In all likelihood the origin of the myth that John McCain is pro-choice is that it really is true that despite McCain’s solid pro-life record, back in 2000 he suggested modifying the Republican plank to call for the criminalization of abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or where failure to abort would kill the mother. That would be a far cry from the pro-choice position, but it would be somewhat more moderate than the current platform’s commitment to blanket criminalization. Then he lost the primary, his views swung to the left on a variety of views, and then starting with George W. Bush’s re-election campaign he swung his views on taxes, immigration, and a series of other issues back to the hard right. But as of April 2007 he was still mavericky on abortion:
Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., told ABC News Saturday that he still wants to change the GOP’s abortion platform to explicitly recognize exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.
But now his campaign says they won’t try to change the platform after all. Instead, the plan is to just try to avoid accepting any responsibility for his repeated cave-ins to conservative dogma.