Sunday, August 17, 2008

McCain, Rape, and When Life Begins

Let's suppose that you have a daughter, a wife, a mother, an aunt, a cousin, or any other close female friend or relative. Let's suppose that she is raped. She wants to go to a medical clinic and take the "morning after" pill to avoid conceiving a child. Should the goverment let her, or should it oppose her having that option?

If you are John McCain, and if you are consistent with your answer to Rich Warren during his appearance at Warren's church, you want the government to oppose her getting that pill. That's because, according to McCain, life begins at conception and "human rights" attach to a fertilized egg.

Now, if McCain was being consistent, he would also oppose embryonic stem cell research using embryoes created, but not implanted, during ex utero procedures. Instead, however, he told Warren that he has suppported such research and voted to fund such research.

So, here's the problem for women who are concerned about access to the morning after pill in case of sexual assault, or in case a condom breaks during intercourse, which McCain is going to be president? The McCain that believes that life begins at conception, or the McCain that apparently has exceptions to that belief?

It's not just rape victims, either, who have cause to be concerned. There have been attempts by the Bush Administration to equate common forms of birth control with abortion. Here is a quote from the article linked to above:

The proposal could potentially redefine birth control as abortion. The proposal classifies abortion as "any of the various procedures -- including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action -- that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation." That last part is critical because some argue that hormonal birth control and emergency contraception can prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg.

So, while McCain earned points with those in the so-called religious right that are convinced that legally protected life begins at conception, it is open to question how much help his answer gives him with those woman who both support him and are pro-choice.

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