by Steven Ertelt
April 25, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Arizona Sen. John McCain made his bid for the Republican nomination for president in 2008 official on Tuesday. McCain has generated a mostly pro-life voting record by opposing abortion but has upset the pro-life community by voting to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research.
"We face formidable challenges, but I’m not afraid of them. I’m prepared for them," the lawmaker said during his press conference in New Hampshire, site of the second presidential primary contest.
McCain lost the GOP nomination to President Bush in 2000 and he has been biding his time for a second opportunity ever since.
McCain has been sagging in the polls lately and he hoped his announcement Tuesday would bring back some zip to his efforts.
Most polls show him trailing pro-abortion former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and slightly ahead of ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who changed his position on abortion a couple years ago.
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"I’d love to see a point where it is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary," McCain told the newspaper at the time.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.