This here bringer of the pooper to the fun party

Why any woman who intends to vote for McCain should reconsider

Two of my favorite bloggers in the past couple of days have explained in succinct detail why we (women in particular) should be sickened by John McCain. I implore you to take the time to read these, they’re not just a bunch of liberal propaganda or pro-choice cheerleading. These are stories of people’s lives.

From Alexa at Flotsam:

McCain states that he would deal with the issue of abortion with “courage and compassion.” I quote: “the courage of a pregnant mother to bring her child into the world and the compassion of civil society to meet her needs and those of her newborn baby.” As if terminating my pregnancy would be the easy way out, the way not requiring his precious “courage.” As if dictating my medical care based upon his religious beliefs is compassionate. And I find it interesting to note that his “compassion” for this newborn does not extend to guaranteeing it health insurance.

And Julie from a little pregnant:

He means us when he holds up his hands and says with that single scornful gesture that we don’t matter. That we are a figment of the “pro-abortion movement’s” imagination. That — what, we’re making this whole “staying pregnant might kill me” thing up?

… even if you’re implacably, unconditionally opposed to abortion, a matter on which reasonable people disagree, I don’t see any way a thinking person can look at those air quotes and see anything but pandering, contempt, and a dangerous willful ignorance.

  • Lee

    I know what he was trying to say there. He was trying to say that a woman could exaggerate a relatively mild complication in order to get an abortion, on the grounds that her health is at risk. I get that. But I still think he’s full of shit. Pray tell, Senator, at which point does my health matter to you? If there’s a 15% chance that the pregnancy would kill me, would you force me to carry that pregnancy to term? What about 25%? 35%? Really, I want to know the point at which the chance that I MIGHT DIE starts to matter to you.

  • Sarah

    To JO:

    Late-term is generally taken to mean third trimester.

    And Obama did not vote for that bill because it did NOT include a provision for the life or health of the mother. It just flat-out banned partial-birth abortions without any exceptions for the mother. That’s why he (and many others – it did not pass) didn’t feel comfortable voting for it.

  • Heather

    Ditto, ditto, ditto. While I’m not choosing to vote for Obama because of this single issue (but I will vote for him because of the many issues on which I agree with him), I do think it’s important to keep in mind that the next president will appoint at least one person to the supreme court. The court could be asked to clairfy/modify/change the Roe decision. While I think it would have to be something pretty radical to get the court to take the case, the very possibility makes me consider a presidential candidate’s opinion on the issue.

    I appreciated the moment in the debate when Obama said that nobody is “pro-abortion”. Exactly.

  • Patrick

    #39 – There is nothing innocent about “forgetting” to use a condom and winding up pregnant. Rape is another thing. For crying out loud people…live with your choices, mistake or not.

  • Laura College

    Are you kidding? Heather, you seem like a reasonable human being, but you’re a parent! Haven’t you heard about Obama voting to continue LIVE BIRTH ABORTION? And McCain sickens you? Seriously, I realize that we all have different political views, but this seems pretty cut-and-dried to me. McCain wasn’t my first choice for a Republican candidate, but at least he doesn’t want parents giving birth to children they don’t want, then leaving them in a biohazard room to die. If you’re going to boil this election down to one issue, my choice is clear: McCain/Palin

  • cck

    One more thing. Beyond the words that McCain uses to pander to his base, I hated the air quotes.

    I hated the air quotes combined with the sound of him sucking his teeth. I cannot stand to listen to that for the next four years.

    GO KNOCK ON DOORS. VOLUNTEER TO DRIVE YOUR NEIGHBOR TO THE POLLS. GO VOTE!!!

  • Lucy

    I’m sad that our country can’t have two better candidates than McCain and Obama. More to the point, I don’t see Rowe overturned anytime soon. It’s too much of a hot potato politically. Bush the Second is anti-abortion and nothing changed.

    Neither of these clowns, uh, I mean candidates, is going to touch abortion with a ten foot poll.

    Love the blog too!

  • dooce

    Yes, Stacy, because being funny is so much more important than my civil rights.

  • Sarah

    Laura College, do your research. Obama voted “present” on the partial-birth abortion bill because it didn’t include any exceptions for the life or health of the mother. He has said he would vote for a ban as long as it included that exception.

  • poptart

    He is a cluless ass. I do not understand how the masses thinks he is in touch with today’s needs. Abortion is not the governments business. Plain and simple.

  • I shared Alexa’s post on google reader last night because I felt it was something everyone should read.

    It’s a great post. I’m off to read Julie’s now.

