John McCain Says Human Rights Include Protecting Unborn From Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 20, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 20
, 2007

Dover, NH ( — Arizona Senator John McCain made a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Sunday and the Republican presidential candidate highlighted his pro-life views during a question and answer session with the audience. He said that protecting human rights across the globe extends to protecting unborn children from abortion.

During the questioning, McCain described himself as "a pro-life person" and said "That’s been a solid 24-year record" during his life in political office.

"I have not changed my position" on opposing abortion, he told the audience.

The GOP hopeful also tried to separate himself from the other candidates seeking the party’s not by looking at the right to life from an international angle.

"I have been an advocate for human rights — having been deprived of them for a period in my life — from Burma to Bosnia to China to Cuba, and I believe human rights also extend to that of the unborn," McCain said, according to an AP report.

The comments are his first on the thorny issue since saying recently that he favors overturning the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that led to virtually unlimited abortion.

At a campaign appearance in South Carolina last month, McCain said the Supreme Court should reverse itself on Roe and allow states the opportunity to ban abortions.

“I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned,” McCain said.

The next day, in a visit with voters in Vero Beach, Florida, the Arizona senator said he didn’t flip-flop.

"It is a false claim to say that I have changed my position," McCain said in a press conference following the event.

However, McCain appeared then to be changing his position from a 1999 statement he gave to the San Francisco Chronicle in which he said he didn’t support repealing Roe.

"I’d love to see a point where it is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary," McCain told the newspaper at the time. "But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations."

McCain has previously voted on the Supreme Court case.

In March 2003, pro-abortion lawmakers attached a resolution to the partial-birth abortion ban supporting Roe v. Wade and saying it shouldn’t be overturned. McCain voted against the resolution and it was later removed from the bill.

Yet, in October 1999, McCain was the only member of the Senate to skip two votes on another resolution endorsing Roe. He later came under fire from pro-life advocates during the 2000 Republican presidential primaries for not opposing the provision.

McCain has also upset pro-life advocates with his vote in favor of forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research and being the prime sponsor of legislation that would adversely impact the election activities of pro-life groups.