According to the New York Times yesterday, 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 now, 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 gets worse when you find out the truth.
1. As it's been widely reported this week, it appears that the "binders of women" were actually not Romney's idea as he claims, but came instead from a bipartisan group who approached Romney (and his opponent) before the 2002 Governor's election.
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 Romney while he was governor 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. The original debate question was about the pay difference. (Women currently make 77 cents to a man's dollar.) Instead, Romney blurted out: "I have binders of women!" He might as well have said "I have lots of black friends!" or "I love gay people!" He's too transparent to be sincere about the topic.
According to the Times, the abortion issue is a breaking point for undecided female voters.
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.
For those of you wavering:
1. Don't let the 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. It's real because we cannot allow Roe to reverse back to the states. Reversing back to the states might as well mean building a DeLorean to transport us back to 1965, when women butchered themselves to terminate pregnancies.
2. Though Romney believes in abortion in cases of rape and the safety of the mother, Romney doesn't explain what he'd do in the this situation. Who gets to decide a woman has been raped -- especially considering the demeaning GOP banter over defining "legitimate rape"? Does a jury decide? A doctor? Will she need a witness -- or worse, multiple witnesses? Will the rapist be interviewed? What if he denies it? (Which, of course he will.) The concept of "exceptions" are absurd, unrealistic and humiliating, and Romney knows this.
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.
Again: More contraception = less abortion and less teen pregnancies.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, pregnancy rates for women in their early 20's dropped 18 percent, the abortion rate dropped 32 percent and government reports hail birth control as the reason behind this drop.
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 Romney doesn't like that, either. Erin Gloria Ryan recently wrote: "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 these objectionable "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
There's been a lot of talk about Lilly. She's the woman who realized just before her retirement that she was getting paid LESS MONEY than her male counterparts at Goodyear. 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. Then, of as yesterday, 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 Planned Parenthood. Since they are the largest women's health clinic in the country that offers everything from pap smears to mammograms, this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. None. None. None.
While Ryan and Romney believe in "individualism," there is some need for community services -- especially services that specifically help women.
Look, the President isn't perfect. We get this.
But on women's issues, the man 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.