According to the New York Times today the presidential campaigns are “intently pursuing votes of women.” In past elections it’s been the soccer mom. It’s been the hockey mom. It’s been Joe the plumber. But today, just a few weeks before the election, they’re after anyone with a vagina. This is quite a broad horizon of vaginas to court.
So let’s break it down to see if Mitt Romney can get your vote in the women’s department over President Obama.
BINDERS OF WOMEN
Mitt Romney’s ridiculous “binders full of women” statement (I can’t help but visualize head shots of women), gets worse when you find out the truth.
1. As Salon mentioned this week: It appears that the binders of women–in the form of a bipartisan group– approached Romney (and his opponent) before the 2002 Governor’s election–instead of Romney actually seeking out the binders of women himself as he claims.
2. A study by the University of Massachusetts and the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy shows the amount of women who worked for him while he was governor actually declined. When Romney took office it was at 30%. When he left it dropped to 27% And when the new governor took over, it went back up to 33%.
3. Lastly, the original question was about the pay difference! (Women currently make 77 cents to a man’s dollar.) And Romney instead blurted out: “I have binders of women!”
Of course, he said more. But this was his point: I hire women! His binders of women comment is offensive for many reasons, but mostly because of the transparency. You know, when someone is accusing you of being a racist or homophobic and you say: “I have black friends! Lots of ‘em.” Or, “I love gay people!”
Don’t let the right media tell you that the Roe v Wade threat is a scare tactic. It’s not a tactic. It’s real. It’s real because judges need to be replaced. That’s why it’s real. It’s also real because if you believe that Romney’s “let’s give the choice of abortion back to the states” as a reasonable solution to this topic, then what will happen is this. Coastal states like New York and California will be allowed to offer abortion and smaller, more rural areas will not. Women will give themselves abortions as they did prior to Roe because they won’t be able to travel to a closer state to receive health care. This is very real.
According to the Times, for the women who are undecided, the abortion issue is a breaking point.
Through polling and focus groups, the Romney campaign has found that while undecided women said they were concerned primarily about economic issues, they were troubled by whether Mr. Romney’s positions on issues like abortion and contraception were too unyielding.
My answer to these women: All you need to know is that Mitt Romney changed his mind at least 16 times about his stance on abortion and in the end, the man has this to say about it: “I am as pro-life as you can get.” So if he’s as pro-life as you can get, then what makes you think for a second that his “I’m moderate on contraceptive issues” are true? Answer: they’re not.
Whether anti-abortion leaders like it or not, there are fewer teen pregnancies and less abortions in this country because more people are using contraception. Should I say it again in caps? MORE CONTRACEPTION = LESS ABORTION & LESS TEEN PREGNANCIES. According to stats, pregnancy rates for women in their early 20′s dropped 18 percent, the abortion rate dropped 32 percent, and gov. reports hail birth control for the reason.
If you don’t like abortion (as no one does)– your solution is to get as many women on birth control as possible and make sure it is covered by their employers.
But Mitt doesn’t like that either. Erin Gloria Ryan wrote this:
“He’s on the record a number of times opposing laws that mandate employer insurance plans cover contraception.”
He also supports the Blunt Amendment, which means employers can deny health coverage for procedures they find “morally objectionable.” I won’t even get into the “procedures.” So let’s focus on birth control. Is Romney against contraception? No. But Mitt Romney wants you to pay for birth control by yourself. Worse: He wants your employer to decide if you need it or not.
Also, this little tid-bit on Ryan. His “Personhood” amendment is some fakakta bill that wants to outlaw some forms of birth control. Right, right. These guys are wayyyyy moderate.
LILLY LEDBETTER FAIR PAY ACT
Remember Lilly? She’s the woman who realized just before her retirement that she was getting paid LESS MONEY than her male counterparts at Goodyear for decades. Obama supported what is now called the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which means women can file for discrimination if they are paid less money than men–without a statue of limitations.
Romney’s campaign made a flip flop on this question as well. First his head adviser said he would have “opposed” it, now as of this morning, he said he “wouldn’t have opposed it.” Romney says he believes in equal pay, but running mate Ryan voted against it. Say what you want about Obama, but when Republicans were against this bill in 2009, Obama came out and did a hell-to-the-no. He signed the bill without any Republican support.
Both Romney and Ryan oppose funding.
Look, the President isn’t perfect. We get this.
But on women’s issues, the guy has been straight forward and clear on the issues. Support Planned Parenthood. Get birth control covered. Allow women to make their own reproductive choices. Support fair-pay including discrimination law suits, no matter how much time has gone by. You can’t knock the man on women’s issues.
My vagina is voting for Barack Obama.