The looming Presidential Election is an event that affects all of us, women and Americans alike. I’m not here to endorse one candidate or another, there are enough people doing that already. I’m here to clarify the reality of what each candidate is supporting on the issue of women’s rights; the issue that directly affects all of us ‘soon to be in the real world’ women. So here’s what I have gathered- hopefully it can help you make a more informed decision when you vote:
When Obama was elected into office, President George W. Bush adopted a “conscience rule” which allowed federal healthcare providers to “opt out” of healthcare services they find unfit (AKA abortion and birth contraceptives). One of the first things Obama did in office was reverse this.
Obama also passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, giving more opportunities for women to gain equal pay for equal work.
Obama also included a provision in his new Health Care Plan that gives free contraception for women.
Obama is quoted from the Commencement Ceremony he gave at Columbia University, “we are better off when women are treated fairly and equally in every aspect of American life, whether it’s the salary you earn or the health decisions you make.”
Romney’s Mormon background strongly opposes abortion and all forms of contraceptives; however, Romney backs a “woman’s right to choose.” In October 1963, he was affected personally by the issue of abortion when his brother’s sister in law died during an illegal abortion.
In his 1994 run for the Senate, he endorsed the legalization of RU-486 (the abortion inducing drug). Additionally, Ann Romney donated to Planned Parenting that year during a charity event.
When voted Massachusetts Governor, he implemented health care reforms that relied on Medicare which helped women by giving mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, and birth control, without co-pay or with a deductible. His health care reforms in Massachusetts are actually the same ones Obama based his Health Care Plan on.
Romney is also supporting the re-implementation of Bush’s “conscience rule,” and wishes to push federal abortion restrictions and give the rights of abortion and contraceptives back to the states and off of the federal agenda.
Romney is quoted saying, “we have to allow people to practice their faith and when they have a matter of conscience that they can’t participate in some form of activity that violates their faith, then they should be able to abide by their faith, particularly when there are plenty of opportunities for people to have a service provided.”