I’m sure anyone who knows me can guess that I did not vote for Romney and Ryan. I’m quite happy that Obama will have another four years. I certainly don’t think he’s been perfect, but no president has. There are issues where I agree strongly with his stance, and others where I’m not so sure. But even if I disagreed more than I agree with Obama’s ideas and policies, there was no foreseeable scenario that could have made me vote for Mitt Romney, and it boils down to one thing: reproductive and women’s rights.
While all the news stations and pollsters were looking at the importance of jobs, the economy, and foreign policy on this year’s presidential vote, those were at the bottom of my list. If Mitt Romney had said everything I wanted to hear on all those other big issues, I still wouldn’t have voted for him. If ever there’s any candidate who can win me over on all of those issues but who has the same attitudes about women and reproductive rights expressed by the Romney/Ryan campaign and other Republicans this year, there’s no way in hell they’ll get my vote.
I know to some it may seem extreme. Would I really not vote for someone I thought could do great things for the economy or jobs because we had differing ideas about abortion, birth control, rape, or other similar issues? Absolutely.
Romney and Ryan would want to restrict access to abortion. Ryan wants it gone altogether while Romney would have included exceptions for rape or incest (which is a joke. I’d like to see how he would’ve wanted to enforce/prove those exceptions.) And if anyone believes their stances on abortion have to do with anything other than their religious beliefs, you’re fooling yourselves.
Various Republican politicians have made spectacles of themselves this year by making uninformed and outright stupid claims like women can’t (or rarely) become pregnant as a result of rape or incest and that women’s bodies can somehow “shut that whole thing down.” One expressed his hope that a doctor, when counseling a woman seeking an abortion, would ask questions like whether it was rape, or whether it was the result of regular marriage relations. Because, you know, the reason a woman wants a perfectly legal medical procedure is anyone’s damn business. Oh, and because, you know, I’m sure married women seeking abortions couldn’t possibly have been raped and must be lying about that.
Don’t forget about some of the bills introduced in several states seeking to further restrict abortion by redefining the timeframe of conception or imposing unnecessary and potentially painful and humiliating procedures like trans-vaginal ultrasounds. Wonderful time to be a woman, right?
Any politician who does or believes these things, or who doesn’t explicitly and quickly condemn those of their party who do is saying the following to me:
- They would like to put their religious beliefs into legislation, despite the fact that many people do not share those same religious beliefs.
- They do not think women are capable of making their own health and reproductive decisions in partnership with their doctors, based on factual evidence and their own religious beliefs if they so choose.
- They are willfully ignorant about basic biology but have no qualms about trying to enact legislation about healthcare and reproductive choices.
These points do not inspire any faith that these politicians are capable of making rational, informed decisions on other issues, no matter what they may say to our faces. If you are hell bent on restricting rights of any one group, think your religion gives you either the right or the obligation to make or influence anyone else’s major life decisions, and can’t see past your own high opinion of yourself to see why your ideas and policies may be detrimental to others, I have no reason to believe you could possibly make good decisions about jobs, the economy, or anything else.
And that is why women’s rights will always be at the top of my list when voting for President, or any other elected official.