Mitt Romney Says Every Town Counts, But Does Every Woman Count?
Mitt Romney’s “Believe in America: Every Town Counts” tour made its final stop in Michigan Tuesday — right in the middle of a firestorm. In a state, that recently passed a dangerous and extreme abortion bill designed to restrict women’s access to care — women were ready and awaiting his arrival.
It was only a week ago when State House Speaker Jase Bolger banned two female state representatives from speaking on the floor (according to a spokesperson, one for the “way she used” her words, the other for “a temper tantrum”). And to make things worse, this ban came on the heels of the House denying dozens of women, as well as Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan, the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, and the Michigan State Medical Society from testifying at a committee hearing on the bill.
Women were not going to stay silent — especially when their right to affordable access to comprehensive care was on the line. On Tuesday, an estimated 5,000 women, men, and children headed to the steps of the state capital in Lansing to watch female lawmakers perform The Vagina Monologues, demonstrating on behalf of the women who were banned, alongside the creator, Eve Ensler.
So with Mitt Romney in the state, the question on many people’s minds was: is Michigan a preview of Romney’s America?
The day before his arrival, women rallied on the steps of the capital, and state Senator Gretchen Whitmer asked that very same question: "Is he going to turn his back on Michigan women like his party has done in the last couple weeks? Is he going to stand up to the extremists in his own party who just passed the most restrictive anti-choice bill in the country? I'm not optimistic. ... We've seen time and time again that Mitt Romney is not willing to stand up for Michigan."
Considering the extreme and dangerous positions Romney has taken on issues like “personhood,” Title X, and Planned Parenthood, like Whitmer we are not optimistic about what women’s health would look like under a Romney administration. The women and men who showed up outside Romney’s event to rally for women’s health are not optimistic either. With Romney in charge, what’s taking place in Michigan could very well happen in all fifty states. It’s not a risk anyone should be willing to take. That’s why it’s so important that now, more than ever, women, men, and families show up and tell him: women are watching!