Then and Now-- Senator John McCain on the Birth Control Debate
Back in February, the two Republican Arizona senators — Jon Kyl (of “not intended to be a factual statement” fame) and John McCain — released a joint statement announcing their support (and co-sponsorship) of the Blunt amendment.
From the statement:
“In conjunction with the anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, the Obama Administration announced that, beginning in August 2012, all U.S. employers would be required to offer health plans that fully cover the cost of birth control, sterilizations, and abortifacients for all women they employ.
“Religious freedom is sacred in our constitution and should be respected by public officials who swear to bear allegiance to it. Instead, the Obama Administration willfully developed a policy that tramples the rights of faith-based organizations by requiring that their employee health insurance plans fully cover the cost of birth control, sterilizations and aborifacients.”
Beyond the fact that the statement falsely mischaracterizes the benefit (as it no way requires coverage of abortifacients), the bottom line is McCain came out in favor of a bill that would allow any employer the right to deny access to any benefit based on a so-called moral conviction.
Fast forward to one month later…
Yesterday, Senator McCain went on Meet the Press and spoke to host David Gregory about a similar bill in the Arizona state legislature that would force women to tell their employers why they wanted contraception and why it should be covered. Here’s what he had to say:
GREGORY: Do you think that there is something of a war on women among Republicans?
McCAIN: I think we have to fix that. I think that there is a perception out there because of how this whole contraception issue played out — ah, we need to get off of that issue, in my view. I think we ought to respect the right of women to make choices in their lives and make that clear, and get back onto what the American people really care about.
Watch the video:
If the 2008 Republican presidential nominee is out there saying the attack on birth control has gone too far, maybe the current Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who are to the right of McCain (who has a zero rating on Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s latest scorecard), should take heed.