Publicly Airing Some Thoughts on Pubic Hair

american-apparel-m_2794029aThere has been a lot of chatter recently about both the fuzzy and furless pubis. A couple of weeks ago, there was a lot of coverage of Cameron Diaz’s new written endeavor, The Body Book because it features an essay entitled “In Praise of Pubes,” and currently, American Apparel is getting press because their mannequins have merkins peaking out of their panties.

I know that feminists have been known to debate the “feministy-ness” of how one decides to relate to her pubic hair – “to nair or to hair” you might say.  (Just so you know, I’m not gonna partake in a pubic hair pros and cons list, so if that’s what you’re looking for, move on.)  There are lot of thoughts surrounding this debate, and while I may lean one way or another when I’m listening to smart girls discuss their very nuanced positions on having hair down there, I ultimately think that conversations of this nature expose the very gray spectrum that feminism needs to embrace.

Let me back track. I have pubic hair. This is a choice I’ve made based on my own life experiences with my body. When I was ten years old, I didn’t sleep much. It was a drag for my parents, but after some seriously valid attempts at trying to get me to sleep at night they gave up, and let me traipse about the house while they were sleeping. It was on a night like this I discovered my first pubic hair. I was proud of that one little curly cue – proud enough to wake up my mother to tell her what I’d found. For me, that lone coarse strand marked my shift from child to pubescent teen. It was a bodily triumph.  I know, it’s a ridiculous story, but it’s mine and that’s why I have pubic hair. It has meaning to me, because I was excited to meet my pubes so why would I banish them.

Let me tell you another story; this one’s second hand, but it helps make my point so bear with me. A couple of years ago a friend of mine went to study abroad in France. She was about four years older than the other students in her study abroad program. One night, over a bottle of wine, she had a conversation with a couple of 20-year-old guys who felt that if a woman’s labia wasn’t naked, then that women was disgusting and not a viable sexual option. Arguably, from a feminist position, the perception of these douche bags would make a terrible justification for bearing your labia – because you’d be making this choice based on what others think. Not on your relationship to your body.

Shave your pubis if you look in the mirror and the naked version looks sexy to you, or if you exercise a lot and your nether hair is prone to crotch rot. Go au-naturale because you’ve done research and you feel like pubes protect you from bacterial infections or you’re excited by their relationship to pheromones.  It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you own your crotch, make decisions based on your relationship to your parts, and voice the opinion that other feminists have a right to be masters of their bodily universe and self define. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you choose to sport a 70s style full-fledged bush or not – as long as you think about it and make a choice based on your needs. This is the gray land of actual feminist empowerment.

What do we make of the American Apparel merkins? It’s up to you. Personally, I feel like they’re creepy, but I have other feminist body-positive friends who love them. As feminists, we are big enough to enjoy this publicity stunt for the conversations it starts. We can go back and forth about whether AA’s merkins forward a hipster resurgence of a furry pubic sensibility or make the bushy bush a joke.  It doesn’t matter where you land – chat about it, think about it, and in the end go with your gut. Living within feminism means having a personal opinion and trusting it.

Side note: a couple of months ago XOJane’s Emily McCombs had a feminist twitter war on this topic and wrote an article that dismissed the necessity for a feminist discussion of pubic hair because she felt there were more pressing issues for feminists to discuss. I get it, I do. I still think we’re having issues understanding what it means to live in an empowered space – one which enables us to choose freely and navigate our own course, so I have deemed this discussion of one’s right to pube or not to pube still worthy.

This post was originally posted on Bitchtopia.com

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Diets don’t work. I’m Living Proof.

I'm in gray behind the adorable white bunny. I thought I was so fat. Ridiculous.

I’m in gray behind the adorable white bunny. I thought I was so fat. Ridiculous.

