Why a President Romney would be bad for women

Mitt Romney’s positions on the major issues should make you stop dead in your tracks and rethink your vote. Photo: Governor Romney courting the woman vote in an Ohio diner. AP

WASHINGTON, October 25, 2012 — Mitt Romney is seeing the gender gap close, meaning he is winning women over with his style and not his substance.

Yes, he looks good, even presidential, and he speaks well as women learned in the debates, despite his hyper-aggressive persona in the first two debates. But are women paying attention to what exactly are his core beliefs, getting down to the essential Mitt?

The latest Associated Press poll found that 47% of likely female voters said they would vote for Romney compared to 47% for President Obama. That is an uptick of 16 points for Romney in a couple of weeks. What the heck is going on here?

If these numbers hold true, then women would be voting against their own self-interests.

So why are women enamored with Romney, given his record and what he has said? Are women paying attention? Or are these women suffering from a severe bout of Romnesia?

Time for a Dose of Reality

Women, take a look at Mitt Romney’s positions on the major issues. That should make you stop dead in your tracks and rethink your vote.

A survey of swing state voters released Wednesday by Gallup shows that abortion ranks above jobs as the most important issue for women and yet they favor Romney. Don’t they know Romney’s record and pledges? Thirty-nine percent of women respondents said abortion was the most important issue, followed by jobs at 19 percent, health care at 18 percent, the economy at 16 percent, and equal rights, pay and opportunity at 15 percent.

However, the Romney campaign is running away from the issue, blurring the issue on the stump and in ads. If you were candidate Romney you wouldn’t want women to know where you stood on abortion either.

First of all, Romney is against all abortions, except in the cases of rape, incest or to protect the health of the mother. However, his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, is against abortion in all instances as is the Republican Party Platform that Romney supposedly is running on.

Then there is the latest problem of Indiana senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock, who said during his debate the other night: “…I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

President Obama courting women supporters AP

At a follow up news conference, Mourdock told reporters: “I believe God controls the universe. I don’t believe biology works in an uncontrolled fashion.”

Romney had a chance to back away from Mourdock’s extremism, but he didn’t. Romney has only endorsed two candidates for the senate and Mourdock is one of them. So did Romney yank his ads for Mourdock? No. Did Romney denounce Mourdock? No.

Yet John McCain has already told Mourdock to take back what he said and make a real apology. Two Republican senators, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and New Hampshire Kelly Ayotte, have both spoken out against Mourdock’s remarks. Yet Romney remains a staunch supporter.

Is Abortion a Capital Offense?

Women need to take a hard look at the Romney-Ryan ticket and realized why it is a raw deal for them. When asked during the 2008 primary debates whether he was for banning all abortions, Romney had proudly said, “Let me say it, I’d be delighted to sign that bill.”

This was the same man who when running against Senator Ted Kennedy for the Massachusetts seat said, “I believe that since Roe vs. Wade has been the law for 20 years that we should sustain and support it and I sustain and support that law and the right of a woman to make that choice.” 

And now he sings a different tune. Whom are we to believe?

Remember, Romney will be picking the next Supreme Court justice, someone he has said who would be like Justice Antonin Scalia. You know what that means for Roe vs. Wade. Goodbye, safe and legal abortions.

There there is the little issue of the Personhood Amendment. The one in the Republican Platform. The one that Romney’s running mate Congressman Paul Ryan sponsored in Congress. The amendment that says embryos are persons with all the Constitutional rights entitled by a citizen under the 14th Amendment.

To have an abortion therefore is tantamount to murder. Would a woman who had an abortion then be charged with murder? Her doctor? What would the prison sentence be? Or is it a capital offense? Does that mean the morning after pill is murder? Is the IUD murder? You can see where the Personhood Amendment would take us. And yet that is what Republicans in this country stand for.

If that weren’t bad enough, don’t forget that Ryan and the now infamous Missouri Congressman Todd Akin have sponsored bills to redefine rape. Yet the Romney campaign has swept such inconvenient truths under the rug.

Then there is the not so small matter of opportunities for women. At the second debate, former Governor Romney revealed that despite having been the head of Bain Capital, where he must have hired top-notch women, right?, or at least met a couple as equals in the business world, he didn’t know anyone to appoint to his cabinet and had to resort to “binders full of women.”

But worse than that, is the fact that Romney will not say whether he would have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. What does that say to women? He doesn’t support women fighting back when they don’t receive equal pay. President Obama made it the first bill he signed. And Romney smoothly ducks the both issue and the question. He just doesn’t get it. Or doesn’t want to.

Repealing Obamacare Hurts Women

While Romney struts about saying he can’t wait to repeal Obamacare on Day One, he doesn’t say that by doing so he would deny women access to affordable contraception and would allow insurers to charge women even more for health coverage than men to the tune of $1 billion a year in premiums for the same benefits. Ryan wants the same thing and has even put it in his budget, which Romney wholeheartedly endorsed.

This would result in denying 8.7 million women guaranteed maternity coverage while denying women insurance coverage for having had a Cesarean section or for being the victim of rape or domestic violence. And goodbye getting insured if you had a pre-existing condition.

Romney would also defund Planned Parenthood, where only 3 percent of their services go towards abortion. Most women who go to Planned Parenthood go for health services such as contraception and breast and cervical cancer screening.

Women, this is only an abridged version of where a Romney-Ryan administration would take this country. The list goes on and on, but you need to dig deeper than the campaign sound bites or the ad distortions passed off as truth. The clock will truly be turned back by a Romney administration. That is why a Romney presidency is a bad deal for the American woman.

To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Catherine Poe

Catherine was named one of the top Progressives in Maryland along with Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congresswoman Donna Edwards. She has been a guest of President Obama in the Rose Garden.

As past president of Long Island NOW, she worked to reform women's prisons in New York, open the construction trades to women, change laws to safeguard battered women, and protect the rights of rape victims. 

Long active in Democratic politics, she served as the presidentof the Talbot Democrats in Maryland for six years and fought to getthe Health Care Reform bill passed.

Catherine has been published in a diverse range of newspapers and magazines, including Newsday, Star Democrat, Rocky Mountain News, Yellowstone News, and the Massachusetts Review.

If Catherine has learned anything over the years it is that progressive change does not come easily, but in baby steps. 

Contact Catherine Poe


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