Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Meghan McCain is making waves in the GOP yet again

Meghan McCain is making waves in the GOP yet again, this time with a speech to the Log Cabin Republicans at their recent annual convention. Meghan continued on her "GOP must change" campaign and repeated her socially progressive ideas. I certainly don't need any new reasons to like Meghan McCain. As a liberal, I love how she's leaning left socially and I especially love how she's stirring sh*t up in the Republican Party.

Meghan is to the GOP what Obama was to voters in the 2008 presidential campaign--CHANGE. However, this post isn't about that. I'm confused about something. At some point in her speech, she declared herself a 'pro-life, pro-gay marriage Republican'. But is she really pro-life?

In her Larry King interview (shortly after Laura Ingraham called Meghan 'fat'), she stated, "I personally am pro-life, but I'm not going to judge someone that's pro-choice. It is not my place to judge other people and what they do with their body." Hmmm.

In her speech to the LCR, she said, "I think government is best when it stays out of people's lives and business as much as possible."

I hate to break it to you, Meghan, but you're really pro-choice.

Pro-choice doesn't not mean pro-abortion. A LOT of us want to reduce the number of abortions. In fact, some of us would probably never elect to undergo an abortion (like me). While we may choose not to abort, we do not judge those who do. We believe that the government has no place in our private lives. We believe that when a woman finds herself pregnant, she has the RIGHT TO CHOOSE to keep the baby, give it up for adoption, or get an abortion.

People who get abortions are not baby-killers. Some elect to abort in the event of a rape. Some abort because their child has no chance of living more than a few days because of a degenerative condition. Others abort because they cannot afford to feed the children they already have. Still others abort when they are 9 years old and pregnant with twins because of a step-father's sexual abuse (I'm referring to that case in Brazil).

Meghan says that government needs to stay out of our private lives and she wouldn't judge people and what they decide to do with their bodies. That's basically standard pro-choice speak for defending our positions.

So, Meghan, it's ok to admit it. "Pro-choice" is not a dirty word. So what if you piss off a bunch of Republicans?

Clearly, you've already done plenty of that.

8 comments:

Zipcode said...

I am a proud Pro Choice, Pro Gay Marriage Republican!

Screw the relgious right freaks.

Meghan McCain for President!

Lexiloo said...

I hadn't seen that story! Oh wow, that poor girl (in Brazil, not Meagan!) Oh yes, and I'm with zipcode :)

Juliet said...

Well, I have a lot in common with Meghan McCain (especially regarding my figure, as I've already mentioned, heh), so let me offer my own perspective (you knew I would, right?):

I am pro-choice in a pragmatic sense, i.e. I don't see how society can possibly function at this point without a right to abortion. I know women who have had abortions, and I don't judge them, I guess--certainly not in the sense that I think opening up those wounds or imposing my views would serve any purpose whatsoever.

BUT

I don't want to be identified with the pro-choice movement, for a whole host of reasons. For one thing, I'm not the rallying type anyway, but one thing I can't get excited about is the fact that we need ("need"?) to exercise that right. Abortion is always a sign something has gone wrong--be it as simple as a failed contraceptive, or as complex as the relationship between a woman and a partner who won't accept the consequences of his behavior, since as I see it the sexual revolution has liberated women from shame (good) and men from responsibility (bad, and how come we aren't complaining?). And I am disturbed by abortion on several levels: i.e. what does the way we talk about abortion say about how we decide what is and isn't "life" (e.g. what makes something a life is apparently the fact that I'm decorating a nursery for it, i.e. it is "wanted"--isn't there some moral valence to that?)? Isn't there something f*cked up when abortion is, in the vast majority of cases (because when it comes down, abortion in cases of rape/incest/health issues may be hard to argue against, but that's mostly not what it's used for), used essentially as birth control? Shouldn't we change not just social/economic factors in order to make it easier for women to access and use contraception or raise children they otherwise can't afford, but also our attitudes toward sexual behavior? I don't see the pro-choice movement asking those questions with anywhere near the enthusiasm they defend and celebrate the right to abortion itself. And until I do, I reject the pro-choice label. It doesn't say anything about me that I really want said. Whether I think abortion should be legal is a minor point in my opinion about it.

