Today, CNN’s Late Edition re-broadcasted an August 22, 1999 interview with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), in which McCain expressed support for overturning Roe v. Wade, while also noting that the action “would condemn young women to dangerous and illegal operations”:
Ultimately, I would like to see the repeal of Roe v. Wade, but to do it immediately, I think, would condemn young women to dangerous and illegal operations.
Throughout the 2000 campaign, McCain hedged on the issue. Just two days earlier, on August 19, 1999, in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, McCain said that he “would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade”:
I’d love to see a point where [Roe v. Wade] is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even in the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade.
Unfortunately, now that he is the presumptive nominee of the Republican party, McCain is no longer concerned for the “young women” who will undergo “dangerous and illegal operations” if Roe v. Wade is repealed. In fact, on his campaign website McCain argues that the decision “must be overturned” to restore “constitutional balance”:
John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench. Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, returning the abortion question to the individual states. The difficult issue of abortion should not be decided by judicial fiat.
Cross-posted at ThinkProgressUPDATE: On January 26, 2000, a reporter asked McCain, “If his 15-year-old daughter became pregnant and believed that she wasn’t ready to bear a child, would McCain block her from getting an abortion?” McCain answered “No,” he would not:
McCain first said that the ‘’final decision’’ on ending a pregnancy would be made by his daughter, 15. An hour later, he contacted reporters with a clarification: ‘’I misspoke,’’ he said. ‘’The family decision will be made by the family, not by’’ his daughter alone, he added. [AP, 1/26/2000]