Women -- Stop, Look and Listen! Especially now that women and women's votes are front and center in this Presidential election, you need to have some facts at your fingertips. John McCain and Sarah Palin want to convince you that they offer something new. But on the issues that really matter in our lives, they offer more of the same old Bush policies, and in some cases, worse than the same.
I'm supporting Barack Obama, my long-time friend and colleague, and Joe Biden because I know their strong record on behalf of women's economic and individual rights, a record you should check out at www.barackobama.com. Yet, I'm aware that some women have the wrong idea about John McCain and think, because at one time years ago he was considered a "maverick", that he might have positions that are different from those of George Bush on issues that most heavily impact them. Even though he's desperately trying to resurrect that "maverick" label, it couldn't be further from the truth. This is just a sampling of the many reasons that McCain-Palin should be rejected by the women of America.
* Two words are enough for me. John McCain pledged to appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court. Supreme Court - two words that should say to you - Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid!
* John McCain has always been for reversing Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision giving each woman the right to decide for herself whether or not she must carry an unintended pregnancy to term. He called it a "flawed decision" that "must be overturned." He has bragged about the consistent "zero" score he has received from NARAL Pro-Choice America. Believe him! He wants to take away your rights.
* Don't look to the woman, VP nominee Sarah Palin to bail us out. She is an extremist on the subject of reproductive choice - against abortion even in the case of rape or incest.
* Speaking of rape, when Palin was Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, her police department charged victims of rape for the rape kits that are needed for investigating this devastating crime. These kits cost between $300 and $1200. It took a state law passed in 2000 to stop the practice in Wasilla. Alaska Governor Tony Knowles said at the time, "We would never bill the victim of a burglary for fingerprinting and photographing the crime scene, or for the cost of gathering other evidence. Nor should we bill rape victims just because the crime scene happens to be their bodies."
* It's bad enough to be anti-choice, but those two are really anti-birth control too. McCain voted that even insurance companies that cover Viagra don't have to cover prescription birth control.
* They are against teaching about sex, despite the problems of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, as well as the challenge of teen pregnancies. Both McCain and Palin are for abstinence-only sex education and against comprehensive, age-appropriate health education.
* You might think he would be for helping moms and their babies, both healthy and sick, but NO. John McCain voted against extending insurance coverage to pregnant women and infants and opposed $214 million for breast cancer research.
* John McCain says he wants to fight terror. How about the terror that many American woman experience in their own homes from their abusers? McCain repeatedly voted against funding to fight and prevent domestic violence, including a $9 million increase for the Office of Violence Against Women. He even opposed authorizing grants to aid children who have witnessed domestic violence. Joe Biden was the original author and champion of the Violence Against Women Act which has provided relief to millions of abused women.
* Women, it's not just your body, but it's your wallet that is at stake. Both McCain and Palin oppose equal pay for women who do the same work as men. McCain voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that would have reversed a bad Supreme Court ruling that made it harder for women like Lilly to challenge pay discrimination. As an excuse, he even suggested that women get paid less because they need more education and training.
* John McCain has repeatedly voted against increased funding for child care. He even voted against a proposal to expand tax credits for businesses that provide quality child care centers.
* John McCain voted against expanding the State Child Health Insurance Program that would have guaranteed health care to an additional10 million middle class American children.
* If you are worried now about inadequate or too costly health insurance, wait until you see what John McCain's plan has in store for you. His plan is actually worse than the same. McCain's plan would--for the first time--tax your employer-provided health benefits as income--providing an incentive to eliminate employer-based coverage. The Tax Policy Center said this plan would cause 20 million people to lose job-based health care over the next 10 years. Instead, you would get $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families to go out and buy insurance. This amount wouldn't even pay for half of year's worth of a decent benefit package comparable to the one available to members of Congress. McCain would allow insurance companies to sell policies that don't meet state consumer protection requirements - like having to cover maternity care and cervical cancer screenings and contraceptive equity.
* More women than men work at minimum wage jobs. John McCain voted against raising the minimum wage 19 times during his career. This from a man who can't keep track of how many homes he owns. I hope he leaves a really big tip for the waitress.
* Older women and people with disabilities, BEWARE: John McCain supports privatizing Social Security. That's right; he likes the discredited Bush plan to turn the most successful social program in history from a guarantee to a gamble. After watching the recent dramatic downs and ups of the stock market, the notion of allowing one's retirement or survivor income to depend on Wall Street should give you heartburn and encourage you to vote Obama-Biden.
* Women who are concerned about the environment (and who isn't?) should know that John McCain was THE deciding vote in the Senate against the development of alternative energy; in fact he voted 8 times against clean, renewable fuels. Sarah Palin doesn't believe that humans contribute to global warming, and actually sued the EPA to prevent putting polar bears on the endangered species list!
* Ha, ha, ha. MSNBC reported on July 18, 2008 that John McCain did not deny that he told a "joke" about a woman who "enjoyed being raped by a gorilla." McCain's spokesman Brian Rogers offered this lame response saying "this kind of stuff is a good example of McCain being McCain." Enough said.
Women, I rest my case. Pass it on.
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