Top Five Women's Health Quotes of 2012 (the Good and the Bad)
From very early on in 2012, it became clear that women’s health would be on the ballot. With a Republican primary chock-full of anti-women’s health candidates like Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and of course Mitt Romney, and a cast of out-of-touch Senate candidates like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, it was nearly inevitable that some of these men would say outrageous things about women’s health. And they did.
Women’s health also had defenders and champions, people like President Barack Obama and Sandra Fluke, who stood up and spoke out to protect access to affordable health care.
With all that being said, here are the top five most memorable women’s health quotes of the year…
- Rick Santorum tells rape survivors to “make the best out of a bad situation.”
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum had a lot to say on women’s health. Perhaps the most outrageous quote of his came when he tried to explain his position of banning abortion — even in cases of rape or incest:
“…the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you. As you know, we have to, in lots of different aspects of our life. We have horrible things happen. I can’t think of anything more horrible. But, nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation.”
- Foster Friess’ unusual contraceptive method: “Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives.”
The fact that Foster Friess was a major donor for Rick Santorum should have tipped many off to his extreme positions on women’s health. But when Friess went on MSNBC to speak with Andrea Mitchell about affordable access to birth control, he still managed to shock many Americans:
“….We maybe need a massive therapy session so we can concentrate on what the real issues are. And this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s such inexpensive. Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”
- Todd Akin on the rarity of pregnancies resulting from “legitimate rape.”
Asked in a local interview why he doesn’t support abortion in most cases of rape, Akin said: "From what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist…."
On the more positive of side of things, we had two true women’s health champions speak out and stand up for what they believed was right…
- When Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke was denied the chance to testify on behalf of the importance of birth control access, she spoke instead at a hearing scheduled by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. In her speech at the Democratic National Convention, Fluke spoke about this experience and about the importance of voting for pro-women’s health candidates:
“Over the last six months, I've seen what these two futures look like… A country where our president either has our back or turns his back; a country that honors our foremothers by moving us forward, or one that forces our generation to re-fight battles that they already won; a country where we mean it when we talk about personal freedom, or one where that freedom doesn't apply to our bodies or to our voices.”
- President Obama defending women’s right to access birth control: “We are not turning back the clock. We are moving forward.” Obama has done more for women’s health than any president in history and has stood with Planned Parenthood time and again, when it’s mattered most. Speaking to a crowd in Columbus, Ohio, Obama defended a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions:
“We don’t need another political fight about ending a woman’s right to choose, or getting rid of Planned Parenthood — or taking away access to affordable birth control. I want women to control their own health choices, just like I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as your sons. We are not turning back the clock. We are moving forward.”
What’s your favorite quote? Tell us in the comments below.