John McCain shows great ignorance regarding birth control

July 16, 2008 | By | 5 Replies More

This video of John McCain is truly incredible. The questioner asked whether insurers, who cover Viagra, should also cover birth control pills.

The simple answer should have been that insurance companies should, indeed, cover birth control pills. Any organization that covers Viagra and Prozac (and vasectomies, much less surgery for tennis elbow) should cover the pills and medical care necessary for people to control if and when they will get pregnant. But McCain was incoherent. Here’s the Straight-Talk Express at work:

This is not the first time McCain has shown profound ignorance on birth control and sexuality. And see here for much more. The problem is that he is trying to hold onto the radical right, which wants to outlaw all effective birth control. See also, here, regarding the political positions on birth control pushed by those bastions of misinformation, “Pregnancy Resource Centers,” which dot the land, often well-funded by tax dollars. The Republicans are controlled by those who believe that they should control when and how you feel sexual pleasure. And here’s more proof. And check out the special proms for prepubescent girls. For more proof of this Republican ignorance, check out the statistics demonstrating that abstinence-only education (also well funded by the federal government) is a joke. I should clarify. I think that abstinence can be a substantial part of sex education for adolescents, but not the only part. The phrase “Just say no” doesn’t, on its own, stop kids from unintentionally getting pregnant.

Also check out McCain’s ignorance on the relationship between condom use and HIV.

As you can see, then, even when you set aside the issue of abortion, Republicans are further determined to tell you if, when and how to get pregnant. How can they not see that this should be a decision left to individuals? The answer is that Republicans are pandering to the radical “religious” Right’s wacko view that use of birth control pills constitute a method of causing an “abortion.”


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Category: Civil Rights, Education, Politics, Religion, Reproductive Rights, Sex

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    I believe you are mistaken about the radical right wanting to outlaw all forms of birth control. They want to outlaw all forms of pre-emptive methods such as contraceptive devices and drugs. They do, however, favor many forms of "retro-active birth-control" such as executions and war.

  2. grumpypilgrim says:

    Well of course Grandpa McCain is uninformed about birth control: at his age, the topic is irrelevant.

  3. gerald peck says:

    i am the first to come out and bash mccain, but i think it took a lot of guts to plead ignorant. it shows a certain honesty that you rarely see in poltics. the normal thing would have been to answer the question without answering it, such as "there are a lot of irregularities with insurance companies and drug benefits. i am for cleaning up the polcies and making them more consistent"

  4. You don't think McCain is able to cheat on his wife with a much younger nubile woman and produce some more offsprings? (I just realized that I'm feeling some qualms about making jokes about someone who was POW for so many years…?!)

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    Gerald: Here's my problem with McCain. Yes, the question could be interpreted as a technical one involving the legalities of insurance coverage. In that sense, McCain was correct to reserve judgment if he didn't know that answer.

    But the question CRIES OUT for reassurance that women should have easy access to birth control, because birth control prevents unwanted pregnancy, and unwanted pregnancy leads to many abortions and the GOP hates abortions.

    So how about something like this: "Birth control pills and devices should be freely available to those who don't wish to become pregnant. To the extent that insurance companies aren't covering birth control pills, that is a travesty and I will look into that further. In fact, I will become known as the Birth Control Pill President! This is an easy call."

    But, instead, McCain froze. He was so incredibly transparent. He refused to say the obvious moral thing in a land that ostensibly believe in personal liberties–that people who want birth control should be able to have them–because he was panicked that saying this would inflame the right wing zealots he so desperately needs to win the election.

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