Open Letter to John McCain

As great a job as Julie did, Cecily’s letter to McCain is likely the clearest example and explanation of how disrespectful McCain’s position on partial-birth abortions is to any woman that has ever or ever plans to be pregnant:

Dear John McCain:

I’ve thought long and hard about what to say to you after watching your discussion about abortion on last night’s debate. I’ll be honest; I have never considered voting for you. I am beyond a doubt a tax-and-spend and let-the-gays-get-married liberal. But you know what? I’ve always liked you. I’ve found your appearances on The Daily Show to be amusing, and even though we don’t agree on much, I always thought of you as a smart, compassionate, and friendly person. I’ve managed through this election to even hold on to a shred of respect for you, even while I am personally inundated with negative ads from your campaign because I live in a swing state. This is partially because you are I were much more politically in line back when you ran for President in 2000, and throughout this campaign I’ve always imagined that in some way you were playing a role as a far right-wing conservative, and that in fact, you were personally much more moderate.

But when you discussed your feelings about partial birth abortion during the debate last night, your true opinions became clear to me. You really are a social conservative; it was in 2000 that you were playing a role. When you discussed partial birth abortion and used quotes around the “health” of a mother, claiming that the idea of preserving a woman’s health has been “stretched” so that woman can just go ahead and abort babies willy-nilly whenever they want showed your true colors. You really ARE a small-minded anti-choice hater of women.

You’ve bought the propaganda. Even if I tell you that late term abortions make up only one fifth of 1% of ALL abortions that happen in this country, and that they are performed universally only in cases of extreme risk to the mother or lack of viability for the child, you won’t believe me. In your mind, women like me are sluts that got what we deserve, and changed our minds at the last minute when the reality of a baby became clear. If I tell you that the day my doctor performed my life-saving medical termination of my pregnancy was the worst day of his professional career, in your mind he’s a callous murderer willing to kill children.

Watching you speak last night felt like getting punched in the face. I’ve become used to the rare individual being so callous and ill-informed; but to think a man so close to becoming the leader of this nation thinks so little of women like me–was just…God. Awful. Heartbreaking. Horrifying.

You clearly believe women like me–women who were horribly, horribly sick from their pregnancies but not yet dying–don’t deserve the medical care we need to help us heal. You may think this issue is about saving the lives of babies, but it’s not. It’s about preventing women from receiving necessary medical care.

In my case, Senator, where would you have drawn the line? At what point were my doctors and I not stretching the definition of my “health”? When we terminated the pregnancy, or should we have waited until I was sicker? Say, when I lost my kidney function permanently? Or perhaps when I had a seizure so severe that it caused a stroke and brain damage? Or maybe when my heart was damaged by my out-of-control blood pressure?

By your standards, when could my doctors have intervened?

But most of all, Senator, you do not even care about how much I loved my sons, or that the day you chose to be so cruel to women like me was National Pregnancy And Infant Loss Awareness Day. That only an hour before you spoke I was writing, once again, about the loss of my sons and how much it has changed my life. Because I’m not important. I don’t matter. And in your mind, I quite possibly don’t even exist.

I’ll have you know that I have worked very, very hard to not swear in this letter to you. Maybe if I leave out the nasty language, you’ll actually be able to hear what I’m saying. But I doubt it. I don’t matter to you. Women don’t matter to you.

So you know what? Forget about not swearing. I’ll end this with how I really feel.

Fuck you, Senator McCain. Fuck you.

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7 thoughts on “Open Letter to John McCain

  1. Bazarov says:

    Excellent. “Fuck you, Senator McCain. Fuck you.” Perhaps people like me should be more vocal so that moderates, like this lady, are taken as moderates and not extremists. I’m PRO-abortion. I think more of them should be performed. I think the state should pay for them. I think they should be encouraged. I can’t be the only one either. So, if people like me became vocal enough, perhaps those truly in the middle will see how out there the extreme pro-sufferers are (pro-life in most cases as far as I’ve seen is actually pro-suffering, because once it’s born they cease giving a fuck about the child, especially if it’s born with AIDS, is born a crack addict, the wrong color, to parents who have no economical means of providing for it, etc).Ahh, the abortion issue, sure to ruin any good dinner should it rear its ugly head. Why is insanity so persistent!

