The abortion debate during this year’s national election cycle has given me a severe case of indigestion. How can we still be arguing about this issue almost 40 years after the Supreme Court’s decision? Like the Court’s 1954 decision on Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade should be settled law.
All the talk about the Paul Ryan-sponsored federal personhood bill, Mitt Romney’s plan to de-fund Planned Parenthood, Todd Akin’s “forcible rape” remark, and Joe Walsh’s statement that abortions are never medically necessary should have every woman in America up in arms. Never in my lifetime have I been this worried about preserving our access to reproductive health care.
If a pro-choice abortion clause can be included in a Romney son’s recent surrogacy agreement, why should women be asked to vote against their own self-interest and accept a double-standard?
No woman in her right mind is pro-abortion. But every woman I know, regardless of her political party, believes the procedure should be an accessible component of women’s reproductive health.
Even if we choose to ignore Romney’s so-called evolving position on this issue, the 2012 Republican Platform takes an extremely hard line that stops just short of Ryan’s proposed bill. Equally alarming is the fact that of all the main spokespeople for the Republican Party on this issue are men. When did women, who manage everything from their own families to Fortune 500 corporations, forfeit the option to make decisions about their own health care?
They haven’t. But Ann Romney has been effective in softening her husband’s stance. She has repeatedly said women are more concerned about the economy than social issues this year. That’s probably a true statement. However, the Romney campaign’s failure to link women’s reproductive health and the economy is shocking, especially since he wants to unseat an incumbent president.
According to a recent Bloomberg View op-ed, nearly 40% of women are now the main breadwinners in their households. Many analysts believe this number will continue to increase. Women now have to keep working, even when facing potentially dangerous reproductive health conditions like ectopic pregnancy (which can necessitate the need for an abortion), to financially support their families.
I pray both men and women keep this shifting economic landscape in mind as they vote.