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Casey Papuga Headshot

Why Have Women's Health Issues Become a Leading Issue in This Election?

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As a young woman living in America I support the protection of women's bodies and the coverage of birth control under healthcare; but why exactly is women's health one of the leading issues in this 2012 election? Does anyone truly believe that if Romney/Ryan win the presidential election one of their first moves in the Oval Office is going to be addressing the controversial topic of women's health? If they did, would the bills even make it past legislation?

We are a nation with a massive economic deficit, people still facing unemployment and are currently at war -- I would hope this issue would not be at the top of their agenda. The amount of press and attention given to the woman question right now is somewhat boggling when the main spotlight should be on what exactly each candidate is going to give our nation in regards to bigger issues such as the economy, foreign affairs, and the environment. Do not get me wrong, gender equality is a very important issue. I advocate for women's rights around the world, where many women face oppression and denial of basic rights; that is not the same as the women's health issues of abortion and birth control that are being showcased as prominent issues in this coming election. The American women's issues as a problem within gender equality in comparison to the rest of the women around the world -- who are being sold into sex trafficking and are unable to seek legal refuge from abusive husbands -- is somewhat inane.

The Center for American Women and Politics claims that women seem to either match men in voter turnout or exceed them. The reason women's issues are becoming such a big debate in this election is not because it is one of the most important issues, but rather because the candidates are trying to grab the attention of the gender that votes more. What better way to get women to vote in your favor than to bring the issue specific to them into the spotlight and speak to them, not simply because they are an American citizen, but also because they are a woman, compelling them to vote a specific way simply because of their gender. I would like to see this election take a turn away from that issue and address things that affect the direction of our nation as a whole, rather than distracting voters with stark controversial topics. Trying to scare women into believing that by voting one way may take away their right over their bodies is ridiculous. There is so much resistance to ideas such as banning abortion and birth control under health care that bills instituting them would be very hard to get passed.

Affording birth control and health care in general, is a problem, a problem directly related to the poor economy and unemployment. Fixing the economy would essentially lead to the resolution of women struggling to afford birth control and health care. Candidates for this upcoming presidential election need to truly focus on the issues, the issues that matter to the nation as a whole and it's role within the greater world.

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