  • I am, frankly, baffled by much of the rhetoric coming from the conservative side regarding women’s health and reproductive choices — namely abortion, obviously. It seems as though they think women are just RUNNING OUT TO HAVE ALL SORTS OF IMMORAL AND CRAZY SEX ALL THE DAMN TIME SO THEY CAN GET THEIR ABORTIONS! ABORTIONS! MY GOD WE JUST LOVE GETTING ABORTIONS!

    I don’t know a single woman who has had an abortion without a second thought. Even if she hasn’t had to struggle with guilt (like many of us raised in Christian or other conservative households do), she has had to struggle with how she is perceived by friends and family or even her lover.

    The other day, I saw a conservative blog ranting about how us liberals want women to go around having wild, unprotected sex just so we will get knocked up and have abortions, thereby (and I shit you not, they actually said this) “Fund the multi-billion dollar per year abortion mill industry.”

    My mom still refuses to vote for Obama because, “he is okay with killing babies.”

  • leigh

    I understand the sentiment behind the two blog posts, but having watched the debate I’m not so sure that’s what was meant. When there is a life threatening health concern with a mother, reasonable professionals would interpret the law to save the baby if possible, but also preserve the life of the mother. I don’t agree with abortion, so I wouldn’t agree with an abortion as a precautionary measure, but medicine is so advanced that a baby could be born 4 months early and still become a normally functioning human being. If the life of the mother is in danger, her health should come first while trying to save the baby, if possible. I’m not sure John McCain wouldn’t agree with that. Abortion cannot be made to use as a precautionary tool where is pregnancy becomes uncomfortable or inconvenient further along women can terminate at will. Pregnancy has inherent risks! You assume those risks by getting pregnant.

    Furthermore, women who complain about it being “their uterus, their choice” – yeah, it is your choice…to get pregnant. Having unprotected/no contraceptive sex removes your choice to get pregnant. I wish people would just be a little bit more responsible instead of always looking for a way out.

  • Emily

    Heather–

    I love your writing. I repeat-LOVE YOUR WRITING. I never miss a day of reading each and every post. I must say though, please get over the fact that every single person in this country (including your readers) have varying opinions on every issue. It’s becoming very clear that your “open-mind” is narrowing more and more every day by consistently closing the door on any opinion that isn’t yours. And, hey, I’m even voting for Obama. We’re on the same side and I’m still getting tired of your rants.

  • Anonymous

    Since when are we “guaranteed” insurance? I am a single mother of 3 children and have worked my butt off to insure they are covered by insurance. The government should stay out of it.

  • grudge girl

    Thank you for those links. They were so affecting. I immediately posted the links on my facebook, knowing it would piss off my conservative friends and family members, because I have the tiny hope that one of these entries will make one of them think in a broader way about this subject. (I’m hoping for my 18 yr old niece, who I love so much in spite of her extreme conservative views and troublingly uncomplicated sense of rightousness, and who is like the Lutheran twin of the teenager you used to be.) It’s worth pissing people off if you can help even one person expand his or her perspective.

    As I’m sure you know.

  • Sarah

    Am I going to get in trouble for commenting so much? So many people are uninformed…

    To Lucy (#57): McCain himself can’t overturn it, of course, but the Supreme Court Justices he appoints CAN. Right now there is only a one-vote margin (yes, ONE VOTE) in the court that would keep Roe there. That one vote is Ginsburg, who is, well, old. It is very likely to project that the president we elect on Nov. 4 will have at least one, if not two, appointments to the Supreme Court.

  • HOW DARE YOU WRITE ABOUT SOMETHING YOU CARE ABOUT ON YOUR VERY OWN BLOG!

    I can’t even talk about politics with my family, I just avoid saying anything whenever Daniel starts to talk about Obama.

  • I saw a great comment recently: “If the fetus you save is born gay, will you continue to fight for its rights?”

  • Nelson

    When I read Alexa’s entry I teared up. I watched the debate and McCain’s response caught me as inappropriate generally for various reasons. There are a lot of things I don’t understand about extremely religious people. For example I can’t understand why Bush would oppose abortion on moral grounds but be fine with lying to the American people in an attempt to start a war in Iraq that would kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqs and thousands of Americans. The same religion that allowed slavery to exist in this country as a biblical right. This things are beyond my understanding. But as I heard McCain speak it occured to me that the value of an unborn life is given more weight by them than a living breathing person. As a father I now understand that I and my wife would both give our lives willingly for our children. And as Alexa said the choice of aborting the living being wiggling inside of you is not one made on a whim. Decisions on when these procedures should or should not apply should be left in the hands of doctors and parents not in the hands of people driven blind by religion. A religion that can be twisted to make slavery and war appropriate. A religion that can change to fit the holder’s needs is not an objective body that deserves to be foisted upon the masses.