Besides, who said there had to be just two sides to this issue? I think a lot of people, most of whom are not as vocal as either side that owns a convenient label, feel an ambivalence about abortion that is not easily defined or articulated, and for which neither side is entitled to speak. The waffly middle might well provide a much-needed antidote to the vitriol of the current debate. But you have to let them speak for themselves and define their own identities.

restaurantrefugee said...

For the record, I think that any human who cannot now nor has been or ever will be able to bear children needs never pass judgment about a woman's rights.

anOCgirl said...

zip: you know that meghan has less political experience than barack obama? i remember that being one of the reasons why you didn't vote for him.

lexiloo: i was so going to blog about the 9 yo girl but i refrained b/c it was probably going to get ugly.

juliet: first, when i say the pro-choice movement, i'm not referring to just rallies and protests because it's more than that.

what does the way we talk about abortion say about how we decide what is and isn't "life" so not going to say anything about that b/c that's a whole different blog post.

Isn't there something f*cked up when abortion is, in the vast majority of cases, used essentially as birth control? do you have data to back this up? the women i've known who had abortions didn't have them as a form of birth control.

Shouldn't we change not just social/economic factors in order to make it easier for women to access and use contraception or raise children they otherwise can't afford, but also our attitudes toward sexual behavior? YES

I don't see the pro-choice movement asking those questions with anywhere near the enthusiasm they defend and celebrate the right to abortion itself. really? who are these pro-choicers you're talking to b/c the ones i know, including myself, support comprehensive sex education, easy/inexpensive access to birth control, pre-natal care for the uninsured, support for survivors of domestic violence, etc. we support these measures through rallies, petitions, information dissemination, and VOTING FOR CANDIDATES WHO SUPPORT THESE EFFORTS as well.

are there two sides to this issue? yes. from a legal point of view, either abortion is legal or it's not. from a moral point of view, there are many sides. but, in theory, the gov't shouldn't legislate morality.

restaurant refugee: ironically, men sure do seem to be the most vocal anti-choicers in congress. could you imagine if congress were 50% women? i think it would radically change the political climate.

Juliet said...

"Isn't there something f*cked up when abortion is, in the vast majority of cases, used essentially as birth control? do you have data to back this up? the women i've known who had abortions didn't have them as a form of birth control."

I should clarify what I mean by that: if you are using a method of birth control and it fails, and you then have an abortion, I still consider that using abortion as birth control. (To counter your anecdotal evidence with my own, the women I know who had abortions weren't using birth control, and they had multiple abortions, which I find incomprehensible but apparently it happens.) If you want stats, I don't think they're hard to find--there's a Wiki article here that attributes 1% of abortions to rape or incest (I suppose there are also fuzzy instances of date rape, etc.). Risks to the mother or baby's health account for another 6% or so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States#Reasons_for_abortions

"Shouldn't we change not just social/economic factors in order to make it easier for women to access and use contraception or raise children they otherwise can't afford, but also our attitudes toward sexual behavior? YES"

Can you elaborate on how you agree here? Because I am talking about more than sex education.

"I don't see the pro-choice movement asking those questions with anywhere near the enthusiasm they defend and celebrate the right to abortion itself. really? who are these pro-choicers you're talking to b/c the ones i know, including myself, support comprehensive sex education, easy/inexpensive access to birth control, pre-natal care for the uninsured, support for survivors of domestic violence, etc. we support these measures through rallies, petitions, information dissemination, and VOTING FOR CANDIDATES WHO SUPPORT THESE EFFORTS as well."

