When I ask my fence-sitting female friends whom they will vote for, they reluctantly say "I have to vote for Obama, because Romney will get rid of women's reproductive rights."
Women account for at least half of the vote, and thank goodness they do. Women tend to be more concerned about social issues, protecting their families and loved ones and seeking long-lasting effects that would give their children hope for a better future.
The Women"s Voices Women Votes Action Fund, which studies unmarried women, states that they "care deeply about the war, pay equity, health care, retirement security, and education. In turn, unmarried women support leaders who speak to their core concerns and will work to improve their daily lives and provide the opportunity for a better future."
Many voters who would not otherwise vote will march to the polling booths on November 6th if for no other reason than because Obama has a better position on women's issues than Romney. Women are afraid that a new Supreme Court justice or two under Romney/Ryan will overturn Roe v. Wade, while others are concerned about contraceptive choices.
Removing women's choices around abortion will have drastic effects that ripple throughout our communities. Anyone who has ever gotten pregnant thinks about her future, and what bringing a child into the world would mean to her life and those in her immediate circumstances. It is easy for a stranger to say "have the baby" when s/he is not responsible for the child.
I would gladly say "yes" to no more abortions if we would just eradicate poverty first. Give every child a chance at a healthy life, eating enough nutritious food to fill his belly, and an education that gives him a chance to become a productive member of society. Failing that, what kind of world are we perpetuating for a nascent consciousness to enter?
By 2010, poverty rates had risen four years in a row, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. They reported 46.2 million Americans living in poverty in 2010. A new report by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) showed that of 35 wealthy countries studied, only Romania has a child poverty rate higher than the 23 percent rate in the U.S.
I don't see poverty declining, especially under Romney whose platform panders to the middle class, all but ignoring the poor. Why just dust that issue under the rug when addressing women's reproductive rights?
My biggest fear in this upcoming election is not that people would vote for Romney or Obama, but that they would choose not to vote. With four more years of decline after either candidate, maybe we will all get wise to the game of red vs. blue and vote for an alternative who would be better than either one. We could do it now as a protest vote, just to prove we are alive and to say "I'm not going to take this anymore!"
I am alive. Are you?