For reasons that strike this poor guy as exceedingly strange, the post-debate women's gender gap in favor of the President seems to have evaporated.
It is amazing: defunding Planned Parenthood, passing a personhood amendment outlawing almost all forms of contraception, raising the Blunt Amendment that would give corporate CEO's the right to determine whether a woman gets contraception coverage, mandatory ultrasounds, forcing doctors to tell women information that is scientifically false... all that was so quickly "forgotten"?
Fortunately, there will be other opportunities to remind them just who respects women, and who does not, such as tonight at the vice presidential debate.
Since the presidential debate, moreover, Romney and his campaign have taken almost every position there is on abortion and women's reproductive health. Publicly, they say they will do nothing; privately, they assure their right-wing supporters they will sign any anti-abortion, anti-woman's reproductive health measure.
And, since the debate, the results of a 4-year study became public, demonstrating that making contraception available without cost to women dramatically reduces teen pregnancies and abortions.
A few facts from the article: the abortion rate was reduced by 67-80 percent depending on whether the control group was local (67 percent reduction) or the entire nation (80 percent reduction). Teen pregnancy rates were reduced by 84 percent.
So, there we have it. Provide contraception free-of-charge to women (which Romney/Ryan oppose) and abortions and teen pregnancies decline dramatically. But don't Romney/Ryan oppose abortion, pretending to wring their hands about teen pregnancies, talking about responsibility and moral decay?
Yes, but this study shows that the decay is not moral -- it is financial. If there is no charge, so everyone can get it, the most effective contraception is chosen (seems like personal responsibility to me, Mitt, despite it being free... hmm, how could that be?), and women get to choose when they get pregnant.
If the abortion rates decline due to contraception without cost, perhaps abortion as a political issue, and the attacks on women, and the disdain for poorer women and teens, might disappear. Teenage women would not get caught in a cycle of poverty and have a chance to make something of themselves.
But Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will not allow it. No mandatory free contraception coverage for them.
By complete and utter contrast, President Obama's policy provides contraception without cost. Based upon the results of this study, this policy may turn out to be the single most impactful social and economic program any Administration has instituted in decades.
Seems like a perfect storm -- Republicans oppose the President's policy that would dramatically reduce abortions and teen pregnancies.
That means that they are more than willing to tolerate 3-5 times more abortions and 5 times more teen pregnancies that destroy young girls' lives.
This study could not have been published at a better time in our political life.
Vice President Biden should have a field day with it.
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