  2. undecided says:

    I don’t think I understand the pro-abortion thing. How would you decide which women should be encouraged to terminate? Age? Income? Education? IQ?I just think it’s a very slippery slope to say that someone who wants a pregnancy should be encouraged (forced?) to end it. Where could you possibly draw that line? And with the current social stigma, would you also have the state provide counseling after the fact? It’s heartbreaking enough for a woman to go through when she doesn’t have a choice in the matter (save the mother’s life), but I would assume the psychological effects would be even worse if you did it by choice – you’d always wonder if you did the “right” thing, especially if the government talked you into it!

  3. Bazarov says:

    I guess encouraged isn’t the proper word, at least not gov’t encouragement. I’m thinking more of a cultural sort of push, like the same force parents would feel should they walk their 10 year olds around in a mall naked or shouting racial obscenities in public. I’m guessing the parents are thinking, “I can’t do that! What would people say or how would they look at us!” before they think, “Could I get a ticket for that?” I wouldn’t categorize women too much either. I’d pretty much go for whoever wanted one shouldn’t have to worry about paying for it. If a poor lady, or a middle class teenager, wants one, they should be able to go to a state paid-for clinic where they can get it done safely and for free. I would never force an abortion on someone, though with adoption I can’t say the same thing. I don’t view children as being owned by anyone: humans are incapable of being owned in my ethical world. This opens a big book here and I don’t know if I wanna go there just now. I don’t think a blog forum is where to hatch out these ideas.I think most of the psy issues are from cultural inertia. Things people used to get very worked up about no longer make us shrug. If a peron had a bad relationship in the past, why let that ruin things in the future? The 18th Century’s fanatical views on sex and chastity for example (21st Century still in other areas) are beyond our comprehension now. I think once people start having saner, more down-to-earth realizations about what humans are and what it means to be one, the abortion thing won’t bother people nearly so much. To me, a woman should be worrying more at night about having run over an opposum/cat/dog/non-human mammal than she should be worrying about aborting a month old embryo. Human goo is not that special as to be worrying about it like that. Should a picture of a jar of semen and a jar of eggs sitting next to each other on a shelf evoke all these thoughts of, “What would the world have been like if only they had united?” or “What a shame no one ever mixed them! Imagine all the those people who never got to experience life!”? What makes humans worth having around isn’t the number of chromosomes we have or the name we give ourselves. It’s about experience. I think it’s clear enough that if you catch an embryo/fetus early enough you’ll get it before it has any sentience. However, having a child when doubtful of whether or not you want it, well that’s just unfair for the child. That’s why I think most pro-lifers, those that say pro-life no matter what, are pro-suffering. People in warzones should not be having children. Adults in DarFur, for example, should not be having children. People in famine stricken areas should not be having children. There’s a moral burden on them and they’re avoiding it, and well financed institutions are backing them and telling them its not just OK, but a good thing. It is not. In order to have suffering you need to have humans. Not enough humans seem to have grasped that. In short, the women that should get abortions are the ones that aren’t certain they want a child. That’s their choice, not mine. I would never force a person to have an abortion. I may be for the forceful removal of the child from their custody at a later point, but I wouldn’t force sterilization or abortions on anyone. I think women should do the selecting. But I can’t help but think the world would be a better place if more women were given some positive associations with the hint of abortion during counciling should they seek it. To dismiss abortion as an option out of hand, especially when based on superstition “reasons” and the anachronistic ethics based upon them, is not just wrong but morally suspect.As for late-term abortions, I don’t think they’re as common as many put them to make them that big of a deal, but when push comes to shove I’d always give infinitely more weight to the women that are undoubtedly aware of their own existence, that have people dependent on them, etc. If a lady wants to keep a child from rape or incest, well then I won’t share my thoughts on that, not to her face at least. But to argue that even rape or incest isn’t an excuse for abortion is simply beyond the pale. If your ethics are that warped I’m ashamed to be living on the same rock as you.