  • kevin

    LAURA 29;
    you say that in this day and age, you must vote republican.
    are you referring to “this day and age” where our own government eavedrops
    on everyday citizens? where they condone torture? where they have unregulated the banking and investing system to where we now give up OUR tax dollars to bail out billionaires? “in this day and age” where we attack countries that have not provoked or attacked us, and in turn, spent thousands of american lives and spent billions of dollars, and made corporations rich, where youre government lied to take us to war, where the environment is not cared for, especially if its stewardship is in the way of making a buck, where dumbness is rewarded, where to question the government is mocked as “unamerican”?
    THOSE days and ages??? mostly, or almost exesclusively brought to you by a
    REPUBLICAN ADMINASTRATION???
    the mind boggles…..

  • Anonymous

    Is there really a separation between religion and the state in this country? Between the gay marriage issues, abortion rights issues and stem-cell research issues…..seems like there is actually very little that is not governed by religion here.

  • jennifer

    The real point is missed when politics are involved. It is kinda like being “green”. Why waste time,the baby, mental anguish, unnecessary medical procedures and the wondering about what we got rid of for the rest of our lives.We women need to take responsibility and not get pregnant in the first place. Why torture ourselves with the decision to have an abortion when we could just choose responsibity in the first place. Let’s not leave it to the government to control what happens in our womb, let us take control of our own wombs.

  • I’ve read both posts, and largely agree. However, I’m far, far more scared of the effect on women’s health issues from bully obstetrician-gynecologists and their propaganda machines waging war on normal physiological birth. Talk about removing choice, and using fear as a weapon…
    Please read Pushed by Jennifer Block to learn more about how much of the current hospital, physician, and insurance systems are assaulting women everyday.

  • I’m pissed about McCains 5k health deduction. He really has no clue to what it takes to privately insure a healthy and FERTILE adult woman.

    As for abortion, I’m loathe to have my uterus legislated. I have no opinion on a right to choose but I do have an opinion on decisions about my own health and body. Reproduction and sex, not exactly a black and white issue.

    And not an issue I want to hear about coming out of the mouth of a known womanizer.

  • Cyndi

    Voters need to understand that YES the next president WILL have the power to overturn Roe v Wade and many other important legislation. Educate yourself about how the Supereme Court works people. Justice Stevens is not well and it is a very real possibility that the next President will be appointing his replacement. They are so close to a majority already, it will only take one more vote to change your life (and your rights) for a very long time. And I am not just talking about Roe v Wade either. The Supreme Court has very real power. Learn it, understand it, and VOTE.

  • Jessica

    If anyone has picked up a Cosmo for November lately, they have a fantastic article about the differences in the candidates policies in regards to women. Everything from title IX to health insurance and of course abortion. Just reading the two compared side by side like that is enough to make every woman disgusted by McCain.

    On a side note: I spent over 2 hrs on the phone with my doctor and my insurance company the other day battling out whether or not the insurance would cover my $25 birth control prescription…yeah they covered $5…thanks for helping me not get pregnant and become a drain on society! My “health” is more important than any other topic up for discussion in any debate and McCain and his air quotes can shove it!

  • Tanya

    1. It’s probably a good thing he’s running for President, and not Supreme Court Justice then, right? (Hint: The President can’t overturn Roe v Wade.)

    2. Even if enough liberal Justices died/retired and were replaced with conservative judges (With a Democrat-majority congress to fight the nominations? Impossible.) who wanted to overturn Roe v Wade, that doesn’t mean abortion becomes illegal. It just means that it stops being federally mandated. The decision on abortion would go back to the individual states.

    So relax. Jeez. Hysteria isn’t going to help anyone.

  • I don’t believe in abortion–that being said I’m not voting for EITHER party.

  • uc freak

    I would like to see every pro-life person adopt an unwanted child, before they can decide they are pro-life. If that happened, maybe there would be no need for abortion.
    Also, for those who say if you work hard, you can afford healthcare, I disagree. There are many people who have to take low paying jobs with no benefits, for their own personal reasons. And, we all rely on these jobs to get done. I always think, ‘but for the grace of God’ that could be me. To quote ‘Barnyard’- A strong man helps himself, a stronger man helps others.