We often hear people say that diets don’t work, and there are a lot of articles and research out there that explain why this is true, for example this, this, and this. And yet, so many people continue to believe that if you have a fat body, then you can make ‘choices’ which will result in you having a body that is less fat. In other words, despite the research, we continue to believe that diets do work. I am hear to tell you otherwise, but not in some scientific way. I’m here to tell you that diets didn’t work for me. And I had every opportunity…

I am lucky enough to have been born to a loving upper middle class family. They are amazing.  And because they loved me they spared no expense when it came to trying to help me get thin. I could attend any weight-loss program or participate in any exercise regime.  The culture taught my family that thin was necessary for happiness and success so they genuinely believed that weightloss was the best possible option and they supported any and all attempts I made to lose weight. In response, I spent the first 30+ years of my life trying not to be fat.

When I was six my mother took me to the diet center. I remember sitting in the waiting room. I remember the fabric on the chairs. It was maroon, but not much else. I remember eating rice cakes. I can’t tell you if I lost weight, I don’t remember. I do remember wanting to lose weight and understanding that my mother brought me to the diet center because they could “help” me.

a thin year

A thin year – but not thin enough. I was drinking only liquids and eating meal replacement bars.

Sometime around 10 I went to fat camp. At camp they provided us with portioned meals and we exercised at least six hours a day. During the summer three girls tried to commit suicide. I know that sounds outrageous but it’s true. I don’t know for sure why these girls tried to take their lives but I remember the communal feelings of desperation. I was very popular at camp because when you removed the stigma of fatness – by creating an all fat environment – people who are funny, smart and savvy can shine. I remember the pictures from the end of the summer – a thin me in a green striped top – I remember these pictures  because this is one on the first times I remember feeling adorable in photos.

When I was 12 I went to another weight-loss center called 40 Carrots.  Again, I went with my mom, who has always been thin – by anyone’s standard – but she has also always dieted. I remember standing in the kitchen with her weighing out 4oz of chicken, seasoning it with vinegar, dijon mustard and pepper, chopping carrots and pouring water. I remember being hungry. I also remember losing like 20lbs. I got new clothes and felt beautiful. I remember walking into French class and having a boy I’d know since kindergarten asking me when I’d changed so much.

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It was a beautiful day – I adore my husband.

When I was 14, I went to Jenny Craig. I lost 20lbs eating food made by nestle that quite literally has no nutritional value. I remember daydreaming about getting to the Jenny Craig “maintenance program,”  where I would learn to stay thin. Instead, I gained the 20lbs  I lost plus 10 more.

During my later high school years, I tried weight watchers, slim fast, atkins, nutrisystem and plain old starvation. I always lost weight and I always gained more than I lost.

I broke up with my high school boyfriend in my freshman year of college and got thin again – this time I think it was 45lbs. I don’t remember a particular program, but I remember buying a skin tight brightly colored paisley dress and wearing it so he would see what he was missing. I was fat again by sophomore year.

I was  happy in college – I had great friends. But I still felt body conscious and I weighed 200lbs for the first time. For graduation I asked my parents to send me to Structure House – which is like fat camp for grown ups. At Structure House I lost 50 lbs.  I gained it back .

In grad school I watch a newscast about some soap opera star who lost weight on a liquid diet – Optifast. I lost 60lbs doing this – three times –  between the ages of 23 and 30.

At 30 I followed a program called Dr. Bernstein and worked out like crazy to get ready for my wedding. When I walked down the aisle I weighed 172 pounds. I look thin in the pictures but I had wanted thinner. I wasted time on my wedding day thinking about how I could have looked prettier.

Do you see a pattern? It’s not like I wasn’t committed.

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We are so cool.

When I think about my childhood, I remember crying a lot about my body. I remember feeling like a failure and not understanding why I wasn’t thin like my friends. I would have given anything to be thin, and I tried everything to be thin. I’m not going to lie to you. I have always loved food, but honestly I wanted thin way more than I ever wanted food. Each time I was thinner I loved being thinner, and I desperately wanted to stay thinner but as soon as I stopped starving and started eating normally I gained the weight back. Thin was/is not in the cards for me.

