Where Are The Women?
by Merle Hoffman, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
After debating every major “right-to-life” leader in this country- including Jerry Falwell - I didn't need to watch the debate tonight to know that no matter who the pundits say won, it is women who are losing.
In the meager segment set aside to discuss health care in tonight’s debate both candidates brought out their shop-worn stump speeches on the merits and weaknesses of Obamacare.
At one point Governor Romney said "the government shouldn't be telling a patient and a doctor what kind of treatment they should have."
What an opening for Obama to come out strongly in favor of reproductive freedom and a woman's right to choose. This was Obama’s opportunity to emphasize, with strength, that he supports Roe v. Wade – which I consider to be the Medical Equal Rights Amendment for women.
But he didn’t. Like I said, it's the same old story.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not a Romney supporter. Far from it. I just wish that one of the candidates would have said something specifically about women beyond wishing Michelle Obama a happy anniversary. (Actually Romney’s congratulations were focused more on the president. Weren’t they?)
The candidates talked about a grandmother and the women they met on the campaign trails. But not a word about women's health care--or the fact that it is the women of this country sitting at all those "kitchen tables" who make the health care decisions for their families.
It is the women of this country who are the most impacted by the economic downturn. And this is intrinsically related to health care.
For example, as the Founder and President of Choices Women's Medical Center, I commissioned an analysis of previous studies, what I termed "ABORTIONOMICS," which showed that today's economic hardships are a major factor in women's decisions to have abortions. I presented at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on Jan. 17, 2011.
Click here: Abortionomics: When Choice Is A Necessity | MyFDL
It seems obvious: When the economy dips, it's harder for people to raise a family. But this living reality, borne out in the report's findings, remains outside today's heated political debates about abortion and birth control. As a result, too many politicians seem oblivious to the consequences of unwanted pregnancies. They are oblivious that when these pregnancies are carried to term, the resulting births impose difficult, if not impossible, financial burdens on already strapped mothers and families.
The debate was mute on the subject of women. but the climate outside in the real world is dangerously loud. A new videotape just surfaced on MSNBC showing Todd Akin-speaking to Congress in 2008, comparing abortion to slavery-and saying that "abortion doctors" perform these procedures on women who are not pregnant.
Now, according to Akin, not only can women's bodies decide for themselves if they will become impregnated with a legitimate rapis sperm,-they can also produce fetuses on demand for abortion doctors to abort!
It would be laughable if it wasn't so serious.
Akin is not going rogue-- Akin is just going public on expressing the political/philosophical foundations of the current Republican party, including Rick Santorum, Jim DeMint and Newt Gingrich, all of whom have come out in support of the congressman. Clearly, the dangerous views of my old debating opponent, Jerry Falwell, live on even if he no longer is with us.
This is what Mitt Romney represents for women of this country.
But where is the response from President Obama?
Merle Hoffman is the President and CEO of Choices Women's Medical Center and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of On the Issues Magazine.
Jane Roberts posted: 2012-10-08 17:49:31
Good job Merle. Women's access to reproductive health and all that that entails should be at the front of the debate. And if YOU personally want to do somethng please join 34 Million Friends of the U.N. Population Fund (which would lose funding under Romney) of which I am co-founder.
Join the conversation. Leave a comment.
All comments will be reviewed before being published. This is a space for thoughtful and critical commentary; any personal attacks, abusive or offensive language, off-topic comments or comments that may be harmful to the conversation or to readers will not be published. *All fields required.*
What’s concerning us, feminists and progressives? From the front lines to the back burners, our angle on vital matters on our minds and popping up in the news.
ENTER HOT TOPICS
The Love of Strangers by Merle Hoffman
"She Had a Heartbeat Too" The Tragic Death of Savita Halappanavar in an Irish Hospital by Ann Rossiter
First Irish Abortion Clinic Opens Amid Controversy, Threats and Confusion by Caelainn Hogan
Forty Years After Roe V Wade, Getting an Abortion is Still a Major Challenge by Eleanor J. Bader
It's Up to Us to Defend Abortion Rights by Mary Lou Greenberg
Back and Forth by Judith Arcana
The Poet's Eye: Curated by Judith Arcana
Suggested Reading by Anna Platt and the Feminist Press
Related Articles, January 2013