  • Anonymous

    Geez…I am tired of all this McCain bashing. I’m an intelligent woman, and I’m sick of this knee-jerk reaction to anything that is Republican. People, Roe vs. Wade will NEVER be overturned. Republicans HAVE to be pro-life. Democrats HAVE to be pro-choice.

    Did you hear Barack Obama the other night? Or Joe Biden? When they spoke about gay marriage (and their LACK of support for it)? These are our liberals?

    And for your information, I’m voting third party.

  • kathryn

    I know you will get flack for this post, as you always do with anything of the political. But speaking for those of us who do not have a popular blog for a platform, THANK YOU!

  • Alexa’s post gave me the chills (and for anyone who has just read the Dooce blurb and not the whole thing, I highly recommend you read it all, the blurb doesn’t capture even half the power of the post). Every time McCain say’s “Pro-abortion” I cringe. Who in their right mind would be “for” something that is so hard to go through? As someone whose been there and had to make that tough choice I find it personally offensive. I am Pro-Choice, not Pro-Abortion, there is a VERY big difference.

  • I have both a uterus and a brain. And I’m still voting for McCain/Palin.

  • Cheyenne

    McCain is the lesser of two evils, so to speak, and I, for one, will NOT be voting for that other one. Not by a long shot. Not in your dreams or anybody else’s dreams. Never.

  • Kristen

    I read both of these great ladies blogs and appreciate them so much for being able to say what so many of us want to say but can’t. And thank you Heather for sending the masses to their sites so that maybe more people can understand just how dangerous it would be for John McCain to be in office.

  • Oh I know. I just cringed when McCain started talking about this. How can you not be outraged at what he was saying? I just looked over at my husband and we both took another drink.

  • The spirit in me tells me that abortion is wrong…for me. My spirit also tells me that absolutely
    NO ONE
    EVER
    has the right to tell me what to do with my body, her body or his body.

    This is not the only campaign issue and it actually should not be a campaign issue at all but I am going to fight until I have no fight left for my fellow Americans. This government has no right to tell me or anyone else what to do with their bodies.

  • And who are you going to vote for then? Obama supports the ban on ‘partial-birth’ abortions. It’s a medical procedure which is, as far as I know, only used because it is necessary for medical reasons. As I see it, both major party candidates are willing to tell women what they can and can not do with their reproductive organs. As a woman who struggled for four years with infertility and who has read those blogs you quote and many others like them I know what can go wrong, and I really can’t find either candidate’s position on the issue acceptable.

  • Laura

    I’m pro-life. So are all democrats.

    I am pro- programs that provide life-sustaining services, including food, shelter, and healthcare to women, families and children.

    I am pro- bringing life into the world in a responsible manner. So I support sexuality education and healthcare programs that empower women and their partners to decide when to become parents by providing them with knowledge and access to family planning resources, including accurate and practical information regarding abstinence, natural family planning, barrier methods, and hormonal contraception.

    I am pro-mothers. I believe all women who become pregnant should have a legitimate choice – to decide whether they wish to parent a child, become a birthmother, or terminate the pregnancy. I believe that the government has a role in ensuring that all of these choices are real possibilities, and not theoretical abstractions. (“Deciding to parent” is great, but if the government is so committed to the sanctity of the life inside my hypothetical womb, I want you to promise my future child that I will have the resources to be a good parent.)

    Nobody is pro-abortion.
    But my vote goes to the politician who recognizes that, even when all of the above programs are in place (… all of them, surprisingly, the kinds of programs that conservatives generally oppose), there will still be a need for abortions. And when that need arises, the decision of whether and how and when to terminate the pregnancy is a medical one. My vote goes to the politician who recognizes that he is not my doctor, and he is not my conscience, and he is not God – he cannot possibly imagine all of the possible scenarios that will dictate what the “right” choice would be in any given situation. So he will trust that I – and all women – are capable of making the best decisions for ourselves and our children.

  • Emily

    Heather, thank you for those two links. I am not a single issue voter in general, but I truly believe this issue is SO important to the general wellbeing of women that it would be impossible for me to vote for anyone who discards the “health” of women in such a flip manner.

    As someone who has struggled with infertility for three years, and has had a medical abortion to remove an ectopic pregnancy (that was absolutely wanted and planned), I am horrified by the idea that there are people out there who would think that even THAT is immoral.

    I also don’t see this as a single issue, but rather an all encompassing view of women’s rights in general. The way McCain spoke of women who have late-term abortions for medical reasons was very telling of his views in general, and combined with Palin’s fundamentalist worldview, I was pushed over the edge. I was not an Obama supporter, but I am now.

