I’ve cagey about their actual views opposing abortion?To review, the Republican platform calls for a ban on abortion, in all cases. Period. It also calls for overturning Roe v. Wade. Speaking before a Christian audience at Saddleback Church, McCain forcefully said he was pro-life and would run a pro-life administration.Yet he and Palin then shifted emphasis dramatically, making it sound like it’s a matter best left to the states. Then, in her interview with Katie Couric, Sarah Palin against showed an unwillingness to forthrightly express her actual conservative views.At the bottom of this post is the video of the interview. Here is the transcript with my comments in italics:

Couric: Let me get your take, if I could Gov. Palin, on a number of social issues. Because that’s, they’ve gotten some attention, your position. If a 15-year-old is raped by her father,you believe it should be illegal for her to get an abortion. Why? Palin: I am pro-life. And I’m unapologetic about my position there on pro-life. And I understand good people on both sides of the abortion debate. In fact, good people in my own family have differing views on abortion and when it should be allowed. So … I respect people’s opinion on this. Now, I would counsel to choose life.Counseling to choose life.” That is NOT the position of the Republican Party, the pro-life movement or, in earlier weeks, the McCain-Palin ticket. Actually, that’s a pro-choice position! It’s up to the woman to decide, but I’d urge her to choose life/sw I would like to see a culture of life in this country. But I would also like to see taking it one step further. Not just saying I am pro-life, and I want fewer and fewer abortions in this country. But I want, then, those women who find themselves in circumstances that are absolutely less than ideal, for them to be supported for adoptions to be made easier. For more support given to foster parents and adoptive families. That is my personal opinion on this. Couric: But, ideally, you think it should be illegal … Palin: If you … Couric: …for a girl who was raped or the victim of incest to get an abortion? Palin: I’m saying that, personally, I would counsel the person to choose life, despite horrific, horrific circumstances that this person would find themselves in. Again she’s reiterating a pro-choice position./swAnd, um, if you’re asking, though, kind of foundationally here, should anyone end up in jail for having an … abortion, absolutely not. That’s nothing I would ever support. This is an artful dodge. Yes, a few people say those who have an abortion should go to jail. But most in the pro-life movement say it’s the doctors who should go to jail. Does Palin think abortion docs should go to jail?/swThen, now, some may characterize my position as being extreme, because I am pro-life … and I want women empowered to know that, you know, we can help them. They can be strong enough, and they can have the resources provided them to give that child life. The extremism, to me, is those who would support partial-birth abortion. Those who would disallow parental consent when it comes to a minor child who would seek an abortion. I think parents should have a say in that. They should be a part of their child’s health care there. And those who, like Barack Obama, would support measures that would actually allow in a botched abortion, late-term abortion, that child being born alive, to allow it to not receive medical help to save that child’s life. That’s extremism to me. That is so far on the left side of the political spectrum and public sentiment in this country. That’s the extremism to me. That srikes me as a basically fair (though exaggerated) attack on Obama. But that positioning only works if they disown their own views on abortion, as she did in the first part of the interview./swCouric: So you want more support so women have more options, or girls have more options. But you also think it should be illegal, that there should be no punishment if a woman does break the law… Palin: I would like to see more women given more support so that those of us who say, “You know, a culture of life is what we believe.” Is best … for human kind, you know, to respect the sanctity of every human life. And to understand … that we live in a pretty messed up world sometimes. When you consider what’s going on in this world. The most promising and good ingredients in this world … is a child. The hope that a child brings. And just understanding that. Being near and dear to my heart. I want to do all that I can to reduce the number abortions. And to usher in that culture of life. And in my respect for the other side of this issue, I have not spoken with one woman who do, may disagree with me on, when abortions could or should be allowed, not one woman has disagreed, as we sit down and rationally talk about … the common goal we have, and that is to see fewer and fewer abortions. And to provide more and more women support in this world. Again, she refuses to state the Republican position that abortion should be illegal. She just re-states that she wants to change the culture so people have fewer abortions./sw Couric: Some people have credited the morning-after pill as for decreasing the number of abortions. How do you feel about the morning after pill? Palin: Well …I’m all for contraception. And I’m all for any preventative measures that are legal and safe and should be taken. But, Katie, again and we can go round and round about the abortion issue, but I am one to seek a culture of life. I am one to believe that life starts at the moment of conception. And I would like to see … Couric: And so you don’t believe in the morning-after pill. Palin: I would like to see fewer and fewer abortions in this world. And, again, I haven’t spoken with anyone who disagrees with my position on that. Couric: I’m sorry. I just want to ask you again. Do you not support or do you condone or condemn the morning after pill? Palin: Personally, and this is isn’t McCain-Palin policy … Couric: That’s OK. I’m just asking you. Palin: But, personally, I would not choose to participate in that kind of contraception. It … Couric: Do you think it should be illegal? Palin: I don’t think that it should necessarily be illegal.This is probably a direct contradiction to the Republican platform. The Catholic Church and many pro-life groups believe that the morning after pill works by causing the expulsion of a fertilized embryo. Pro-choice groups say that’s not how it works. But we can go, again, round and round. And what the foundation I believe of this debate, of this discussion, even of your questions, is do you believe in the sanctity of life? Are you are you gonna side on the pro-life position or not when decisions are in front of you and you have to make them?Right, but Couric has just asked about some specific legal issues and you’ve indicated that you actually take the pro-choice position, i.e. of ‘counseling’ against abortion./swNow, as a vice president, what positions would a vice-president have to take on the abortion issue? They’re not legislating. A vice president does not make law. Couric: But if you have a moral problem with abortion, it seems to me you would do everything in your power to make it illegal and overturn Roe v. Wade and … Palin: Of course, it’s the legislature, the law-making branch of our third, of our three branches of government … Couric: But they … Palin: …makes the laws. Couric: …your vision or the administration’s vision. Palin: Well, let’s be practical about it and let’s be realistic about a vice-president’s role in this debate. I can personally share my views, which I don’t apologize when I share my views of being pro-life. And, you know, I’ll do that all day long if you want me to. But a vice-president does not make law. And a vice-president does not interpret the law either. True that a vice president doesn’t make law but the President does propose and sign laws so they’re not irrelevant to the process. Is she saying that McCain-Palin administration will be neutral on what legislation Congress considers on abortion? This is just a dodge./swCouric: So you’re saying this won’t be a top issue for you if you’re elected? Palin: I will do all that I can personally to encourage that culture of life, to remind women that I believe with more empowerment, they – more and more women will realize that they are strong enough … and they are able to carry a child and still continue a career, still continue education opportunities, all with the goal being fewer and fewer abortions in this world. That’s fine, but I re-state, if she wants to change the culture of life why won’t she speak up in favor of laws that make abortion illegal?/sw

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