McCain: GOP should drop the contraception issue

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) thinks it’s a bad idea for the GOP candidates to bring up the contraception controversy, but don’t accept the premise, because the issue is not about women’s health or contraception.

The media and Democrats are the ones who have completed twisted this issue.

  1. The GOP never brought up the issue of contraception. President Obama started this fight by mandating Catholic business owners cover contraception. This is a First Amendment issue, nothing else.
  2. The committee hearing Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) held was a hearing on the First Amendment, not abortion, women’s health or contraception.
  3. There were two women who spoke on the same day at the Issa committee hearing meeting. What you heard about was just the first part of the session before the first break. How many of you knew that?
  4. (Added) Sandra Fluke – in her own testimony – confirmed Georgetown covered the use of contraceptives if they were prescribed for women’s health issues, and not just birth control. Did you know that?

McCain thinks the GOP candidates should just shut up. (Hat tip to Powers at Michelle Malkin’s site.)

Sen. John McCain said Sunday that the GOP needs to stop talking about contraception and that focusing on the issue is hurting voter perceptions of the party.

“I think we have to fix that,” the Arizona Republican said when asked by David Gregory on NBC’s “Meet the Press” about the idea of a Republican “war on women.” “I think there is a perception out there because of the way this whole contraception issue played out – we need to get off of that issue in my view. I think we ought to respect the right of women to make choices in their lives and make that clear — and get back onto what the American people really care about: jobs and the economy.”

So instead of fixing the false perception, we should shut up. He again brings up the straw-man argument that Republicans don’t respect the right of women to make choices in their lives. I guess McCain thinks nothing of the rights of Catholics…

In the meantime…

We have an example of the real issue here … the real First Amendment issue for President Obama and his health care legislation. The first private business owner has filed suit against the Department of Health & Human Services concerning the “pay for contraception” mandate. From CNS News, with my emphasis in bold.

Note how the liberals/socialist/statists completely ignore the primary issue here.

“The HHS mandate would require business people like our client to leave their religious beliefs at home every day as a condition of doing business in our society,” said ACLJ’s Francis J. Manion, who is representing O’Brien. “The HHS mandate tells people like Frank O’Brien that they have to choose between conducting their business in a manner consistent with their moral values, or conducting their business in a manner consistent with the government’s values. The constitution does not allow the government to impose such a choice.”

The lawsuit contends that the HHS mandate “imposes a substantial burden on Plaintiffs’ free exercise of religion by coercing Plaintiffs to choose between conducting their business in accordance with their religious beliefs or paying substantial penalties to the government.”

Manion rejects criticism that opposition to the mandate somehow prohibits others from obtaining the insurance coverage that suits them: “O’Brien and other people of faith aren’t looking to stand in the way of anybody’s access to anything,” said Manion. “They just don’t want the government forcing them to pay for services that go against their sincerely-held beliefs.”

Hint: Read that paragraph again, since that’s what the liberal/socialists/statists completely ignore.

Manion noted that the State of Missouri has its own ‘contraceptives mandate,’ but it allows exemptions for those with religious objectios: “There is no good reason why the federal government couldn’t — and shouldn’t – do the same. The Constitution, in fact, demands nothing less,” Manion said.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Truthseeker on March 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I agree.? The lefty media?has “spun” this to their advantage.? Religious organizations should have the constitutional right to deny employees certain coverages that conflict with their theology.
    As for McCain, I hope he is addressing comments by some candidates?that birth control is not an acceptable practice?
    BTW, during all this “reporting,” why are the words condom and vasectomy being entirely ignored?

    • Steve M on March 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      To clarify once again. They are not “denying employees certain coverage”. The employees can pay for it themselves, or get alternative coverage. There is a big difference between “denying” coverage and not willing to pay for it.

    • Truthseeker on March 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm

      You are correct Steve and that’s what I meant, just poor wording on my part.

  2. RoBrDona on March 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Oddly, as I almost always agree with you, I think the king Washington insider, McCain, is right on.? I don’t disagree that the primary issue is being missed, but that it WILL NEVER get any MSM coverage, therefore it is a waste of time trying to initiate damage control. I wouldn’t even mention it, just go right to the 1st Amendment issue (as a united party) and stick to our guns on that.

  3. Plainvillian on March 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    The GOP should drop McCain.

    • Lynn on March 21, 2012 at 8:58 am

      I totally respect McCain, as a veteran and a war hero. I also respect Democrats, when they vote and act to their core beliefs. It is time for McCain to change and become a Democrat, that is where his heart lies. We need to correct every issue distorted by the Left.? Fox News is watched by more people than every other news service and they have discussions between intelligent Liberals and Conservatives.

  4. ricbee on March 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    I think the GOOP should drop McCain,he’s a pain.

    • Lynn on March 21, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Do I want to know what GOOP is?

  5. Mild Bill on March 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    This article only underscores why many Republicans never wanted a moderate as the Presidential candidate. McCain will forever dance to the Democratic tune.


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