Meghan McCain: The Follies of Abstinence-Only Education

Meghan McCain has a great column up at the Daily Beast where she airs her frustrations with the Republican party’s support of abstinence-only education.  Here’s a little bit of her critique:

"Here’s what I’ve never understood about the party: its resistance to discussing better access to birth control. As a Republican, I am pro-life. But using birth control and having an abortion are not the same at all. Actually, the best way to prevent abortions is to educate people about birth control and make it widely and easily accessible. True: abstinence is the only way to fully prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Still, the problem with abstinence-only education is that it does not make teenagers and young adults more knowledgeable about all the issues they face if or when they have sex—physically and emotionally."

She also discusses the media’s treatment of the sex lives of Republican daughters.  She uses herself and Bristol Palin as examples of women who have had their sexual choices monitored and scrutinized by the media and the nation as a whole.  McCain is especially concerned that Republican daughters who make their own choices about their bodies are treated as liabilities to their parents’ political careers, and rarely allowed to have their own voices heard.  McCain again:

"Let me get something straight: Bristol Palin, as an eighteen-year-old adult, is free to make her own choices and decide how she wants her life to unfold. But for whatever reasons, the American public and media remain overly engrossed in our politicians’ sex lives and, as in this case, those of their families. There’s an especially unhealthy attitude among conservatives. Daughters of Republican politicians aren’t expected to have sex, let alone enjoy it—as if there were some strange chastity belt automatically attached to us female offspring. God forbid anyone talk realistically about life experiences and natural, sexual instincts. Nope, the answer is always abstinence."

It almost seems like McCain is channeling Vanessa in this column!  To me, Meghan McCain is emerging as one of the most interest political personalities of our generation.  In a lot of ways she deserves the title of Maverick even more than her father.  Although a lot of her opinions do fall within party lines, she’s distinguishes herself in her views on social issues like abstinence-only education and gay marriage.  I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll be following Meghan McCain’s work more closely.

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7 Comments

  1. BackOfBusEleven
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Now that the Republican Party has moved so far to the right, as evidenced by their platform, any deviation from it seems like a ballsy move. But it really isn’t revolutionary. I’m definitely happy that Meghan McCain has become a strong voice in taking the party back, but that’s all she’s doing: trying to take the party back from the religious zealots who stole it.

  2. Edgy1004
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    First
    “It didn’t matter that my parents raised me to know that, regardless of the mistakes I might make, they would allow me the dignity and courage to make my own choices. That’s the kind of trust my parents have always placed in their children—yet the GOP still needed to get involved and have a say in what I did with my body.”
    then
    “As a Republican, I am pro-life”
    Sorry Meghan McCain, it actually sounds like you might be pro-choice but anti-abortion.
    It really burns me when people talk about it being a choice but no one but them and their family should be allowed to make it.
    I think she is missing the point. It is hypocrisy that people care about. If you say that you are “good” mother because you taught your kids that sex is wrong but then your teenage daughter gets knocked-up then you are either a) wrong about what makes a good mother or b) a bad mother.
    If all gay people are bad except the ones you personally know then that is hypocrisy so stop saying things you know are not true!

  3. cand86
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    It is pretty sad that someone can be praised as a maverick for saying something so rational and simple- just goes to show how ridiculous things have gotten.
    That said, I think Meghan McCain is pretty awesome- I’ve long identified as Libertarian because the Republican party has become something really ugly. She makes me believe that it could become something great again, and I certainly love reading her writing and hearing her speak.

  4. Gular
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Meghan McCain sounds like all my Republican friends. She’s definitely a voice for the younger Republicans who feel like they’re being squeezed out of the party, but don’t feel as if they’re liberal enough to be Democrats.
    I’m growing to respect her a lot and I think she’s got a great career of punditry ahead of her.

  5. BackOfBusEleven
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I almost said that Meghan McCain is taking a pretty extreme position when it comes to abortion rights, but then I thought she might not know what “pro-life” really means. So I’m with you: She might be pro-choice but anti-abortion.

  6. Contessa
    Posted May 9, 2009 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    I just realized that I left a typo in the second sentence of the last paragraph. “Interest” should read “interesting.”

  7. Eresbel
    Posted May 9, 2009 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    People are interested in the Republicans’ daughters’ sex lives because the Republicans are so interested in ours. They don’t want women to have sexual and reproductive privacy – they don’t get to be the exceptions to that.

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