Saturday, September 20, 2008

Quis custodiet

Who fact-checks the fact-checkers? O.K., I'll do it.

McCNN asks whether Obama is correct to say two things about McCain's position on abortion:

  • McCain says Roe v. Wade was a "flawed decision."
  • McCain is running on a platform with no exception for even rape or incest.
McCNN can't possibly deny the first. It's on McCain's web site. But McCNN says that the second is misleading because McCain doesn't agree with the Republican platform, the one he's running on. Of course, despite that, he picked Sarah Palin, who does agree with every jot and tittle of the platform's statements on abortion.

McCNN temporizes about what the platform actually says, calling Obama's claim an "extreme interpretation." Here is what the Republican platform actually says (on p. 52, the 59th page of the PDF):
[W]e assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.
If a fetus is a person entitled to all the protections of the person, the manner of conception is irrelevant. It's not Obama's interpretation that's extreme. It's the Republican platform's position - passed by the entire convention - that's extreme. (Consistent, but out there.)

Since McCain thinks Roe was badly decided, he pretty much has to think that Griswold v. Connecticut was also badly decided. That's the Supreme Court decision that recognized the right of married adults to contraceptives. Griswold was a critical citation of Roe.

Hmm, what does the Republican platform say about contraception?
  • Parents have rights over their children's access to contraceptives. Get those condoms back behind the pharmacist's counter! No mention of the age of consent (p. 38).
  • All abstinence all the time (p. 45) because it's 100% effective. Ha!
  • No school-based contraceptives or referrals to contraceptives (p. 45). Because their kids are not having sex. Yeah, sure.
Any guarantee of access to contraceptives? Uh, no.

No comments: