Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

This diary is a response to the increasing refrain that all Hillary Clinton supporters will/should support Obama if he is the nominee because of potential Supreme Court appointees and the protection of Roe v Wade.

As a fervent Clinton supporter, this new message coming from Obama's supporters is striking a nerve instead of a chord with me. This is partly because I am not thinking about the General Election right now, my preferred candidate is still in the race and I plan to support her until she decides to end her candidacy or wins the nomination. Mainly, however, I find this "threat" of what will happen to Roe v Wade under a McCain Presidency rather condescending and insulting.

Please understand, I know full well what is at stake. I do not need lectures or threats or a refresher course in Women's Issues. I am an adamantly pro-choice, female Democrat. Constant and unwavering support for Women's Reproductive Freedom has always been and will always be a criteria in any candidate I choose as President of the US.

So, let's look at where Obama stands on Women's Reproductive Freedom. When asked for details about his positions on key issues, Obama directs voters to his campaign website... so let's take a look:

Under his "Issues" Section... there is a LONG list of "Issues" but no mention of Women's Reproductive Freedom at all. Not under "Families", not under "Healthcare", not under "Additional Issues" (although "Sportsmen" get a call-out there).

I go to the "Answers Center" and type in "abortion" which leads me to... a deadend. Same thing if I type in "women"... deadend.

"Lost? The page you are looking for doesn't seem to exist."
http://women.barackobama.com/page/conten t/wfoissues

Half an hour later I finally hit the jackpot... but you have to look under "People" then "Women" then click over on the right-hand side to "Learn Where Barack Stands".

After all that searching here's what it says:
http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/w omenissues

Basically, his platform is Democratic boilerplate pro-choice. Nothing new or inspiring or particularly controversial. This is a fundamental platform which any Democrat should be running on front-and-center with unequivocal pride. Why does Obama hide this? Why is it not an "Issue" worthy of his "Issues" section? Why is this marginalized and "buried"? It gets the same importance as "Generation Obama".

When put side-by-side with Clinton's front-and-center "A Champion For Women" platform, the contrast is especially glaring.
http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/wom en/

The depth and breadth of Hillary's knowledge, understanding and commitment to these complex issues makes me simultaneously beam with pride and weep with joy. Especially in light of the fact that these issues have been under attack by the far right and by our President for the past 8 years (and before). I want a proud fighter, not a sheepish equivocator.

When I say "Women's Issues", I am not simply saying "Abortion" but rather the entire gamut of issues which pertain to Women's Reproductive Freedom (birth control, reproductive healthcare, prenatal and post-partum care, adoption, infertility treatment and reproductive technologies, prematurity, birth defects, the list goes on-and-on). These issues directly affect 1/2 the population and indirectly affect everyone else. The cascade effect of the freedom to choose how, when and why we create our families arguably affects EVERY other aspect of our lives and our society. These issues should NOT be marginalized. Obama's "Issues" section is long... Women should be there. Period.

I am not a passive-aggressive sulker when it comes to politics. I have sent the Obama campaign MANY polite emails asking why his stance on Women is not more front-and-center. I have never gotten anything but an automated reply (not surprised by that, totally understandable). I will continue to ask for the issues I care about to get more prominence.

Do I think Obama is pro-choice? Yes I do but I question his commitment and it worries me when:

- I see him chumming around with Bob Casey in PA (a Democratic Senator who is anti-choice and wants to overturn Roe).

- I hear his equivocating response to the question of when life begins during the CNN Faith Forum. http://youtube.com/watch?v=n3iHr1IYWUk&a mp;feature=related

- I see all the "present" votes on abortion in IL (I know, I know, it was a supposed "strategy" with Planned Parenthood... it still wasn't as politically courageous as standing up to the far right and casting a solid, unequivocal pro-choice vote).

- I read that he wanted to confirm Justice Roberts but aides talked him out of it.

- He talks about finding "common ground" on these issues. What EXACTLY does that mean?

Time will tell. These issues will undoubtably come up against McCain. McCain certainly makes his opposing views known, his "Human Dignity" position is front-and-center on his website. I need Obama to unequivocally and proudly stand up for my rights if he wants my proud, unequivocal support and vote.

Tags: obama, Women (all tags)

Comments

58 Comments

Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

http://www.democracynow.org/2005/3/10/is _the_democratic_party_turning_to

Looks as though this is where the democratic party is headed

by minnesotaryan 2008-05-09 03:38PM | 0 recs
A difficult pregnancy can cost $287,000 without in

without insurance.

-and uncovered costs can hit $20-30,000 easily with Obama's cost-shifted insurance. (the kind a low-income family is MOST likely to buy)

Thats why we have health savings accounts, but few working families can afford to save the money they save on 'consumer directed' 'choice' health plans in them.

They don't have it.

With Hillary's premium cap, total yearly costs would be limited to 5-10% of a family's income

Thats a good reason to vote for Hillary

by architek 2008-05-09 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

I believe Hillary Clinton signed a letter of support for Bob Casey on this issue as well:

http://www.counterpunch.org/wolf04262006 .html

by minnesotaryan 2008-05-09 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

Cool, so because his site has a bug, he's a dirty pro-lifer.

Of course, every single woman's rights organization has given him a rating identical to Hillary's, but they don't know what they're talking about.

by amiches 2008-05-09 03:42PM | 0 recs
You think it is a "bug" of his site

That he doesn't have any mention of Women or Reproductive Freedom under his "Issues" section?

It took me a full half-hour to find his position because his search feature didn't work, yes, that is a bug.

I really do not think that the omission of this Issue from his front-and-center platform is a bug?

I never called Obama a "dirty pro-lifer", not even close.

by twinmom 2008-05-09 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: You think it is a "bug" of his site

It took you a half hour to click on "People", and then click "Women", and then click "Learn where Obama stands"?

There is absolutely no difference between the candidates on womens' and reproductive issues.

by amiches 2008-05-09 03:55PM | 0 recs
Then will you as a Democrat

Send him an email asking him to put this under the "Issues" section of his website?

by twinmom 2008-05-09 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Then will you as a Democrat

No, because it doesn't really matter to me where it is on the website. All that matters to me is that he has a consistent and strong record of being pro-choice.

But by all means, if this is a concern for you, send the campaign an e-mail.

by amiches 2008-05-09 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: You think it is a "bug" of his site

I went through this same search of Obama's website in January.  My experience was the same as yours, and I was not satisfied.  This was my first warning sign with him and started my questioning of his experience and background.

It made me feel that I needed to actually hear him say - or see a direct quote - of what his position on Roe v Wade would be in the year 2009 should he become President.

by cameoanne 2008-05-10 10:03PM | 0 recs
Many thanks

Time will tell. If Obama equivocates on these issues during his interactions with McCain, we will know.

I agree, it is EASY to place a pro-choice vote as a Democratic Senator, it is easy to make a pro-choice speech in frnt of a pro-choice audience, it is easy to have a standard pro-choice platform on a website.

The proof will be in the pudding in my opinion.

Time will tell.

As pro-choice women we should hold him to the highest standard. For me that standard means have these issues as part a proud, front-and-center issue.

by twinmom 2008-05-11 05:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

"I need Obama to unequivocally and proudly stand up for my rights if he wants my proud, unequivocal support and vote"

He has, TIME AND TIME AGAIN?

http://obama.senate.gov/press/071113-oba ma_mccaskill_5/

So, given this, you support all those angry women rushing out to vote for John McCain?

by WashStateBlue 2008-05-09 03:42PM | 0 recs
I never said

That I would vote for McCain, I think it should be clear from what I wrote that I will not.

I also never said that I support anyone voting for McCain.

I have every right to be an activist and to speak out strongly and advocate for the issues I feel strongly about.

I have every right to expect that the Democratic nominee for President will take a front-and-center stand on these issues.

In my opinion, the response of ANY pro-choice Democrat should be... "DAMN STRAIGHT! We should be emailing Obama to demand that Women get bumped into the "Issues" Section of his website!"

by twinmom 2008-05-09 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: I never said

Then send him a letter?

Better yet, send Michelle a letter? Her address is on the website.

And, Identify yourself as a Clinton supporter, and why this is important to you?

TwinMom, he IS going to be the nominee, you know that?  

So, be an activist, and if they stop you, SCREAM BLOODY HELL!

BTW, I have seen Barack TWICE and each time he has mentioned "A womans right to choose" promenantly in the speech?

But, HE DOES also mention the Pro life folks, because he knows they are part of the American Landscape?

I think they are dead wrong, but he is going to be their President as well?

But, at any rate, I have no quarrel with you, you seem a very reasonable and well spoken poster.

Good luck to you.

by WashStateBlue 2008-05-09 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: I never said

That's certainly fair and laudatory.  However, your diary contains a number of fallacies about the person John McCain will be running against.

I'm all for holding our candidate accountable, believe me, but I'll jump to call you out if you're propagating inaccuracies and half-truths.

by minnesotaryan 2008-05-09 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: I never said

It's very clear how the issues are separated on Barack's site - general issues that effect everyone go under "issues", while issues that mainly effect certain constituencies go under "people".

I assume that's because support for reproductive rights is basically a Democratic shibboleth, and that even pro-life Dems won't threaten the status quo, so his position is a given.

If your only beef is the placement of his womens' issues platform on the website, I suggest you write the campaign a note.

by amiches 2008-05-09 04:02PM | 0 recs
You didn't read my whole diary

That's fine, it was admittedly long-winded.

I said this:

"I am not a passive-aggressive sulker when it comes to politics. I have sent the Obama campaign MANY polite emails asking why his stance on Women is not more front-and-center. I have never gotten anything but an automated reply (not surprised by that, totally understandable). I will continue to ask for the issues I care about to get more prominence."

by twinmom 2008-05-09 04:08PM | 0 recs
Re: You didn't read my whole diary

Due respect, it's two clicks away from the front page. But like I said, if that's your beef, keep the e-mails flowing.

by amiches 2008-05-09 04:13PM | 0 recs
Excellent, and thank you

when you do the research, as  you did, the issue of finding "common ground" with my reproductive rights doesn't strike me as being particularly comforting.  What will he trade for this "common ground"?

by 4justice 2008-05-09 03:43PM | 0 recs
by WashStateBlue 2008-05-09 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

Sigh.

by Skaje 2008-05-09 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

So, AGAIN, since this your issue,

Are you going to confront (xxxxxxx no names, but you know who those female posters are) who say they are voting for McCain?

You say Obama hasn't stood up enough for you?

But, YOU KNOW where McCain stands, Right?

by WashStateBlue 2008-05-09 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

What a joke.  Obama's pro-choice.  McCain's pro-life.  If you vote for McCain, you will be responsible for teenagers being carted off to jail for terminating an unplanned pregnancy.  I hope your tender, hurt feelings are worth it.

by SpideyDem 2008-05-09 03:51PM | 0 recs
You know

The responses to my diary are exactly why many Hillary Clinton supporters find Obama supporters so abrasive.

I'll repeat, I never said I was voting for McCain.

Instead of putting your claws out, why not accept that I am basically trying to answer the question of what needs to happen to achieve some party unity?

For me (and I'd bet for lots of Hillary supporters who now have to start thinking about supporting Obama), it would make a big difference if Obama's website didn't marginalize Women's Reproductive Freedom to the "People" section of his campaign website. These issues do not only affect women (they certainly don't only affect "teenagers" as your post implies). The freedom to choose if, when, how and why you have a family should be a tenant of any Democrat's platform. It directly affects 1/2 the population and indirectly affects everyone else. Every single other candidate for President (on both sides) addressed these issues as "Issues".

Personally, I don't think I am splitting hairs. Words matter. Platforms matter. These issues matter.

It would have been nice to have even one Obama supporter say, "You know what, you're right, he should give this issue more prominence, let's work to make it happen".

Guess that's not going to happen.

by twinmom 2008-05-09 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: You know

Oh for heavens sake, you're just looking for a fight?

you got LOTS of positive feedback, me for one?

Or WE are supposed to contact the Obama folks cause YOU don't like the way the web site is archived?

Why? You have a bug, because Obama's website isn't structured as you want, not us?

Have you even been to an Obama Rally?

I have, as I told you and TWICE I have seen him mention a womans right to chose?

Twinmom, we gave you LOTS of links, because WE are convinced Obama is Pro-Choice?

That wasn't enough for you?

Come on?

NOTHING will be enough for you?

You're just a pissed off Hillary supporter looking to pick a fight?

by WashStateBlue 2008-05-09 05:56PM | 0 recs
I'm really not pissed off

It is not true that nothing will be enough for me or that I am looking for a fight. Do I need to see Obama fiercely defending Women's Reproductive Freedom against McCain? Yes I do.

Obviously this issue will come up in the General Election to a far greater degree than it did in the primary. Obama will need to clearly address it. If he equivocates too much he's going to end up not pleasing anyone.

That's my point. There is no way that Obama is going to satisfy women like me AND the pro-lifers. Not possible. So, time will tell how he plays it. Time will tell what he means when he says that there is common ground and a reasonable discussion to be had. Time will tell whether my fear is warranted that he may have not put this issue front-and-center on his website because he thinks it is too divisive and doesn't want to focus on it.

No, I haven't seen Obama in person. I live in NYC and he didn't come anywhere near here to campaign. If he had I probably would have gone to see him. I've seen Hillary 3 times. She speaks passionately about an unwavering commitment to Women's Reproductive Rights without any concessions to the right wing or the Republicans.

by twinmom 2008-05-09 06:56PM | 0 recs
I'm curious though...

Maybe I'm being overly sensitive. How was I supposed to interpret this reply to my diary? What did I say in my diary or any of my responses which warranted this response to me expressing my opinion and concerns?:

"What a joke.  Obama's pro-choice.  McCain's pro-life.  If you vote for McCain, you will be responsible for teenagers being carted off to jail for terminating an unplanned pregnancy.  I hope your tender, hurt feelings are worth it."

by twinmom 2008-05-09 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm curious though...

Sure, that response was out of line, agreed?

But, I see many that were not?  Many gave links to articles on Obama's support for reproductive rights?

Can I ask you a question, and I am NOT trying to pick at you?

Do you think JUST BECAUSE she is a woman, Hillary is MORE sensitive to Womens reproductive issues?

Did you happen to catch where someone tried to catch Obama in a Gotcha moment?

A reporter asked him, about his two daughters, what if one of them became pregnant as a teenager?

He said "Well, it would be a tough decision because I wouldn't want them to be BURDENED by a child that young"

Well, he got flamed ROYAL by the religous right for that...

But, his NEXT statements, which, of course, they left out, were about his mom, who had Barack when she was 19, and soon was a single mom?

Yes, HE IS NOT a woman, and in that sense, maybe He can never have the sensitivity to woman's issues that you and Hillary have?

But, look at his life story?  Look at his wife, she is no shrinking violet, or some mousy image, like Cindy McCain or Laura Bush.

She had a career, completly outside of Barack?

She has two teenage daughters?

You think SHE is going to let Barack slide on the issues of womens reproductive rights?

And, for your concern about "making peace with the right" I will only state that the Clintons have a LONG history of that?

Don't ask, don't tell?

DOMA?

Where THOSE great moments in individual rights?

I think everyone has to judge, but again, I would ask you, DON'T JUDGE by a bunch of us A-holes on some blog someplace?  

Find some Obama supporters in REAL LIFE you can talk to?

My girlfriend REALLY DOES work at an NGO about womens health issues?

Most of the women there have been in this fight for 20 years?