Today, I work out regularly and eat healthy but I don’t lose weight. At least I think I don’t lose weight because at this point in my life I never get on a scale and my clothes seem to fit.   I genuinely believe that constant  dieting made me fatter. I think that if I had accepted my body rather than diet I might have been a bit bigger than others but I never would have been as big as I am now. Diets failed me. They haunted me – they filled my life with failure because no matter how many times I dieted, I never stayed thin.

People say things like, “It’s not about dieting – It’s a lifestyle change.” Well, I’ve made a lifestyle change. I’ve decided not to diet because diets don’t work.

Plus, I’m fabulous – just the way I am.

OMG. It’s not about JLAW. It’s about Genuine Body Acceptance.

love+the+word+fatAs some of you are aware I have written a petition on change.org: Kelloggs, Tyra Banks and Jennifer Lawrence – Stop Shaming Fatness But Continue to Support Actions Against Body Hatred

Other bloggers out there are addressing this too, including The Militant Baker, Jenny Trout and Fat Body Politics.

And much to my surprise – some people just don’t get it. So I’m writing this post to be clear.

To clarify, I like JLAW and I think she’s a definite supporter of people accepting their bodies but she is still perpetuating fat shame. When she said we should “outlaw” the word fat – I don’t think she knew what she was saying. I think she was talking about how people who are not fat get called fat, or call themselves fat.

And yes, it’s ridiculous to call thin girls fat because they’re not. And when some one does call someone thin “fat,” they are trying to insult thin people – by saying they are like me, fat. This is the same idea as the boy on the playground getting called a pussy – he’s weak, badly performing masculinity – and therefore he’s a pussy, a vagina, a woman – the insult is that he is less than a man, a woman – this is clear sexism. When some one calls you fat they they are shaming your body by calling it a less acceptable body – a fat one – this is body prejudice.

“Outlawing” the use of the word fat doesn’t encourage those of us who are fat to accept our bodies. If I am fat am I also worth outlawing? And really, the fear of fat – i.e. the idea that fat is this horrible thing to be avoided – doesn’t help others reach a place of body acceptance.  JLaw is most often acknowledging her body as healthy – and telling us that her body shouldn’t be condemned – and it shouldn’t, but neither should mine. My body is awesome and FAT. You can’t “outlaw” the use of the word fat and not at the same time underscore the idea that being fat is a bad thing, a thing I should be ashamed of.

To be clear I understand that people feel bad when they are called fat. This is because fat is a word we use to shame people. But outlawing the use of the word on TV doesn’t stop that – it affirms it. It literally takes it to the extreme telling people that calling some one fat is such a horrendous insult that we can’t bear to hear it in the media – you can’t get rid of the word without dissing the people who are actually fat.

We feel bad when people call us fat because we think that being fat is unacceptable and because we have been shamed. This is what we have to work on – normalizing the idea that there are fat bodies and there always will be and that’s okay. One of the ways that we can work on this is to recognize that Fat is just a description.

Fat, like short, tall, blue eyed etc. is a descriptive word which has been taken out of context and made an insult – much like the negative use of the word “gay” – to mean uncool.  Clearly, we should stop using the word as an insult – but we can still call gay people gay and fat people are fat because that’s what they are.

Genuine body positivity would mean that even if someone was fat, they wouldn’t have to feel body shame. I believe that we need to raise awareness – shift our perspective and create a world that accepts all people. Currently, in our culture it is perfectly acceptable for people to be cruel to fatness and fat people. It reminds me of Peggy Macintosh’s White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html). We live blindly in privilege until we open our eyes and become aware of the prejudice and shame all around us.

In reality, my petition and the blog posts you’re all seeing aren’t about JLAW – she is just a catalyst for a much larger issue – recognizing that “body acceptance” and fat acceptance are not always synonymous and they should be.

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Vagina, Vagina, Vagina!!! And Vagina Some More!