  • renee

    “It’s becoming very clear that your “open-mind” is narrowing more and more every day by consistently closing the door on any opinion that isn’t yours. ”

    I agree. When I read your “mortified” post the other day it occurred to me that you are an all-or-nothing gal. You really go deep into your beliefs and then close your mind to the other options. Which is fine, this is your blog, this is your life, but it is kind of ironic as it is the opposite of what you preach so proudly.

  • Anonymous

    to #67 –

    The president alone cant elect a new Supreme Court Justice that would sway the vote on overturning Roe V Wade. You think a democratic Senate would let McCain elect a conservative, Pro-Life Justice? Prolly not.

  • KC

    I have a hard time reading these comments about the government ignoring the needs of its citizens when it comes to health care issues. For single mothers and families who cant afford health insurance there are several programs available where families dont have to pay a dime, such as the CHIP program.

    I just have a hard time wanting to rely on the government for health care. They have done a horrible job at running Social Security, and if you want to see how government really runs health care talk to a Vet who has had the wonderful pleasure of using the VA for care services and see how smoothly their experiance went.

    I for one, am more scared of becoming a socialist society and destroying the capitalist fire that makes this country great. What happened to Americans working hard and taking care of themselves, providing opportunity for their businesses to grow. Now days we are to quick to turn to the government for handouts when things get tough. I understand that there will always be people in need and there are programs availble to take care of them.

    Obama is all about socializing health care, as well as getting rid of those evil companies who have actually made a profit. Who do you think will pay the taxes that he intends to raise on the corperate world. We will cause they will raise prices on their products to cover the costs of the extra taxes they have to pay. I got a C+ in Economics in college and I can understand that policy.

    In the fragile state that our Economy is in do we really need more taxes put on struggling companies that are barely making ends meet. I have had my own business, and know how it is to do $300,000 a year in business and barely make it cause of all the costs that are involved in running your own business. And believe me you pay a lot of taxes on the money your business makes, at the end of the month there isn’t very much left over for your own pay check. It is not that I make $300,000 a year but my business does that much in sales a year. If the taxes were to increase for my type of business it would cripple my business and probably make it fail, along with several other businesses in this country. That is why Obama scares the shit out of me!

  • Anonymous

    ok, coming from somebody who had an abortion because of a past rape experience, it scares me to read comments from women…(esp. women!) who think that I didnt sit there and claw my hair out thinking about my future, what abortion meant and how it was going to effect me…what it would be like to raise a child from an experience that took many years of tears, confusion and self-hate to comes to terms with. this does not mean that i wouldnt love that child, but at that point in my life i was not able to deal with looking at a child who was not produced out of love, but was produced out of greed, anger and hate. call me selfish…go ahead, i dont fucking care.

    rape was not my choice, but my happy, healthy future was.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Heather, for continuing to bring up issues that are important. I LOVE your blog, and the mix of light and serious topics.

    For the people who only want you to be fluffy and light, I suggest they stop reading and go back their bonbons and Days of Our Lives…

    The rest of us CARE about what’s going on in this country and aren’t afraid to hear and talk about it.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Anonymous

    Wow Kev–You are so good at spitting out the sound bites!!

  • When J-Mc made those air quotes when he was talking about the health of the mother I wanted to scream. HOW is it that pro-life ends when a baby is born? What about the mother’s life? Isn’t that still valuable?

    And I am so offended that he chooses to call the pro-choice movement the “pro-abortion” movement. I am 100% pro-choice and 100% anti-abortion–for me. I would never judge you for making a different choice and I would certainly never say that ANYONE is pro-abortion. I know that it is a very hard decision and it is never taken lightly.

    Shame on him for his treatment of women, especially given that he has daughters.

  • Anonymous

    Yep. Never any emotions involved in politics. Clear, analytical thinking all the way down.
    We’re Pro-Choice, not Pro-Abortion! WE want to decide when it’s the RIGHT TIME to kill a defenseless baby.
    Get out of my UTERUS government officials! I say when my BABY dies. AMERICAN GOVERNMENT, You CANNOT and SHOULD NOT take the choice away from me whether to nurture a child or be able to afford more songs for my frickin’ awesome iPod.

    You (McCain) don’t want to defend the helpless! You want to ensure all women are barefoot and pregnant! Bastard! ‘Health’ has never been used by the ‘pro-choice’ movement to mean ‘almost anything’!! It’s mainly been used to get more fetuses dead!

  • Loretta

    You’re right. I was dumb.

    Those links are powerful. Very well written and definitely make the point. Thank you for sharing.