And, I SWEAR on the life of my daughter, 90% are backing Obama?

And, you bet they need to know, because most of their funding is from the Government, the CDC, etc.

I think you are a very thoughtful poster, not one of those who want to trash Obama because he stole Hillary's shot.

All I ask is, do your diligence, and give the man a chance?

He is going to be the nominee, and God help us if he loses to Mccain the fall.

We need EVERY democrat at his back.

Thanks for the interaction.

Tsean

by WashStateBlue 2008-05-10 07:57AM | 0 recs
Right back at you

Thanks for taking the time to write all that when we are already "below the fold".

You know, I think it is a regional thing? I too used to work in the field of Reproductive Health (as an abortion counselor in NYC and in Albuquerque NM). I stay in touch with all of those former colleagues and not one of them is a Obama supporter. I actually don't know ANY women in my real life who are? Go figure. Then again, I've never lived in a state which went to Obama (I've lived in RI, NM, CA, NH, NY and MA).

I will keep an open mind. I need to let this play out. I need to stand with my candidate until SHE decides this is over. This has been a bruising process for many Hillary supporters. I was very involved in her campaign (gave the maximum personal donation, attended many events, made hundreds of calls, canvased etc). I need time. November is a long way off. There is a lot of ground to cover between now and then. Obama will be completely redefined as a candidate in November (by himself and by McCain and the GOP). I'll be watching closely.

Do I think that Hillary has more sensitivity to these issues as a woman? Yes, I do. I'm not ashamed to admit that. Do I think Obama and Michelle have more sensitivity to African American issues? Yes, absolutely. But it goes further than that. My over-riding doubt about Obama has always stemmed from the fact that his admittedly beautiful rhetoric is not backed up by a whole lot of nose-to-the-grindstone work and experience.  I do think that the depth and breadth of Hillary's experience and awareness on these issues far surpasses Obama's. His platform is not novel or unique, it is inspired by the Democrats (like the Clintons) who forged the path.

Obama has come as far as he has by really shaking up and chopping into the OLD coalition of Democrats. He had to do that the defeat Hillary Clinton. He had to dismantle Bill Clinton's legacy. There are many times when, as a Clinton supporter, it has felt as if Obama was trying to attract everyone BUT me and my vote (a 38 year old, core liberal Democrat, white woman/mother/small business owner from NYC). I do feel like he just ASSUMED I'd vote for Hillary but that he'd have my vote in November (he has said as much actually... that Hillary's supporters will support him).

Obama SHOULD have to work hard to bring Hillary's supporters back into the fold. It will be the first test of his ability to lead and unite.

This primary season saw sexism and misogyny running rampant in the media, among Obama supporters and in the blogosphere. It was lobbed at Hillary Clinton and at her supporters. Frankly, it shocked me. I never expected that from fellow Democrats. Some actively perpetuated it, others stood by silently, other condoned and excused it. It is going to take time for me to forgive and forget.

At this point I can PROMISE you that McCain will not get my vote and that Hillary will too (since no matter what happens she'll be on my NY ballot for Senator). That's the best I can do this 10th day of May.

by twinmom 2008-05-10 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

I'm not saying I like it, but it is increasingly difficult to win a national election without moderating views on such divisive issues.  Are you curious why Hillary hasn't made this an issue during any debates?  Well, aside from the fact that she and Obama have the same policies on the issue, she doesn't want to piss off her newfound support of working class voters, who tend to be less pro-choice than us "elitists" that Clinton has been so disparaging of.

Honestly, abortion is one a wedge issue that the republicans are much more likely to bring up than the democrats these days.  Advocating loudly for a women's right to choose is often equated with being pro-abortion, despite the obvious differences of those two sides.  The issue is far too complicated to be digested by a public whose attention span is 10 seconds.