Last bit tonight, I promise. But as I imagine many of you know women’s rights are under attack and tonight the issue at hand is that the Republicans in the Michigan state legislature feel that  saying the word vagina is inappropriate – and in light of this they have banned two female state representatives. If I lived in Michigan I would be marching in front of the capitol building with some seriously fun vaginal picket signs. Alas – Michigan you are so far. Instead I will  mention this craziness to all I see and sport a Vagina pin – Thank you Zazzle.

For your reading pleasure  Jezebel  has published  response to this lunacy entitled, 25 Republican-Approved Ways to Say ‘Vagina’ Without Offending Political Pussies,” which I imagine will make you both cringe and giggle – but either way I think you should read it because while I am still I’m gonna say vagina and all the other terms that describe my body – such as vulva, clitoris, fallopian tubes, period and whatever else you can think of whenever I see fit – in the classroom, legislature, hallway, bedroom and/or supermarket – I will henceforth endearingly refer to my vagina as the lovely and illustrious Ms. Kant from now on.

Tell me Ladies – how will you respond to this throwback into the dark ages?

Popculture Smörgåsbord

So there are some posts that I’ve been meaning to write but I’ve been rushing to tie up loose ends regarding my submission to Hunger Games and Philosophy (edited by George Dunn and Nick Michaud) and now my thoughts on these bits and pieces are getting untimely so consider this particular post my way of saying got any thoughts on this nonsense:

1. Recently, yesterday in fact, I was reading Feministe and I became aware of a  30-year-old McCain staffer’s marriage to a girl who was 17 when they met. There are some semantics in this situation – she was of age when they married and they are very wealthy, blah, blah, blah… So the conversations about statutory rape and what not have gotten pretty overlooked, but what is the deal with women wanting to get married at 17? Ouch, say. Also, there is something so weird about how republicans can twist culture’s moral rules – think Bristol Palin pregnancy – and it’s okay but when liberals do this crap the world goes haywire.   Scarier is Doug Hutchison’s (51) nuptials to a sixteen year old.

2. I need to mention www.xojane.com. I’m not sure how many of your remember Sassy Magazine but as a teenager it was my bible and it’s existence started a life long love affair (from afar) between myself and Jane Pratt – who if you don’t know was also the editor of Jane Magazine for most of its lifetime, and I would argue that her retirement from the magazine caused its demise. That said, like other feminists, I am not feeling Pratt’s newest endeavor 100%. Perhaps I return to my not so third wave feminist outlook – but the website is  way more junk than edgy smart – a little more serious please! I want headings like politics and news – not just sex and beauty. What up, Jane?

3. It’s worth noting Anushay Hossain of ANUSHAY’S POINT. I first discovered her on Broadminded. She is Molly and Christine’s Feminist Broad, and her blog is always interesting and worth reading. Subscribe. Hey, while I’m at it subscribe to Feminist Cupcake, that blog is the bomb-diggity – you should subscribe to that blog too. In particular Anushay has written an informative ditty about Saudi Women’s Protest against the ban on women driving in their country.

4. Speaking of Broadminded – Yesterday morning I caught the last bit of a conversation concerning bullying and cyber bullying among teens. Unfortunately, I am not sure of their guest’s name but he said something about how our television shows and movies present adults making fun of people or embarrassing pranks as so funny and humorous – which in turn got me thinking about the movie Bridesmaids. I meant to review this film for you guys – but I’ve been busy, like I said.  There was feminist potential here but I think it sank. (More later). With regards to adult bullying, sort of, so many movies, including bridesmaids present other people’s embarrassment as something we should laugh at. Admittedly, there are moments when someone trips or slides on a piece of lettuce (circa 1996, June and Ho – Rye, NY) and you can’t help but laugh. But still – is food poisoning that causes you to poop your pants funny?  I say no. Maybe I’m too empathetic – but watching other people’s embarrassment – embarrasses me.

5.  Finally, I wanted to turn y’all on to Micheal Kimmel, who is a spectacular example of a male feminist. I am presenting at the NWSA conference this year and he’s speaking and I absolutely can’t wait. I also teach his article “Masculinity as Homophobia: Fear, Shame, and Silence in the Construction of Gender Identity” in my classrooms. Recently, on his Ms. Blog, that considers the whole Wiener incident, “Ah-nuld, DSK, Weiner–And Us.” A worthwhile read.

