I'm up at this ridiculous hour so that I can get in for a 7 AM conference call. I just watched some of last night's debate, and for all the yelling I've done at the television set over the last eight years, I'm not sure I've yelled as loudly as I did when John McCain made "air quotes" around the word HEALTH as applied to women and late-term abortion.
In my former job, I had a wall of á propos
comic strips and such; one of which depicted two vendors -- one a vendor of salads whose cart was labeled HEALTH and the other a hot dog vendor whose cart was labeled SCHMELTH. That's what I was reminded of by John McCain's appallingly condescending wrapping of the word "health" in quotes when applied to women.
For all that I wish Barack Obama were better able to articulate the truth that's so hard for wingnuts to believe -- that there isn't a woman in the world who gets her eight-months-pregnant self out of bed, has a cup of coffee, and says "I think I'll go get a mani/pedi, then get my hair done, and then abort this baby" -- I think he answered Bob Schieffer's inflammatory question as best he could, given the world as it exists today. I wish he had referred to not just education but education about and availability of contraception as the answer to reducing the number of abortions. And I wish to high heaven he didn't believe that mental distress was a legitimate reason for late-term abortion. I wonder what kind of support systems he has in mind for an emotionally distraught woman who is given an anencephalic baby to take home.
But however mushy Barack Obama's answer, there is absolutely no excuse for John McCain's arrogant, condescending answer about "quote-health-end quote" in regard to late term D&E abortions.
Who the hell is John McCain to decide what constitutes necessity for health? Is he a medical professional? He'd already disqualified himself from talking about health when he mentioned "gold-plated insurance policies that cover plastic surgery." Does your health insurance cover cosmetic surgery? Mine doesn't. And I've never had one that does. Perhaps McCain's government-paid plan does, though if it does I wonder why he hasn't had that homunculus on his cheek taken care of.
Ask Gretchen Voss
whether she blithely and carelessly and cavalierly made the decision to abort her late-term fetus who was already hopelessly damaged from hydrocephalus and spina bifida. Ask any of the ONE FIFTH OF ONE PERCENT of women who have this type of abortion. Ask Lynda
, who had a late-term abortion of an anencephalic fetus. Ask Karen Dugdale
The question of late-term abortion had no place in this debate. Such abortions are a small fraction of the number of abortions that take place every year. They certainly are not the issue at the forefront of the lives of most Americans who are concerned about their mortgages, their jobs, their retirement savings, their sons and daughters in the military, and their children's crumbling schools. It's like flag-burning -- a distraction issue that's used in debates for the sole purpose of trying to turning a wizened old man like John McCain, who wants to feed America's young people into a meatgrinder in Iraq forever because he wants to win the Vietnam War, into some kind of Crusader for Life.
Barack Obama is partially right about how to reduce abortions: Get sex out from under the carpet, admit that people have it, and give them the tools they need, i.e. effective, safe, easy-to-use contraception, to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
But of course then John McCain wouldn't be able to set himself up as the patron saint of patriarchy.
Labels: abortion, John McCain, just another outrage