After so much bullshit regarding Sarah Palin’s child and her daughter’s pregnancy, including smear tactics that I think would only serve to undermine the left in the end, I have to say that I’m absolutely thrilled that a major media organization is writing about McCain and Palin’s record on sexual and reproductive health.
Republican John McCain, whose running mate disclosed that her unmarried 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, has opposed proposals to spend federal money on teen-pregnancy prevention programs and voted to require poor teen mothers to stay in school or lose their benefits.
Palin herself said she opposes funding sexual-education programs in Alaska.
”The explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support,” she wrote in a 2006 questionnaire distributed among gubernatorial candidates.
McCain’s position on contraceptives and teen pregnancy issues has been difficult to judge on the campaign trail, as he appears uncomfortable discussing such topics. Reporters asked the presumptive GOP presidential nominee in November 2007 whether he supported grants for sex education in the United States, whether such programs should include directions for using contraceptives and whether he supports President Bush’s policy of promoting abstinence.
”Ahhh, I think I support the president’s policy,” McCain said.
When reporters pressed McCain whether the government should provide contraceptives or counseling on contraceptives, he replied, ”You’ve stumped me.” McCain said later that he was sure he opposed government spending on contraceptives.
The McCain campaign on Monday did not respond to repeated requests for information.
In Senate votes, McCain has opposed some proposals to pay for teen-pregnancy prevention programs. In 2006, McCain joined fellow Republicans in voting against a Senate Democratic proposal to send $100 million to communities for teen-pregnancy prevention programs that would have included sex education about contraceptives.
In 2005, McCain opposed a Senate Democratic proposal that would have spent tens of millions of dollars to pay for pregnancy prevention programs other than abstinence-only education, including education on emergency contraception such as the morning-after pill. The bill also would have required insurance companies that cover Viagra to also pay for prescription contraception.
This article isn’t from a progressive news source. It’s from the AP. While we’ve been seeing lots of articles like this one in liberal publications for months now, the AP picking it up in detail and without prompting from pro-choice groups is absolutely fabulous. Specifically, and significantly, they’re even discussing pro-choice issues in much broader terms than just abortion.
I stand by the position that bringing Palin’s daughter into the spotlight is wrong, but I do not have a problem with making sex education, contraception access and teen pregnancy prevention significant campaign issues. In fact, I fucking love it. A large majority of parents support comprehensive sex education. And as polls show, far too many pro-choice Americans, specifically pro-choice women in swing states, do not know McCain’s record on reproductive health. Bringing that into the spotlight can only help us. I think we can do that without talking about Bristol Palin. We’ve been doing it for years! Only now, we have the public willing to listen.
So, supposedly progressive bloggers and commentators, how about instead of pissing yourselves in excitement as though trashing a woman’s parenting skills and the difficult reality of a teenage girl’s life is somehow going to help us in the election, all of us shut the fuck up about Bristol Palin and start talking about the stuff that matters and that could actually help us win this thing? Leave the Palins as a family out of this, and discuss McCain and Palin as candidates on these issues while the public is interested in them. With that strategy, for a change, we could actually both be and look like the good guys! Wouldn’t that be nice?
Unless of course, supposedly progressive bloggers and commentators, you’re actually a lot more interested in making misogynist arguments than winning the election on merits, or at all, and in a way that doesn’t treat us female voters like second-class citizen political servants. Quite the gamble, I know.
[BTW — to all of those self-identified “pro-lifers” who keep linking back to me, I’m both impressed and bemused that you are capable of writing blog posts while simultaneously being unable to read blog posts. But I have never said or implied, here or elsewhere, any of the following: that Sarah Palin should have had an abortion, that Bristol Palin should have an abortion, that I am amused by Bristol’s pregnancy, Sarah Palin’s child is actually Bristol’s, or that any of this should have a bearing on the election. Sorry to let this radical feminist, pro-abortion blogger disappoint.]