Anne E. Dunwoody

Today this woman, Anne E Dunwoody, who I have to admit I know little about broke the “glass ceiling” and became the first female 4 star general. It’s feminist news. And it’s important and valuable.

This year the we’ve thrown around the term “glass ceiling” like never before. And I’ve been thinking, that the more we talk about these things, the louder we clamour, the more conscious we seem to become. Do you think women everywhere want to see other women break through and succeed? Do you think that all the noise that this historical election will grow louder still – until women no longer need to clamour? Maybe all this rising above the “glass ceiling,” will help us be heard. (That is if these women and others are sympathetic to the needs of women) I am hopeful today.

The glass ceiling is something we’ve been chasing after for a long time and I am hopeful that suddenly like a herd of horses were careening at the glass, hammers in hand.

Ah Sarah…

I try to avoid spending my days shivering in fear of Sarah Palin…She’s some kinda scary. Today I received this photo from a friend and I thought I’d do my part to share it with the world.

Funny because its TRUE!

What do you do if the first woman vice president of the United States doesn’t stand up for anything that women believe in?  Its really creepy.

It’s been a while…

I thinking about feminist cupcake and I’ve decided the reason I never write anymore is because I wasn’t really writing before. I started out by writing and thinking and learning new things…but then I kind of drifted into the abyss of the presidential race and didn’t tell anyone anything they hadn’t heard before. So, I begin again…from now on this blog will represent more of me

More thoughts about how I feel about things…what ever they may be…more honesty, less spreading the word. Although I imagine that I will spread the word too…’cause why not…so, on November 4th, vote OBAMA!!!!

Why is his wife standing there??

An awesome article from Women’s e-news about Eliot Spitzer’s wife:  

Scandal Doesn’t flatter Spitzer’s wife

By Sandra Kobrin
WeNews commentator

Sandra Kobrin

(WOMENSENEWS)– As news of the “Eliot Mess” started to break on Monday, I looked at my husband and smiled.

“You know our deal,” I reminded him. “If anything like this happens to you don’t expect me to stand beside you and suffer public humiliation. You do something stupid like this, you’re on your own.”

Then we continued to watch Spitzer’s press conference.

 “It looks like she’s reading his statement,” my husband said, as he studied Silda Wall Spitzer’s controlled response. He said her eyes were focused on her husband’s script.

“Probably so,” I answered. “I’m sure she was the last to know and is doing her best to know what’s going on this time.”

I, like everyone else, was stunned by the idea of New YorkState’s Wall Street-busting crusading governor Elliot Spitzer apparently destroying his career by breaking the law and patronizing prostitutes.

Many of us in the news business, or the political business or the business business spent the day waiting for news of his resignation, pouring over the details of Spitzer’s D.C. assignation and replaying what may have been the world’s briefest press conference.

But as we talked among ourselves my friends and fellow journalists were saying it’s not just a question of what’s wrong with him. We’ were also asking “What’s up with her? What is she doing standing there by his side at the press conference?”

Aol Pops the Question

“Governor’s Wife Stands by Her Man” was one of AOL‘s rotating home page headlines Tuesday. “Would You Do the Same Thing?”

Our answer: an unequivocal no. We all agree we’re suddenly tired of seeing the silent woman standing by.

In every case, of course, it’s the particular wife’s personal business how she sorts the matter out. But why should she appear at the face-to-face with the cameras’ glare? That seems to send the message that good wives are expected to put up with far too much.

As my colleagues, my family and I pored over the coverage Tuesday, one thing that popped out here was that “client 9”–the new moniker for the man once known as the Sheriff of Wall Street–was sometimes considered “difficult,” for the prostitutes at the Emperor’s Club, a high-end brothel where Spitzer had an account.

