In this week’s debate, Romney refused to say he will support the Lily Ledbetter Act for equal pay but promised to get women home from work in time so they can “make dinner.” He lied about taking initiative in seeking out women candidates for high power jobs and refused to fess up to his promise to defund Planned Parenthood.
At least, in the VP debate, Paul Ryan was honest about his views against reproductive rights. I can respect that. But Mitt Romney is a liar and that terrifies me about any possibility of him becoming president.
Obama, on the other hand, talked in the debate about Lily Ledbetter which he signed into law. More importantly, he told Americans: “These aren’t women’s issues, they are family issues.” He discussed how it’s crucial for women’s wallets that contraception is covered by healthcare plans.
That connection should be obvious.
One more time: contraception is an economic issue and a health care issue for women. Reproductive rights are not a “single issue,” in some separate “category.”
What is there that is confusing about this? Not only is contraception used to treat all kinds of medical issues, but pregnancy is a medical issue. What is there that people don’t get about the physical dangers of pregnancy? Is the argument that contraception is preventative health care so, therefore, women shouldn’t get it covered? All kinds of preventative health care are covered by insurance. In fact, America’s whole medical system is moving towards focusing on prevention. Is it that sex is optional behavior, so if you get pregnant, it’s your fault? But if you go skiing and break your arm, you get treated and covered. It doesn’t matter that you “opted” to go skiing.
It all comes down to this: Women’s bodies are different than men’s bodies and as such, have different needs. Refusing to cover contraception is sex discrimination and no health insurance company should be allowed to refuse to cover medical care based on gender.
Obama gets that. Mitt Romney doesn’t give a shit.
Last night, On CNN’s “Outfront” host Erin Burnett talked about a “shocking” new Gallup poll where 39% women said that abortion was the number one issue for them in the presidential election. Apparently, this poll is shocking because women have been saying that the economy is the most important issue.
Once again: reproductive rights are an economic issue.
Here is my letter that I posted to Obama before the debate:
Please talk about women tonight. You didn’t, even one time, in the last debate.
If you get asked about the role of government again tonight, please be more eloquent and passionate. Please point out Mitt Romney’s hypocrisy: he claims to support small government when he wants to get involved in the most intimate and private parts of women’s lives. Clearly, he doesn’t care about small government; he cares about big business.
Mr. President, please explain to Americans tonight that reproductive rights, including choice and birth control, are economic issues. Please say that if women don’t have access to basic health care, which, of course, for female bodies must include contraception, it makes it much harder to get or hold a job.
Please tell Americans that we can’t talk about jobs for women, or the economy improving for women, without securing basic reproductive rights.
Please explain to Americans that if embryo rights supersede human rights, women have no rights at all.
Obama said all of this in the debate and more.
Whereas when “women’s issues” come up on any TV show, talk radio program, or political speech, Republicans keep saying that all women care about is jobs. Abortion is a “single-issue,” important to a minority of “single-issue voters.”
But there are no jobs, there is no economy for women without reproductive rights. That would be like asking men, if you don’t have human rights, what are your thoughts on health care? What do you think about education? What about foreign policy?
It makes no sense.
The whole “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” category makes no sense either. For women, for families, and therefore, you’d think, for men: fiscal issues are “social” issues. Mitt Romney is “socially conservative,” and therefore, “fiscally” his policies are really bad for women. And for families.
Perhaps, if families are structured around a male breadwinner with a large income who has the support of a stay-at-home mom who wants lots of kids, Romney’s categories and policies apply. But how many families in America fit that description in 2012? How many parents want their kids to grow up in and into replicating that model?
It comes down to this: the political categories created and enforced by power structures dominated by men are anachronistic and no longer apply to Americans as they are currently structured in polls and so many debates. All issues are “women’s issues.” That should be obvious to any President of the USA. Reproductive rights are human rights, because, once again: if embryo rights supersede human rights then women have no rights at all.