Did McCain insinuate that women's sexual health is inconsequential?

Dozens and dozens of news reports are slamming McCain's use of air quotes.Dozens and dozens of news reports are slamming McCain's use of air quotes.
McCain was widely criticized for his offensive use of the phrase "that one" during the last debate, but his most recent gaffe seems comparatively more shocking. Did he alienate women voters by being openly dismissive about our health concerns? Here's a roundup of what journalists, bloggers, and organizations are saying today:

"Dial group report 2: Um, Sen. McCain, women don't like it when you put 'health of the mother' in air quotes."-Jim Poniewozik, Time


"But I think the line that someone is going to regret, one that will resonate and will hurt McCain the most is when McCain ridiculed the idea that the life of the mother should be a concern in the abortion debate. Women everywhere will reflect on that--that they'll be forced by the government to carry to term and give birth. This will be seared on women's minds: the government is not going to excuse you, short of death, from giving birth. It's the extreme pro-abortion position."-Rachel Maddow, MSNBC


"Tonight, John McCain showed he doesn't care about women's health when he described protecting 'the health of the woman' as 'extreme.' John McCain doesn't seem to understand that women's health matters. He blatantly showed that he doesn't trust women to decide what is in the best interest of their own health. Barack Obama, on the other hand, stood up for women's health."-Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood


"I believe that it was a big mistake by John McCain tonight with regards to abortion rights. If it was his goal to win over the Hillary voter, or younger women in Florida or South East Pennsylvania, then what he said is not going to help him. You can't belittle the health exception with regard to abortion. You can't say the exception is 'only her possible death.' The health exception is in Roe V. Wade and characterizing it in a diminutive way is going to lose a lot of pro-choice women."--Chris Matthews, MSNBC


"It used to be that McCain was leading the charge to reform the Republican platform to include exceptions for the life and health of the mother to their anti-abortion plank. That tonight he declared his own position extreme -- let alone called a woman that chooses her own continued existence over the potential future life of a fetus 'extreme' -- is a pretty significant and rather disgusting charge."--Megan Carpentier, Jezebel


"The differences of opinion surrounding the issue of access to safe and legal abortion, and a woman's right to choose to have one, have long been a mainstay of political debate. But tonight, I believe, featured a historical moment in that debate, because until tonight, I had never seen the matter of a woman's health given AIR SCARE QUOTES. But that's precisely what John McCain did, sneeringly, as he attempted to portray support for a mother's health as an extreme position, when in fact, it is a mainstream position -- ground that even fervent pro-life individuals often concede."-Jason Linkins, Huffington Post

"Man, did McCain ever eat it in last night's debate, but the worst might prove to be his gratuitous swipe at women, erasing a goodly chunk of female support that he had little business getting in the first place."
-Tommy Christopher, Political Machine


Here's the clip:



Soooo, what did you think?

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