Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

The Heart of the Story


I have no more privileged access to John McCain’s innermost thoughts about abortion than does Matt Franck. But it does not take inside reporting to see that for over twenty years in Congress McCain voted without exception to protect unborn human beings from assault and destruction. I suppose it is theoretically possible that prospective political gain could explain such a voting regimen. But it is hard to see why someone who has bucked conservatives as often as has John McCain would so scrupulously respect life, unless he actually believes that people begin at conception and that, for that reason, they should not be killed. Even McCain’s limited concession on embryonic stem-cell research (a mistake, in my view) impliedly confirms that he knows when people begin. McCain does not suggest that IVF “spares” are just ink blots, or tissue, or sub0human biological material. Instead he argues that something good — research which would make others well — may come out of the inevitable demise of these doomed human individuals.


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review