Living the Pro-Life Message: John McCain’s Adoption Makes His Views Real

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 7, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Living the Pro-Life Message: John McCain’s Adoption Makes His Views Real

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by Laura Echevarria
July 7
, 2008 Note: Laura Echevarria is a opinion columnist. She is the former Director of Media Relations and a spokesperson for the National Right to Life Committee and has been a radio announcer, freelance writer active in local politics.

I learned something new about John McCain this week.

I knew that he and his wife had an adopted daughter and that Cindy McCain had brought her home as an infant after visiting Mother Teresa in India.

What I did not know was that when they brought their little girl back to care for her and save her life, they brought back another little girl as well. She was adopted by one of McCain’s aides. The story in the Jerusalem Post reads:

Also little-known is the story of McCain’s youngest child. As a result of a 1991 Cindy McCain visit to Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Bangladesh, the McCains adopted an infant daughter dying from a host of health issues.

The orphanage could not provide the medical care needed to save the little girl’s life, so the McCains, already the parents of six children, brought the child home to America, and paid for desperately needed surgeries and years of rehabilitation.

That child is their teenage daughter Bridget. In fact, there was a second infant girl brought back from the orphanage that the McCains saved. She ended up being adopted by one of McCain’s aides, Wes Gullett, and his wife. "We were called at midnight by Cindy," Gullett has stated, and "five days later we met our new daughter Nicki at the LA airport."

This fall, Nicki will be a high school junior. Even after years of expensive medical treatment for the child, Gullett says, "I never saw a hospital bill" for her care. It is an extraordinary man who commits himself to such generous and heroic acts; it is an extraordinary politician who won’t utter a word about such acts for political aggrandizement.

We in the pro-life movement want to see our politicians really mean it when they say they are pro-life. How many candidates would adopt a severely ill child, bring home another very ill child, pay for the care of both and not blow their own horn about it? I can think of very few.

The pro-life movement has butted heads with John McCain in a number of areas such as embryonic stem cell research and campaign finance reform but John McCain has a very long record that consistently attests to his pro-life credentials. I believe that he will appoint justices in the mold of Roberts, Thomas, Scalia and Alito. I believe that he will continue to promote pro-life policies firmly established under Presidents Reagan and Bush (41) and continued under our current president. I believe that John McCain will do what we in the pro-life movement hope to do: advance the pro-life cause.

I also firmly believe that John McCain will pick a running mate who will work with him on these issues and fit comfortably with the pro-life movement.

Some pro-lifers will choose to sit out this race and not vote, but if they do, their non-vote will allow Barack Obama a greater chance of taking office.

Obama clearly is even more pro-abortion than Bill Clinton which, I’m sure, most of us didn’t think was possible. When he was in the state legislature, Barack Obama voted against the Illinois version of the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act and spoke out against it. Contrast this with John and Cindy McCain who were willing to bring home two severely ill infants, adopt one and pay for the care of both.

John McCain won’t blow his own horn, but I will. What more can the pro-life movement need for proof than to find a candidate who puts his words into action and doesn’t use those actions for political gain?

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