Yes, I agree with all that, but you didn't even address my first question (I realize it's complex, but I can't talk about abortion without bringing it up, because it's something I take very seriously), and I'm not sure if we are on the same page about what I meant about the other two. I mean that I have philosophical questions about abortion itself, not just reducing the number of abortions, which I don't feel are adequately addressed by the pro-choice side. And in fact I think the pro-choice side uses language that inhibits that sort of discussion (e.g. your use of the term "anti-choice" to describe people who oppose abortion on moral grounds, not because they want to take choices away from women). I'd like to know if you care at least as much about reducing the number of abortions as you do about defending your right to have them, and that if you want the other side to find common ground with you to work toward that goal, you will do them the courtesy of respecting the grounds for their objection to abortion. I'm still not convinced.

anOCgirl said...

juliet: re your statistics, actually this article is more recent (2004) and far more informative than the page you linked to: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/psrh/full/3711005.pdf

it breaks down some of the reasons for abortion with details/explanations

say a young woman comes in for an abortion because she had sex with her partner, the condom broke, she went to the only pharmacy in town and it turns out they don't carry plan b so she ends up pregnant. you may call that using abortion as birth control. i call that a lack of contraceptive access.

Can you elaborate on how you agree here? well, first off, let's just get real about sexual behavior. not everyone believes in abstinence before marriage. not everyone has sex with just one partner at a time (i'm not referring to threesomes but having multiple partners). some people are holding on to a puritanical view about sex that simply doesn't correlate with the reality that people are having sex--sometimes irresponsibly. also, why should the burden of a child fall on the woman and men get to relinquish their responsibility? as a society, our general views about sexuality need to change. i don't think that either side is working on changing attitudes.

i understand that you have some serious moral concerns with abortion. i'm not dismissing them. but i don't think we'll see eye to eye on that. that's why it's important to find common ground and both sides need to work towards that end. common ground = reducing the number of abortions.

a few months ago, after obama was sworn in, there was a local summit on abortion. people from both sides of the issue met to find some common ground. while both sides agreed that they wanted to reduce abortions, the anti-abortion (sorry, but using 'anti-choice' is a habit) side would not budge. they wanted abortions to be illegal and roe v wade to be overturned. essentially the summit was useless. it appears that it's going to take A LOT for both sides to work together to reduce the # of/need for abortions.

Juliet said...

I will read the link you provided, thank you. I know that lack of contraceptive access is a problem. My earlier statement about abortion being used as birth control in a majority of cases was probably too broad. I do think we need to present honest information about contraception: even if a method is, say, 98% effective, over the course of a couple of decades of sexual activity, that is still going to result in an uncomfortably high failure rate.

"well, first off, let's just get real about sexual behavior. not everyone believes in abstinence before marriage. not everyone has sex with just one partner at a time (i'm not referring to threesomes but having multiple partners). some people are holding on to a puritanical view about sex that simply doesn't correlate with the reality that people are having sex--sometimes irresponsibly."

Well, okay, but there's something wrong with reality. I mean, your side seems to accept that casual sex is a fact of life without judging it--and I think it's damaging in a lot of ways, not referring strictly to physical health and reproduction. And further, I think on one side there's an unrealistically puritanical view of sex, and on the other side there's the view that anyone who waits till marriage is an uptight weirdo (cf. your comments about abstinence-only virgins-till-marriage who don't know what teabagging is a few posts ago), when abstaining till marriage is a perfectly positive and healthy approach to sex, for a lot of reasons, and one for which the pro-choice side should show a little more regard. I'm not saying I believe in abstinence-only education, but I do think there should be a more negative view of casual sex. I guess that makes me a puritan, but oh well.

"also, why should the burden of a child fall on the woman and men get to relinquish their responsibility? as a society, our general views about sexuality need to change. i don't think that either side is working on changing attitudes."

I agree with you this is a problem, and neither side is doing enough to change it. This is one of my big problems with feminism, as I've probably mentioned before--I think it's lowered our expectations of men's responsibility toward their sexual partners and their potential offspring.

As far as your last paragraph, this is one reason I voted for Obama! I thought (and still do) that he might changed the way people talk about abortion. I believe there is still room for improvement on both sides.