Women's Health Final Face-off: President Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney
Only a few days away from Election Day, and it’s time for our final installment of “The Face-Off” series. Voters will be faced with a choice when they head to the polls, and that’s why we’re working to make sure they know where the candidates stand on pivotal women’s health issues.
This week’s face-off, is of course, the presidential race, where former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, faces off against President Barack Obama.
Here’s what you need to know about the two candidates:
Since taking office, Obama has been working to expand access to affordable quality care for all Americans—doing more for women’s health than any president in history. One of his greatest accomplishments includes proposing and signing into law the Affordable Care Act. Because of the health care law, women will no longer be discriminated against and charged higher premiums (up to 150 percent more) simply because of their gender. Pregnancy and being a victim of domestic violence can no longer be considered pre-existing conditions. Already more than 45 million women have received access to preventive care well-woman exams, mammograms, and Pap tests with no additional co-pay because of the Affordable Care Act.
President Obama understands that women’s health issues are economic issues, which is why he included birth control (which can cost up to $600/year) as basic preventive care with no co-pay. Considering the fact that a third of women voters have struggled to afford birth control over their lifetime, and therefore used it inconsistently, this benefit will play a major role in easing the burden upon women who will no longer have to make the choice between putting groceries on the table and taking care of their own health.
As Obama said during the town hall debate, “A major difference in this campaign is that Governor Romney feels comfortable having politicians in Washington decide the health care choices that women are making. I think that’s a mistake.” We couldn’t agree more.
Across the board, from pledging to immediately “remove funding” and “get rid of” Planned Parenthood, ending the nation’s family planning program, Title X; Mitt Romney has proven he is no friend to women.
He opposes safe and legal abortion, calling Roe v. Wade one of the “darkest moments in Supreme Court history” and “bad law and bad medicine.” And when asked if he would support a personhood amendment which would not only outlaw safe and legal abortion but also could ban common forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization (IVF), Romney said, “absolutely.”
Romney would turn back the clock on women’s health. Not only does he want to overturn Roe v. Wade, he supported extreme measures like the Blunt Amendment which would allow employers to be able to deny women access to birth control. Sixty-seven percent of American voters opposed this amendment but that didn’t stop him from publicly supporting it.
To top his whole record off, if elected, Romney has pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act “on day one.” Setting aside the improbabilty of his ability to do that, what it WOULD mean is denying affordable access to millions of women and families’ access to affordable health care, and erasing all the gains we described above.
Winner: President Barack Obama
For supporters of women’s health and rights, the choice couldn’t be any clearer. When it mattered most, President Obama stood up for women, Planned Parenthood, and affordable access to health care. In his own words: “Women are not an interest group. They're mothers, and daughters, and sisters, and wives. They're half of this country. And they're perfectly capable of making their own choices about their health.” THAT'S who we want representing us for the next four years.