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July 17, 2008

What? McCain's Record Not On Your Summer Reading List, Carly?

McCain adviser brings up insurance coverage for birth control again, even though McCain voted against such coverage, and??still hasn't answered questions about his record

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called on John McCain's "straight-talk" express today to stop misleading voters on his anti-choice record. At an event in New York yesterday, Carly Fiorina, an adviser to the anti-choice candidate, who has previously made inaccurate comments on his record, promised voters that she would get them the details of his position on insurance coverage for birth control, among other things. Interestingly, Fiorina has a copy of McCain's voting record, courtesy of NARAL Pro-Choice America, that shows his 25-year record voting against such commonsense policies.

"It's distressing that the 'straight-talk' McCain campaign continues to use a surrogate who misleads voters on his record at every opportunity," Keenan said. "Voters deserve and expect better. But even more alarming, is that John McCain still hasn't answered questions on these issues. Last week, after his eight-second pause, the candidate was going to get back to the American people. Well, we're still waiting for that answer, and obviously, so is Carly Fiorina."

According to the Wall Street Journal blog, Fiorina, in a discussion with women voters, "agreed to provide details regarding McCain's stances on mandating health insurance coverage for birth control pills, federal mandates for paid maternity leave and a reinvigoration of federal legislation aimed at giving women equal pay for comparable work."

Further, an organizer of the meeting said, "the group told Fiorina that if McCain would give some concrete assurances of support on such issues, the people in the room and the organizations they represented could help deliver 'hundreds of thousands and maybe millions of votes' to the presumptive Republican nominee." [Washington Wire, July 16, 2008]

Fiorina's comments are in direct contradiction with McCain's record. In fact, McCain voted against a proposal that would have required insurance companies to cover prescription contraception in the same way they pay for Viagra. [Clinton/Reid amendment to FY'06 Budget Resolution, S.Con.Res.18, 3/17/05.]

"John McCain knows that he needs the support of women voters to win this election, and it seems that he's finally realized that his anti-choice record is going to turn them off," Keenan said. "Women know the difference between two decades of anti-choice, anti-birth control votes, and will support the only presidential candidate who actually supports health insurance coverage for birth control…Barack Obama," Keenan said. "Unlike McCain, who has voted against family planning 22 times, Sen. Obama supports legislation that would ensure fairness in insurance coverage for birth control, which represents one of the best ways to prevent unintended pregnancy and thus reduce the need for abortion. That's a clear difference between these candidates."

Keenan cited McCain's extensive record of votes against birth control, including a vote to eliminate the Title X family-planning program, which provides millions of women with health-care services ranging from birth control to breast cancer screenings. [Weicker motion to table Helms amendment to FY'89 Labor, HHS, and Education appropriations bill, H.R.4783, 7/25/88; motion to invoke cloture on Family Planning Amendments Act, S.110, 9/26/90.] For a complete listing of McCain's votes against family planning, please visit:

Last week, NARAL Pro-Choice America sent Carly Fiorina a copy of its 14-page profile on McCain's anti-choice record, so she could prevent further misrepresentations of his record. On Tuesday, NARAL Pro-Choice New Mexico volunteers were denied access to a McCain town hall, when they told security guards they wanted to ask the candidate to clarify his position on birth control. Until McCain gives an honest answer on his record, voters around the country will continue to question McCain at every opportunity.


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