SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

October 29, 2012

McFeatters: If election is about women, what are they gaining?

(Continued)

Romney enthusiastically endorsed Richard Mourdock, the GOP Senate candidate from Indiana, who said “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, it is something that God intended to happen.” Romney’s campaign distanced him from Mourdock’s remarks but did not pull an ad endorsing Mourdock.

Obama noted that rape is a criminal act. He portrays abortion and contraception as pocketbook issues for women and their families. He is crisscrossing the country trying to convince women swing voters that Romney’s promise to create more jobs than Obama is illusory. Economists say no matter who is elected, 12 million jobs will be created in the next four years.

But many women who voted for Obama in 2008 are disillusioned. Their families are struggling financially. Obama’s health care plan has not gone fully into effect, so they don’t know whether or not it will help them. Millions are unable to find full-time jobs or livable wages. They blame the president even while admitting he inherited a mess.

The touted gender gap seems to have disappeared as the Nov. 6 election nears. Just as Romney and Obama are neck-and-neck in the popular vote, women are divided 47 percent to 47 percent on Obama and Romney.

Women in this country should not be subject to the vagaries of politics and politicians who either are courting the religious right or who themselves want to impose their religious views on everyone.

Decisions on reproduction should be made by women and their doctors, not by politicians who are convinced that one rule fits all.

Many conservatives advocate positions that would restrict women not just on their reproductive rights but also on pay equity, the equitable cost of health insurance and coverage limits, workplace conditions, job advancement, and other issues that adversely affect the economic progress of women and their families.

Stunningly sad and worrisome.

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Scripps Howard columnist Ann McFeatters has covered the White House and national politics since 1986.

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