Will the “War on Women” have legs in November?

June 26, 2012

Democrats should not hold back from the “war on women” in campaigning for the Nov. 6 election, Senator Jeanne Shaheen said, even if the economy will be on voters’ minds as they head to the polls.

“I’m old enough to remember the ’50s and before … contraceptives were widely available to people, what my mother and other women were dealing with,” the New Hampshire Democrat said on Tuesday at the Reuters Washington Summit. “I’m old enough to remember what it was like before Roe v. Wade, and I think access to reproductive health services for women is critical.  And I don’t think women in this country are planning to go back.”

Polls generally show Democratic President Barack Obama with an advantage over Republican candidate Mitt Romney among women voters, but some recent surveys have shown Romney gaining ground. Democrats have sought to maintain their advantage by advertising what they call a Republican “war on women,” which casts the party as insensitive on issues such as equal pay for women, healthcare, protection against domestic abuse and access to contraception. 

Shaheen said the issue would be on voters’ minds in November if they were reminded about it and that they should be, after Romney skewed to the right while battling for the nomination against socially conservative Republican opponents.

“It depends on how those issues are talked about and to what extent people are reminded about where the candidates stand, and the fact that … when [Romney] was asked about those issues during the presidential primary process, he was where the right wing of where the Republican party was,” she said.

It will help in New Hampshire, she said. The New England state is small, offering only four electoral votes, but it is a battleground that swings between Democrats and Republicans in presidential elections and could make the difference in what is expected to be a close presidential contest. New Hampshire voters are generally fiscally conservative but libertarian on social issues.

“It’s a libertarian state,” Shaheen said. “We don’t think government should tell us what to do on some of these issues.”

She said it had seemed like a relic from another era when issues like contraceptive coverage appeared in the news in 2012. ”I certainly didn’t think that’s where most women in this country want to be,” she said.

Picture credit: Senator Jeanne Shaheen takes her seat at the Reuters Washington Summit. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

4 comments

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I live in VA, a state that seems intent on raping women (through mandatory ultrasounds) prior to allowing them their constitutional right to an abortion. This will certainly be on my mind in November. I think women would do well to recognize that Mittzy is a Mormon, a religion which places women not much higher than the family dogs. Despite claims to the contrary, this man will be happy to take us back 100 years when it comes to women’s rights. And I fail to see how the Republican party can offer any financial solutions if it is insistent on doing nothing to address the male/female income disparity. GOP, from your actions throughout the country this year you’ve lost the lifelong Republican voters in this family.

Posted by creel1950 | Report as abusive

And what marvelous things have the Democratic done to improve the disparity between income between the sexes?
It’s been just the opposite. The recent jobs report from the Labor Department had some alarming facts. The number of women employed in America declined last month as many dropped out of the work force, giving up on looking for work altogether. Of the 740,000 jobs lost since Obama took office, 683,000 of them were held by women. That is unsustainable.
I have heard nothing from the Democratic party except an all out assault that makes it sound as if the Republican party is at war with women. It’s bogus and an absolute fabrication to blame it on the Republicans. Of course, if you hear a lie often enough the public will believe it. I’d love to hear some hard facts if you have any.
President Obama’s desperate quest for re-election has led Democrats to embrace some very cynical and offensive tactics. One of them is perpetuating this myth of a “war on women.”
Claims of a Republican “War on Women” represent a new low for the Democratic Party, and it’s time for the insulting and disingenuous rhetoric to end.

Posted by jagsr71 | Report as abusive

The Domestic Violence programs in the States are bogus. They take woman and children then place them with individuals who just got out of prison for months with their children. They don’t provide training nor do they have good numers of support seperate from the criminal re-entry program for positive numbers. You see they use success rates for criminal re-entry not the woman who have been placed due to physical safety concerns. Get real numbers for your success rate. I am not against criminal re-entry however how can you treat a woman and child as though it was their fault and punish them through bogus removals and quaility of life measures that are less then what they came from thus having them return and accept the abuse. Abortions and pills are just – a cover from the real true issues at hand. Waste of monies – indeed. Poor little kids and the woman too -

Posted by PetrinaHahn | Report as abusive

Gender inequality has obviously been around since the first humans, but no person in their right mind can deny that Republicans are not passing very dangerous legislation that is AFFECTING WOMEN’S HEALTH so that they can control what happens to women’s bodies. 3 weeks ago in my state of Michigan, when the most extreme reproductive health care legislation in the country was about to pass through the health committee, 48 women came to testify in opposition and NOT ONE was allowed to speak (3 men were allowed to testify in opposition). These bills then moved to the House, where 2 female Michigan Reps were banned indefinitely from speaking in opposition, which is unprecedented. Republicans are trying to de-fund Planned Parenthood, which provides reproductive health care such as contraception, pap smears, breast exams, cancer screenings (3% of pp’s services are abortion by the way) to about 3 million women nationwide. Or how about the Republicans trying to redefine rape? There is a HUGE problem with legislators being able to separate church and state, and women are definitely at the brunt of it.

Posted by lelo314 | Report as abusive