives for women;

- opposed requiring insurance coverage of prescription birth control;

- voted against increasing funding for law enforcement programs designed to address domestic violence concerns, including the Office of Violence Against Women program and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children;

o approximately one-third of American women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives; and

o approximately twenty-five percent of American women report being raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or a date;

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- opposed grant programs to aid children who have witnessed domestic violence; etc.

Not only does McCain suggests that women are incapable of making crucial medical decisions regarding threats to their own health, but he fails to grasp that each individual must assess for themselves whether they are fit to become a parent. He also gives very little, if any, consideration to the myriad of social ills impacted by overturning Roe v. Wade.

For example, he overlooks the fact that unwanted children are often emotionally, physically, and sexually abused and/or murdered by biological, adoptive, and/or foster parents. In fact:

- a report of child abuse is made every ten seconds;

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