Arizona Senator John McCain is going maverick again. The Republican party elder and former presidential candidate is warning his party that if they want to win in 2012, they need to lay off the war over contraception, and start focusing on jobs again.
Speaking on Meet The Press, McCain admonished the party, stating “the GOP should pivot from the contraception issue and ‘get back on to what the American people really care about: jobs and the economy.’” He also worried that the contraception debate is leaving the impression that the “GOP is a party unfriendly to women.”
Really? Unfriendly to women? What tipped him off? The fight to deny women affordable access to contraception? The attempts to repeal the very health care reform legislation that would ensure women pay the same costs as men and eliminate “being female” as a “preexisting condition?” Was it the efforts underway to force women who want to terminate pregnancies to undergo medically unnecessary, expensive medical procedures–and pay for them? The fact that legislators want to force women to run like rats through a maze in meeting arbitrary waiting periods for an abortion they know they want? The bills not only legalizing but mandating that doctors lie to their female patients about the condition of a fetus? Or was it the bills to force women to to carry a child to term that has no hope of viability once its born because the medical issue wasn’t discovered–or perhaps just not revealed–until after 20 weeks?
Senator McCain may believe the GOP needs to be “less hostile” to women, but perhaps he should consider the adage that “charity begins at home,” and bring to bear his influence first on his home state. Arizona has now become the most “hostile” state in the nation when it comes to a woman’s reproductive rights, moving from supportive to completely against a woman’s right to choose in just one decade. According to Guttmacher’s Elizabeth Nash:
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“There are very few states that are so heavily entrenched in working to restrict abortion access than Arizona. In the past three years, the legislature has seemingly spent all their time on abortion restrictions.”
Dear Senator, if you want to know why the GOP appears to be anti-women, you should visit home more often.