I'm afraid the best we can hope for is a president that will not nominate judges who will overturn Roe V Wade.  Despite your assertion that Obama had to be "talked out of" voting for Roberts, while he was impressed by Roberts' impressive legal resume, Obama had to vote against Roberts because "he seemed to have consistently sided with those who were dismissive of efforts to eradicate the remnants of racial discrimination" and "seemed dismissive of the concerns that it is harder to make it in this world and in this economy when you are a woman rather than a man."

Sounds like he voted against Roberts for the same reason you would have.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16640635/pag e/2/

by minnesotaryan 2008-05-09 03:53PM | 0 recs
The majority of Americans are pro-choice

I disagree with your assertion that a Democrat cannot win on a pro-choice platform. For me personally, a Democrat must have a strong pro-choice platform for me to even consider him/her a Democrat. It is that important to me.

I'm not asking Obama to shout his support of partial birth abortion from the rooftops. I am asking him to give Women's Reproductive Freedom and other issues pertaining to Women a more visible and prominent spot on his website. That's all.

If you're saying that you think Obama will compromise on these issues to pander to pro-life voters or to gain swing-Republicans then you're actually validating my concerns?

by twinmom 2008-05-09 08:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

Oh, and as one poster mentioned, 100% vote ratings from NARAL.  Three years in a row:

http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/election s/statements/obama.html

by minnesotaryan 2008-05-09 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

Yup:

Voting Record:
Sen. Obama received the following scores on NARAL Pro-Choice America's Congressional Record on Choice.

2007: 100 percent

  1.  100 percent
  2. 100 percent

And, btw, he is going to GET HAMMERED by the right wing for it?

I know the Clinton supporters are mad as hell at Obama?

But, going at him because he is SOFT on Reproductive Rights is really a stretch?

by WashStateBlue 2008-05-09 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

I personally don't think he is pro-choice. A state senator from Chicago has no choice but to be prochoice, but he found ways to duck out as often as he could. Combine that with his open admiration for Roberts and his decision to vote against only becaue of his presidential ambitions, and I just don't think he's ultimately pro-choice.

by Little Otter 2008-05-09 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

Jesus Christ. The "present" votes in the IL legislature, which you're almost certainly referring to, were procedural votes.

Supreme Court confirmations are based on fitness to do the job, not ideology. Which is why Roberts was confirmed (despite being a wingnut, he's actually a brilliant jurist), but Harriet Miers was not.

Organizations like NARAL do not hand out 100% ratings lightly. They gave them to Hillary and to Obama, because THEY'RE BOTH PRO-CHOICE!

by amiches 2008-05-09 04:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

Yes, NARAL does hand out endorsement lightly. See Jane Hamsher at Firedog Lake for more on that.

I don't think he's pro-choice. You're free to but people think he's a lot of things that I see very little evidence that he is. He lied about his reasons for voting present which is as pathetic as it gets. And yes, ideology is a reason to vote against a candidate - that's why Bork went down.

by Little Otter 2008-05-09 04:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

Well, if NARAL doesn't convince you, and his consistent votes and statements on his opinion on reproductive rights doesn't sway you, and the very words on his website don't sway you, then nothing I say can. I'll just be here saying "I told you so" to deadenders like you when we're in the second Obama administration and abortion is still safe and legal.

by amiches 2008-05-09 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

Doing that "strawman" skit of yours again?

by cherrygarcia 2008-05-09 04:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

I heard he's also a Muslim.  And did you know his middle name is Hussein?

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-05-09 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

Does his "Issues" section include a stance on whether women and minorities should be granted the right to vote?  

How about a section about his belief that Senators should be popularly elected, rather than appointed by state legislatures?

Or maybe a section on his belief that we should stop Nazi Germany from taking over Europe?

Wait...he doesn't address these?  Well, he must not support them!

/snark

I want to know what Obama wants to do as President, much more than I want to see a rehash of his values on issues that I consider (unless we elect McCain) settled law.

This is creating an issue out of nothing, simply because you don't like Obama.  He has a perfect (from our perspective) record on abortion rights.  He has spoken in the most important way...with his vote as a Senator.  

by freedom78 2008-05-09 04:17PM | 0 recs
These issues are under constant attack

You imply in your post that you don't care what Obama stance is on these issues because they are "settled law". That's your prerogative, no question.

