The Corner

Fact-Checking Sally Quinn

Quinn writes, “McCain now supports overturning Roe vs. Wade, a change from his position in 2000, when he lost the Republican presidential nomination to George Bush. At the time, he was opposed to repealing Roe because it would force women in America to undergo illegal and dangerous operations. . . . Is it really possible that he changed his position on such an important moral issue simply to get elected President?”

McCain did indeed say what Quinn says he did on a few occasions in August 1999. His comments made no sense, since the reversal of Roe would not make abortion illegal, let alone cause any dangerous illegal abortions. What McCain seemed to mean was that it would be a long time, at best, before the country could have a ban on all abortions without major unintended consequences. But even if you disagree with my interpretation of his remarks, the fact remains that within days McCain had backtracked on the quotes. Quinn’s notion that McCain ran in 2000 as a supporter of Roe is simply mistaken.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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