In Sarah Palin's recent video, she talks about "a lot of women coming together to get things done for our country." I also know a lot of women coming together and enacting change -- but I don't think we're talking about the same group of women.
The women I know -- Republicans, Democrats, and Green Party members -- are fighters for women's equality and defenders of reproductive health choices. They're diverse, like our country. They believe in giving women freedom to make decisions about themselves and their family. They trust women.
They are the Women's Campaign Forum's (WCF) Endorsed Candidates. And regardless of their political party, they believe in women. They support commonsense solutions to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STDs, such as comprehensive sex education and accessible contraception.
They know that the root of women's equality and economic independence lies in their ability to make individual health choices. They believe that low-income women deserve quality health care. Many of them are mothers, too.
I would love to live in a world where all female politicians support these same values. However, given the recent rise of socially conservative and anti-choice women candidates such as Carly Fiorina, Michelle Bachman, and Sarah Palin herself, we know this is not true.
And that's fine. If women made up 50% of elected officials, party leaders, and candidates, we would find them falling on all points of the political spectrum. But women are so vastly underrepresented at all levels of office that prominent female figures are often thought to represent a dramatic trend or majority of women.
Luckily, Palin's band of 'Mama Grizzlies' is just a small faction of women. But you wouldn't guess that based on her overly-generalized video or vague talk of women's collaboration. And that's why I want to be clear:
Although most, if not all, of Sarah's followers are Republican, that doesn't mean they speak for all GOP women.
In fact, since 81% of Americans believe that individuals, not politicians or the government, should have control over their own important life decisions, Palin's staunchly anti-choice beliefs are in direct contradiction of the majority of not just her party, but everyone.
WCF has supported Republicans and Democrats since 1974. However, since the GOP's platform turned extremely anti-choice in 1992, we've watched the numbers of pro-choice female GOP candidates dwindle.
But that doesn't mean they don't exist. On the contrary, we know all too well that the toxic old boys' club of the Republican Party won't allow any woman supportive of reproductive health choices to get very far. (In fact, moderate pro-choice Republican Dede Scozzafava describes GOP attacks against her as 'vicious.')
And it certainly doesn't mean that all Republicans agree with Palin's agenda to take women and our country back in time.
We represent the majority of Americans, and we will fight to ensure that women from all political parties respect the true will of the people: Trusting women.
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