Women’s Issues: 2012

Many key issues surround the 2012 presidential election: unemployment, foreign policy, health care, and immigration. The next man to take the Oval Office may not fall to the opinions of a nation, but to a specific contingency of women. Women’s issues regarding reproductive rights, contraception and federal funding for women’s programs in this year’s election could likely decide which candidate is elected.

Gov. Mitt Romney’s stance involves overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that ruled in favor of protecting a woman’s right to an abortion. Overturning the bill could outlaw abortions, eliminate contraceptive coverage among health care providers and redefine the term “legitimate rape.” President Obama, on the other hand, believes that women should be able to make their own health care choices, insisting that insurance providers be required to offer contraception and that federal funding should continue for programs such as Planned Parenthood.

Gov. Mitt Romney plans to reverse Roe v. Wade, explaining that it is a bad law and a worse application of modern medicine. Republicans maintain that unemployment is the bigger issue because it affects more citizens and should be the focus of both campaigns. “I think the issues women care about are the issues that our campaign is focused on – which is, number one, making sure that women and their kids and other members of their family are able to have good jobs,” Romney said.

President Obama and Democrats believe that women’s reproductive rights are not only significant but crucial. As well as social issues, economic issues have a strong impact on women, and in turn on families. “When it comes to the economy, it’s bad enough that our opponents want to take us back to the failed policies of the last decade,” Obama said. “When it comes to a woman’s right to make her own health care choices, they want to take us back to the policies of the 1950s.”

The President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Cecile Richards, spoke in Iowa City earlier this month to advocate for women’s rights, promote Obama’s campaign and discuss Planned Parenthood’s part in this year’s election. “Women will be the majority of voters in this election,” said Richards. “They will determine the election.”