The Choice in November Between the Champs and the Chumps
Now that the Democratic and Republican national conventions have come to a close, voters have a choice to make. They can choose a candidate who will protect a woman’s rights to make her own health care choices and fight to make health care affordable for everyone, or they can choose a candidate who has promised to overturn Roe v. Wade, support extreme personhood measures, and “get rid of” Planned Parenthood. This dichotomy set up this week’s chumps — those speakers who pledged to restrict women’s access to health care — and champs — those who addressed the importance of women’s health and rights.
Let’s begin with the champs. From the first day of the Democratic Convention, the speakers expounded upon the importance of access to affordable health care. On Tuesday, we heard from a former Republican, who said she is voting for Obama because he stands up not just for women, but with women, amplifying their voices and defending their rights. We heard from Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who spoke about the importance and benefits of the Affordable Care Act, and we heard from Michelle Obama, who discussed her husband’s belief that “women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care.” And that was just the first night of the convention!
The following two days continued on this pro-women’s health trend with former Planned Parenthood patient Libby Bruce, who spoke about how Planned Parenthood was there for her when no one else was, and Sandra Fluke, who outlined the future women could have under President Obama where they would be able to make their own health care choices. We couldn’t have been more proud than when Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards spoke and said it best, “[I]t’s like we woke up in a bad episode of Mad Men.” With VP Joe Biden and President Barack Obama rounding out the convention, it was truly an all star lineup of women’s health champions.
In contrast, the Republican National Convention was full of out-of-touch opponents of women’s health. While politicians like Mike Huckabee accused the president of treating “human life [as] disposable and expendable at any time in the womb or out of the womb” and criticized elements of the health care law like the birth control benefit, others, like Representative Michele Bachmann, accused the president of being “anti-women” at a convention-related event.
The lineup of speakers defended their party’s nominee, Mitt Romney, who has pledged to overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate funding for Title X family planning programs, and they lauded his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act. None of these politicians addressed the fact that their positions on birth control and family planning would take away a woman’s basic health care choice.
For failing to address how they would protect women’s health care choices, and in fact, advocating for policies that would restrict women’s access to care, these out-of-touch speakers at the Republican National Convention are this week’s chumps.