In the smoking tape made of the phone call between the prostitute and her “booker” after the encounter the booker said “client number 9” sometimes asked for things that weren’t always that “safe.”

The mind reels. In Victorian novels when asterisks are put in the place of curse words the reader spends much more time wondering what the real words might have been–and probably coming up with worse–than if they’d been spelled out. Thoughts of all kinds of kinky sex went through my mind.

But another colleague offered a possibility at once more obvious and more serious: condoms. Perhaps, she said, it meant that Spitzer refused to use a condom.

If so, then he’s put his wife in danger as well as the high-priced sex workers he apparently regularly patronizes. All of them should be seeking medical attention and testing, if they haven’t already.

Mixed Feelings Get Sorted Out

A friend told me that her feelings about women who stand by their men are somewhat mixed. While she admires loyalty and being a friend in need, she doesn’t like the idea that dishonest men are worth putting up with.

But when the question of condoms and safe sex came up she says she suddenly got the point. In this case the wife should have been given a doctor’s excuse to miss the photo session.

Why is it that our society is repulsed with lying and dishonesty in a public capacity but accepts lying and dishonesty in a marriage?

There are editorials flying and talking heads screaming for Spitzer’s resignation, but there’s no one screaming, “Hey Silda, walk away from that lying dirt bag who put your health at risk and your reputation in the toilet! Take the money and run. You’ll do fine on your own.”

Silda Wall Spitzer is a Harvard-educated lawyer and the founder and chair of the board of New York-based Children for Children, a nonprofit organization that fosters community involvement and social responsibility in young people. She has three daughters ranging in age from 14 to 18.

Well listen up Silda. You are entitled to your own decisions but you and your daughters don’t have to stay.

Don’t Follow Hillary

In any event, please don’t let Hillary Clinton be your role model, even if your husband has endorsed her candidacy.

Yesterday, the presidential contender told reporters she was sending her best wishes and thoughts to the governor and to his family. Oh boy. I understand she didn’t want to lose a possible super delegate but, puh-lease.

Clinton is used to public humiliation; she was a doormat when it came to her philandering husband and his infidelities since he was Arkansas governor.

In Carl Bernstein‘s recent book on Clinton, “A Woman in Charge,” he writes that she really was the last to know the truth during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and livid when she found out.

In a 1992 interview, Clinton said she stayed with her husband because she loved and respected him. OK, but let’s see if Silda Spitzer is also contemplating a run for office.

Even Dina Matos McGreevey, the still-in-a custody-battle wife of former New JerseyGov. James McGreevey, has piped up. The author of “Silent Partner” bore up through the press conferences when McGreevey’s admitted a gay affair with a state employee and stood by him until he resigned three months later.

She says Silda is right to stand by her husband as she is protecting her daughters and shouldn’t be criticized.

Bull. The best way to protect a daughter is to be a role model and despise lying and dishonesty and divest from it in public as well as private life.

Federal prosecutors rarely charge clients in prostitution cases, generally seen as state crimes.

But the 1910 Mann Act makes it a crime to transport someone between states for the purpose of prostitution, and the woman Spitzer met up with traveled from New York to Washington.

Someone on the Web site of the Feminist Law Professors says this might be raised in the context of legal quid pro quo for the so-called DC Madam, whose sex workers consorted with Republican Senator David Vitter last year. He is not on trial but her trial begins April 7.

“As the DC Madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, is prosecuted in federal court for running a prostitution ring, it will be interesting to see how things develop with Governor Spitzer,” writes a contributor on the Feminist Law Professors site. “One of the DC Madam’s big gripes is that, though the government has the names and identities of plenty of her customers and *ahem* female contractors, only she–Deborah Jeane Palfrey–is being prosecuted.”

In a press statement Tuesday, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International said the recent revelations about Spitzer demonstrate that men who sexually exploit women come from all walks of life.

“Sexual exploitation has no place in a society that values equality for girls and women,” the statement read.

That’s the kind of thing a good wife, mother and presidential candidate should be saying around now too. –Sandra Kobrin is a Los Angeles writer and columnist.

