Media Coverage of John McCain Distorts His Opposition to Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 2, 2011   |   1:42PM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Media Coverage of John McCain Distorts His Opposition to Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 10
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — With Barack Obama and John McCain competing for the White House this November, there is a clear contrast on the contentious issue of abortion. But you wouldn’t know it by reading the news coverage of the two — with the media underplaying Obama’s pro-abortion views and McCain’s abortion opposition.

As previously profiled, the Associated Press condemned Obama’s long-time record in promoting unlimited abortions into a single statement saying he "supports abortion rights."

Now AP, and another media outlet, are confusing voters about where McCain stands.

A June 3 Associated Press article indicated McCain "would not seek a constitutional amendment to ban abortion."

And on June 5, a Gannett News Service article added, "McCain opposes abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to protect the life of the mother. He believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned, but would not seek a constitutional amendment banning abortion."

However, McCain has previously explained he favors a constitutional amendment prohibiting abortions and has indicated he will not change the Republican Party platform which calls for such an amendment.

On the November 19, 2006, edition of ABC’s This Week, host George Stephanopoulos said to McCain: "You’re for a constitutional amendment banning abortion with some exceptions for life and rape and incest."

McCain replied: "Rape, incest, and the life of the mother, yes."

"I do believe that it’s very likely or possible that a Supreme Court should — could overturn Roe v. Wade, which would then return these decisions to the states, which I support," McCain added later.

"I’m a federalist. Just as I believe that the issue of gay marriage should be decided by the states, so do I believe that we would be better off by having Roe v. Wade returned to the states," he continued.

In addition, on the January 30, 2000, edition of NBC’s Meet the Press, host Tim Russert asked McCain: "A constitutional amendment to ban all abortions?"

McCain replied: "Yes, sir." Russert then said: "You’re for that?" McCain responded: "Yes, sir."

Meanwhile, McCain aides said in March that his campaign will not work publicly or behind the scenes to weaken the party’s pro-life platform on abortion.

"Do you think we are crazy? Why would we want to change the platform?" the McCain advisor told the Washington Times.

Also, during a March interview with Fox News Channel’s Hannity and Colmes, McCain replied with a short "yes" that he would keep the abortion platform as it stands now.

With McCain opposing abortion and wanting states to have another chance to prohibit them and Obama favoring abortion and wanting judges who will keep it legal another 35 years, there is a clear contrast for voters this November.