Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mike McGavick Proposes Abortion Ban...On the Moon

I recently had the pleasure of corresponding with the McGavick campaign regarding Mr. McGavick's position on abortion. In press interviews around the state McGavick has tried to paint himself as "moderate" and in the "mainstream" on the issue by saying he supports parental notification, bans on partial birth abortion and bans on funding for abortion. He doesn't support a constitutional amendment because he doesn't "see it doing anything productive in his mind."

Let's read that again: A constitutional amendment protecting the most innocent and vulnerable among us wouldn't be "productive."

Mr. McGavick might as come out in favor of banning abortion on the Moon, Mars and Venus for all the good his stand on abortion will do. As I explained to the McGavick campaign, parental notification and PBA bans would be out of his hands as a U.S. senator. His campaign refused to answer my other questions about abortion related issues that would come before him.

Mr. McGavick, as heard in this audio, stated he wouldn't do anything to stop the abortion industry until people change their hearts. On the contrary, it is Mike McGavick is who needs to change his heart and mind before he will get elected to the U.S. Senate.

Below is the text of my correspondence with the campaign:

Hi --
I heard through the grape-vine that Mike McGavick told Steve Hammond that he is pro-choice. Is that true?

Hi Mary,

Thanks for taking the time to write us.

Mike would not support a constitutional amendment banning abortion as he doesn’t see it doing anything productive in his mind. He does support parental notification and a ban on partial birth abortion.

Hope this helps clarify his position for you. Feel free to write us again in the future.


Hi --
I appreciate your reply, however, it doesn't really answer the question -- Is Mike McGavick pro-choice?

Your answer is basically the same one he gave to the Seattle Times last year and appears to be somewhat of a dodge. I understand that parental notification and PBA bans poll well, and than even self-identified "pro-choice" people support these things, but I doubt that Mike will have a chance to vote on them if he is elected to the Senate. The federal PBA ban is working its way up the courts and parental notification is something that is taken up in state legislatures, not Congress.

Here are 3 real-life examples of areas where Mike would have an opportunity to show his true colors. Can you tell me how he would vote?
--Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (To prevent the transportation of minors in circumvention of certain laws relating to abortion.) This is especially critical to our state because Washington State has such a robust abortion industry and because they already help facilitate the transportation of minors here from Alaska, Oregon and Idaho for abortions.
--A fifth Supreme Court judge who may be the final vote needed to overturn Roe v. Wade.
--Lifting the gag rule on international family planning providers (aka Planned Parenthood). This is something many Republicans have voted in favor of when it has come up before the Senate in the past.

Most of all I want to know if he identifies himself as "pro-choice".

Best regards,


Thanks for your reply. I’ll do my best to elaborate.

I can understand how his response may seem like a dodge. I assure you though, it is not. Yes, it is an uncommon response because it does not place him directly on one side or the other of the issue. Hence, the reason he does not like to label himself with either side’s title – pro-life or pro-choice.

He honestly believes in the restrictions I mentioned in the previous email. However, he does not honestly believe a constitutional amendment banning the practice is right. In holding these three opinions many people call him pro-choice because he doesn’t support the ban. But, many people call him pro-life because he supports many restrictions. If he calls himself pro-life, people attack him for being disingenuous because he doesn’t support 100% of the pro-life agenda. If he calls himself pro-choice people attack him for being disingenuous for not supporting 100% of the pro-choice agenda. So, you can see our dilemma. Therefore we tell people whatever they want to know about specific issues and allow them to draw their own conclusions. Does this make sense? I wish I could give you a simplistic answer but the issue for us is complicated – as I’m sure it is for many others.

Thanks for your patience reading this. If you’d like me to clarify anything, feel free to respond again. I’m happy to help however I can. Thanks for your time!