But I want to respectfully point out that none of this is settled. Women's Reproductive Rights are under constant and ongoing attacks. That is simply fact. So, yes, I want to know exactly where Obama stands.

For me, this goes FAR beyond Roe v Wade. The reason why his reply at the CNN Faith Forum struck a nerve is because the question of when life begins also impacts infertility treatments. The agenda of the far right is alive and well, and being promoted by Bush when he talks about embryo rights and adopted embryos and opposes stem cell research.

My twin sons are the result of IVF and then FET (frozen embryos). They are medical miracles. If the far right has their way in promoting their agenda of embryo protection, children like my sons would not exist. I'm not trying to be melodramatic, one only needs to look at Italian law to see what happens when the government start to legislate infertility treatments.

Obama's answer ONLY addresses abortion and not the broader impact which this question of "when life begins" could potentially have. That is a very narrow view and one which opens the door to attacks by the far right.

Any Democratic Party which I am a part of must protect the rights of individuals to make their own private life-impacting decisions using whatever moral compass they subscribe to. Democrats should fight against any legislation of morality or erosion of the separation of church and state.

by twinmom 2008-05-09 08:13PM | 0 recs
Obama has an entire section for women on his site.

You were looking in the wrong place.

From the homepage, you go to PEOPLE, and click on women, which will take you here:

http://women.barackobama.com/page/conten t/WFOhome

From there, you click on where Barack stands on issues:

http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/w omenissues

These are the issues that Barack sees as affecting women:

HEALTH CARE
Fixing the Nation's Health Care System:
Empowering Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS:
Supporting Research into Women's Health:
Fighting Cancer:
Reducing Health Risks Due to Mercury Pollution:
Supporting Stem Cell Research:

REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE
Supports a Woman's Right to Choose:
Preventing Unwanted Pregnancy:

PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Reducing Domestic Violence:
Strengthening Domestic Violence Laws:
Fighting Gender Violence Abroad:

ECONOMIC ISSUES
Fighting for Pay Equity:
Investing in Women-Owned Small Businesses:
Protecting Social Security:
Encouraging Retirement Saving:
Improving Child Support Collection:

NATIONAL SECURITY
Ending the War in Iraq:
Caring for Women Veterans:

POVERTY
Fighting Poverty:
Raising the Minimum Wage:
Helping Low-Income Workers:
Supporting Low-Income Families:
Improving Afterschool and Daycare Opportunities:

EDUCATION
Protecting Title IX:
Expanding Early Childhood Education:
Promoting Women in Math and Science:
Improving Our Schools:
Making College More Affordable:

You can go to the website to see where he stands on each of these issues.  If we went by Hillary's website, it would seem the only thing that matter was abortion and pay equity.  Not one mention of violence against women.

by The Distillery 2008-05-09 04:21PM | 0 recs
I know

I totally understand that these issues are addressed in the "People" section under "Women".

That was actually my point, that it feels to me like being in the "Entertainment" section of the newspaper instead of on the "Front Page News".

I am expressing my opinion that these issues deserve a more prominent, front-and-center position. Obviously a lot of Obama supporters here feel that I am splitting hairs and being unreasonable. That's fine. We can certainly agree to disagree.

by twinmom 2008-05-09 06:11PM | 0 recs
No. That's not sufficient.

How does Hillary's placement in "issues" show a more front and center approach than Obama's?

by Travis Stark 2008-05-09 08:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

Some people will nitpick at anything!

So you won't vote for Obama because you can't navigate his website?  Are you serious? This is the saddest anti-Obama diary yet.

by cherrygarcia 2008-05-09 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

Its awfully funny that you're attacking Obama for not being sufficiently pro-choice the same week that the 'Catholic' League is attacking Obama and his Catholic advisers for not being sufficiently anti-choice.

http://www.catholicleague.org/release.ph p?id=1433

by WellstoneDem 2008-05-09 04:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

"In response to Roe vs Wade question. The Supreme Court currently leans right 5 to 4. The conservatives include Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy. The liberal judges are Stevens, Breyer, Ginsburg and Souter. The time to change the make-up of the court occurred before the last election - remember Renquist was a conservative and O'Connor was the swing vote.