  4. undecided says:

    I think I get what you’re saying. Safe, legal, and somewhat less rare. Or much less rare? Either way, there should always be a choice. I’ve seen the bumper stickers saying “If the fetus you save is gay, will you fight for its rights?” What if it grows up into a murderer? Wait and kill it then? The whole “culture of life” thing put forward by pro-war, pro-death penalty people sickens me. I believe Palin actually said that if her own daughter were raped and became pregnant, she would hope and encourage her daughter to “choose life.” Pro-suffering, indeed.

  5. Bazarov says:

    Yes. I never meant to suggest women who actually want to keep their pregnancies should be forced to have an abortion. And I’d much sooner recommend a woman get her tubes tied before I recommended she abort a child she was currently carrying and wishing to keep. I just think people get WAY too excited over the abortion word and that more women should be having them that don’t because of reasons that I’d call unreasonable were given too much weight. I wouldn’t ever pull someone out of the closet, but I’m certain a great deal of successful women have had them: they weren’t ready during that point in their lives to have a child and they took steps to avoid pregnancy but pregnant they were and an abortion they had. The world kept turning, some of them eventually had kids, and their lives are just fine. Where are all those stories? They’re cowering in the closets, that’s where. Of all the successful female professionals out there, all the judges, business execs, lawyers, whatever, how many made that choice? I’m guessing it’s a lot like pot. A lot more people are doing it than you might have imagined at first. I’ve met plenty from cops to docs that’ve done that shit, you just don’t hear about it much. Few admit it, like most parents that have ever existed, because we all know Woodstock was populated by no one that has passed on offspring to our generations! Each generation invents all the social ills that parents gripe about! It NEVER happened before. NEVER. I emphasize that just in case I ever become one myself. NEVER.

  6. undecided says:

    Oh, I’m sure you’re right about many women (successful or not) having had abortions but not admitting it. It seems like I’ve seen one or two admissions by at least somewhat prominent women over the years, but honestly their names don’t spring to mind. Spot on on the pot. My favorite example is a former probation officer! I think my dad admitted experimental use but my mom gasped at the idea of such an absurdity. Heh. I’m guessing they hadn’t discussed a united front on that issue. Funny.

  7. suntzusays says:

    I forgot temporarily about Baz being the other “anti-life” candidate out there. Though, I’m a bit more free market about how it gets paid for. Plus the American state has a hard time getting funding for something like sex ed, try to imagine getting funding for abortion clinics. I like studying the Civil War, not so much for re-fighting it. Plus their side has most of the guns anyway. Baz may move to (insert better country here) eventually… I can’t (yet). I’d very much prefer not to have to worry about finding a place on the coast to escape the hot zone. Pot statistics are generally considered conservative and still estimate at least half the US (12yro+) population used it. I’m not quite sure the same stigma is attached to abortions socially, because there’s actually a legal stigma involved in many places with marijuana (if I admit it, I might be arrested! = idiots). It might be on a par with something like mental illnesses, something that still has difficulty in admission and public awareness. But it is also something that people who seek treatment or resolution are often more than happy to advertise for. The aforementioned aspect of famine was/is actually an acutely demonstrated problem resulting historically in infanticide (the supposed cousin of abortion). This was particularly true in Inuit cultures; something Palin is somehow oblivious to, considering she is married to one. In the long run, such associations with ideas like lowered crime rates or poverty, or general suffering, will create some positive associations with the exercised choice to have abortions. I suspect the easiest way to get to that point is to make most of the actual choices not over: keep or abort, but rather over: parenthood planning or types of birth control. Those are much easier choices for most people to swallow. That we somehow aren’t even able to objectively deal with those in this country is disturbing.

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