Hi --
Well, first of all, despite your claim, Mike's response is not an uncommon response. It is a very common response from people who haven't fully examined the abortion issue because it is a very painful and difficult thing to do. People don't want to examine what is arguably the preeminent injustice of our time. Complicating matters is a reluctance to confront our own indifference and to realize that we perhaps had some part in it, that we did nothing to prevent it, and that we may be unwilling to risk our careers and personal and professional relationships and ambitions in order to stop it. So I don't think Mike gets any points for blazing any new trails on this one. Seen in this context your answer does make sense - Mike is confused. There's also the possibility that he has confronted the reality of abortion and believes there's nothing wrong with it, that it is good for the state of Washington and the country, and there is no Right to Life. I honestly don't know how Mike has come to his beliefs about abortion, or what they are exactly, but that is the purpose of this conversation and something I hope you can enlighten the folks of Washington state about. Enlightenment, however, seems more and more elusive with every email.

I'll ask you again, can you tell me how Mike would vote in a real-world situation (see my 3 examples)? Parental notification and PBA bans are not real-world because they will not come before a Senator McGavick. You keep mentioning his support for parental notification and PBA bans like I'm supposed to be impressed and that this somehow vouches for his pro-life credentials. Those issues are off the table, goodbye, never-to-be-seen by a Senator McGavick so who really cares what he believes about those issues. Even pro-choice voters are going to recognize that there is something half-cocked about his support for these issues.

Either Mike believes that it is wrong to kill unborn children in the womb, or he does not. It is that simple. What in particular makes it complicated for the McGavick campaign?

I'm curious why you keep bringing up the Constitutional amendment. It's a rather obscure part of the abortion debate that doesn't get any press but since you keep bringing it up can you explain what you mean when you say that "he does not honestly believe a Constitutional amendment banning the practice is right"?

The issues I asked you to comment on are pressing and will likely come before Mike were he elected. Contrary to your assertion that Mike doesn't like labels, according to my sources Mike HAS labeled himself "pro-choice" in his private conversations. Why won't he come out and say it in public? That at least would be the honest answer and pro-life and pro-choice people alike could at least respect him for being honest and decide whether to vote for him or not. Equivocating won't win him any votes.

Not answering a question by answering a question that wasn't asked is a dodge. In fact what Mike is doing is equivocating - making a statement that is not literally false but that cleverly avoids an unpleasant truth; namely that it appears he would do little to nothing to stop the abortion regime in this country, or around the world for that matter. If he really had a problem with abortion he'd be telling the voters what he'd do about it and how he differs from Maria Cantwell on the subject. After reading your emails I can only conclude that for all intents and purposes, he takes the exact same position she does on a Constitutional amendment, parental notification and PBA. It's like the old joke about the difference between Democrats and Republicans -- The Democrats propose a bill to burn down the Capitol. The Republicans offer their own bill to burn down the Capitol but phase it in over 5 years. It's the same disastrous result.

Best regards and I look forward to your reply,

Hi Mary,

Thanks for your patience – I’ve been waiting to respond so I could gather some more information. To be honest, there are some things that Mike is still considering, still debating personally – many of which are things you brought up in your comments. I’d like to give you a full answer right now but there isn’t one other than his position on those aspects I mentioned earlier.

I can understand how this may be disappointing right now but I would also add that this is something Mike is paying a lot of attention to right now. The campaign is still very young and he will address this issue fully but isn’t ready at this time.

Thanks for your understanding and patience.


Anonymous said...

What a nice guy that answered your questions. He sounds very honest actually. He is giving Mike's specific positions on issues and he's right, he is not pro-life. But he is pro-choice with regulations. Mike will have a tough time getting elected as a Republican. He's more along the lines of a Dave Ross; Pro-choice Catholic with regulations. Dave Ross favored parental notification too.

As for the campaign guy, I think he deserves to work for a better Republican candidate; someone he doesn't need to apologize for.

Mary E. said...

Michelle --
I totally agree with you. The guy who answered my questions was just great and very patient. He could only really say what the McGavick campaign's position is and he's exactly the kind of communications person a politician should want.
And as you say, the problem is with McGavick, NOT the spokesman or woman.
Parental Notification polls well so coming out in favor of it isn't exactly a profile in courage.