I am particularly interested in the comments about Hillary and Dina Matos McGreevey. Why does a politician’s wife stand with him when he has committed an egregious affront, which particularly effects her life? What does that imply about our society? Why do the PR people think that her presence is a good idea?

Just say no to McCain

I can’t imagine that there are a whole lot of feminists out there who are considering a vote for McCain, but if so take a look at his position on choice….

Naral Pro-choice advises:
Sen. John McCain served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 1986 and in the U.S. Senate from 1987 to present. During his four years in the House, then-Rep. McCain cast 11 votes on abortion and other reproductive-rights issues. Ten of these votes were anti-choice. In the Senate, through 2006, Sen. McCain cast 117 votes on abortion and other reproductive-rights issues, 113 of which were anti-choice.

In addition to his solidly anti-choice record, Sen. McCain has never cosponsored or supported legislation that would prevent unintended pregnancy or reduce the need for abortion.

Voting Record:
Sen. McCain has an anti-choice record. He received the following scores on NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Congressional Record on Choice.

2007: 0 percent
2006: 0 percent
2005: 0 percent
2004: 0 percent
2003: 0 percent
2002: 0 percent
2001: Because only one choice-related vote was taken in 2001 – to confirm John Ashcroft as United States Attorney General – no numerical score was given for the year. Sen. McCain voted anti-choice.
Click here for all of Sen. McCain’s scores from 1987-2006.

Public Statements about Choice:
A selection of Sen. McCain’s public statements on this issue is below.

“If I am fortunate enough to be elected as the next President of the United States, I pledge to you to be a loyal and unswerving friend of the right to life movement.”

[Statement by Sen. McCain read by Sen. Sam Brownback at the March for Life in Washington, DC, January 22, 2008. http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=26539 (accessed January 30, 2008.]

Sen. McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign website states that he “believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned.”
[John McCain for President 2008 campaign website, On the Issues: Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life (accessed February 4, 2008). http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/95b18512-d5b6-456e-90a2-12028d71df58.htm]

“I’m proud that we have Justice Alito and Roberts on the United States Supreme Court. I’m very proud to have played a very small role in making that happen.”

[Transcript, Republican Presidential Candidates Participate in a Debate, May 3, 2007.]

On the Federal Abortion Ban, Sen. McCain said, “Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a victory for those who cherish the sanctity of life and integrity of the judiciary. The ruling ensures that an unacceptable and unjustifiable practice will not be carried out on our innocent children. It also clearly speaks to the importance of nominating and confirming strict constructionist judges who interpret the law as it is written, and do not usurp the authority of Congress and state legislatures. As we move forward, it is critically important that our party continues to stand on the side of life.”

[Press release, April 18, 2007 (accessed February 4, 2008). http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/News/PressReleases/f96d220f-b10d-48fe-aee9-d69c0d2802c3.htm]

Sen. McCain said that he has supported “the rights of the unborn” for 24 years “without changing, without wavering.”

[Michael Finnegan, Republicans Enter the Ring in Iowa; At a Key Party Dinner, Frontrunners for the Presidential Nomination Take a Beating From Lesser-Known Rivals, L.A. Times, April 15, 2007.]

“I do not support Roe v. Wade. I think it should be overturned.”

[Ann Althouse, Rudy & Mitt Hem & Haw on Abortion, N.Y. Times, February 24, 2007.]

Discussing his pro-life voting record, McCain said, “I have many, many votes and it’s been consistent. And I’ve got a consistent zero from NARAL throughout all those years… [M]y record is clear. And I think the important thing is you look at people’s voting record because sometimes rhetoric can be a little… misleading… As you know I don’t support Roe v. Wade. I thought it was a bad decision, and I think that the decision should be made in the states.”

[Transcript, The Full McCain: An Interview, National Review, March 5, 2007. http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=MTMxOWRkYjgyNDhjOTU5ZTY2OWU2ZTg2ZmUxMzQ1NjQ=]