Editorial | 2012 election: Time for women’s participation
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 08:10
The economic and political state of the U.S. has seen recent changes for women at many different levels, including higher education participation rates for women and a higher rate of women maintaining employment through the slow economic recovery. Add on the divisive and serious issue of providing for women’s health care, and the stakes are high for American women in 2012. It is imperative that American women vote in this election, no matter whom they choose to support.
What exactly makes this an important election for women? The ascendancy of politicians looking to balance the federal budget by cutting government spending has spawned a movement to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that has been criticized by those who are anti-abortion as a body that subsidizes abortions nationwide. As described in today’s Features article (pages four and five), Planned Parenthood provides a number of services for women of all ages, from contraceptives to check-ups, screenings and other less-controversial forms of healthcare.
Mitt Romney has expressed his personal opposition to a number of policies that greatly affect American women. His plans include the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the repeal of the American Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which illegalizes discrimination in insurance based on a preexisting condition. This has been a problem for women in the past, as insurance companies often raised premiums for women’s coverage simply due to their sex.
The Obama campaign has pushed for the protection of these policies and the continuation of funding for Planned Parenthood as fundamental rights for American women. Today’s News article “Student plan improves access to birth control” examines Obamacare’s impact on Tufts’ student healthcare; birth control is now covered without a co-pay.
Economic and educational issues are also major topics for women in this election. The recession saw women retain jobs better than men, and college-aged women are now the majority in American higher learning. Therefore, this election holds a great deal of importance for women in the career force and universities, demonstrated by a national dialogue that has included student-loan debt as well as women’s roles in the workplace.
Despite a tepid economic recovery under the Obama administration, the President signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which sought to close the gender gap in the workplace, at the beginning of his term. Romney has stressed the importance of getting all of America back to work, cutting the debt and improving the overall economy. Romney has said that he believes that a pro-growth strategy is good for all of America, women included. The Romney campaign, particularly Congressman and candidate for Vice President Paul Ryan, has stressed the importance of cutting the national debt before its severity reaches detrimental proportions.
As discussed in today’s Features article, women have become, as 51 percent of the population, a crucial voting bloc in American elections. Regardless of her political stance on women’s access to healthcare, the economy or women’s positions in the workplace, every woman should exercise her right to vote.