Mitt Romney is not doing well with women voters. A new USA TODAY/Gallup poll shows that President Obama is faring much better than Mitt Romney in the swing states that will likely decide the next President of the United States – and women are part of the reason why. Of women under 50 years old, only 30 percent support Romney, while over 60 percent back the President.
The lack of support is mutual. Romney’s record on women’s health is hardly strong, and women voters, especially the young voters who tend to be pro-choice and pro-contraception, are likely responding to Romney’s affront on these issues. But it hasn’t always been this way. Over the course of his 2008 and 2012 campaigns for the presidency, Romney has moved significantly to the right on almost all women’s health issues. He calls it “evolving,” but, to many women, the “etch a sketch” candidate is just leaving them behind.
Need proof? Here are Mitt Romney’s top five attacks on women’s health:
1. He’s going to ‘get rid of’ Planned Parenthood. In his most blatant attack on basic women’s services, Romney made this claim: “Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that.” Of course, as a Presidential candidate Romney surely knows that Planned Parenthood provides essential medical services, primarily to low-income women, including mammograms and pap smears, as well as important family planning services. Romney has pledged to defund Title X, a program that provides family planning services.
2. Romney supports the Blunt Ammendment which would allow employers to deny health insurance coverage on the basis of moral objections — a rule aimed at allowing employers to opt out of providing benefits that undermined their consciences, including contraceptive coverage. But as governor of Massachusetts, Romney required all health care providers– including Catholic hospitals — to offer emergency contraception to rape victims.
3. Romney is fighting a covert battle against contraception, even if he is doing his best not to call it that. While Romney used to be firmly pro-choice and pro-contraceptives, he has positioned himself in the campaign to be a fighter of morality, saying that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a “secular vision on America” by requiring employers to provide contraceptives in their insurance coverage. He is also misleading the public on what the ACA will do for women.
4. Romney failed to condemn Rush Limbaugh’s characterization of Sandra Fluke as a “slut.” Romney said “it’s not the language I would have used,” but refused to go any further in condemning Limbaugh’s attacks on the Georgetown Law student who testified in support of the ACA’s contraceptive rule. In not standing up for basic women’s rights, Romney’s complacency is as good as consent.