So this particular intimidation does not have any merit - its bogus."

by izarradar 2008-05-09 05:57PM | 0 recs
Want to know about Obama and Women's Issues? Ask

I wrote this a long time ago now, but it should help a bit.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/2 /8/75950/47119/29/452554

by Travis Stark 2008-05-09 06:48PM | 0 recs
Thanks for the link

He also gave a good speech on Women's Reproductive Freedom in front of a pro-choice group.

I know all of this. I know he is pro-choice. I know his NARAL rating etc.

He's a Democrat, I would expect nothing less.

All I am asking is that Issues pertaining to Women have a more front-and-center place on his platform. These issues simply should not be relegated to the "People" section. They are HUGE issues.

This is my opinion, that's why I wrote the diary. Anyone can feel free to disagree. That's fine.

My point is that healing the rift with Hillary's supporters is going to require a lot more work than simply waving the threat of Roe being overturned around.

An ugly beast of sexism, misogyny and gender inequality and bias reared its ugly head during these primaries. Much of it was ignored or even condoned and perpetuated by fellow Democrats. There is work to be done.

by twinmom 2008-05-09 07:39PM | 0 recs
I have lots of problems with the Obama site, but

I think you're being extremely picky.

On Hillary's site you go to Issues->Champion of Women.
On Barack's site you go to People->Women.

The same number of steps.

And shouldn't we be caring more about how Obama stands on women's issues than any extremely minor preference about how his design team constructed his web site?

by Travis Stark 2008-05-09 08:18PM | 0 recs
See, I don't think it is merely a design issue

Time will tell I guess?

Maybe you're right and I am just being picky... but it feels like a marginalization to me. It feels like a deliberate choice to make this "divisive" issue less prominent. My opinion.

There is actually a big difference between being under "Issues" and being under "People / Women" in my mind... but maybe I am losing my mind?

by twinmom 2008-05-09 08:29PM | 0 recs
You're not losing our mind.

It just appears to be completely closed. It is evident here that you're looking for reasons, however small, to denigrate Sen. Obama. I hope that as we move into the general election you will support the pro-choice candidate over the anti-abortion candidate, Sen. McCain.

by Travis Stark 2008-05-10 04:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

Twinmom--

Thanks for your analysis. Too bad the Barack Brigade has descended upon you. Regarding his compassion and concern for women's issues: they don't exist.

Someone insisted Obama will be the democratic nominee. Ok. Fine. And I can vote for whomever I want, thank you very much.

Excuse me now while I go back to clinging to my god, gun, bitterness and antipathy towards those who are not like me.

by ladywalker68 2008-05-09 07:34PM | 0 recs
This is a lie and extremely unfair.

As you'll see in reading my post above and the link enclosed, Obama has passed significant legislation on women's issues and spoken out forcefully in this area as well as having a 100% positive rating from the major women's rights groups.

It's one thing if you don't like Obama. It's one thing to disagree with him on the issues. It's quite another to slander someone who has fought throughout his career for women's rights.

by Travis Stark 2008-05-09 08:21PM | 0 recs
There are differing opinions

http://www.illinoisnow.org/

The column on the far right talks about Illinois NOW's (Bonnie Grabehofer) stance on Obama's "present" votes. It also explains that Lorna Brett (the woman who defends Obama's votes) has misrepresented herself and was not the at the time when the "present" votes in question were cast.

by twinmom 2008-05-09 08:51PM | 0 recs
Re: There are differing opinions

Ms. Grabenhofer is a rather extreme Clinton supporter with an agenda. She, together with the hateful New York NOW chapter, has gone off the rails.

http://archpundit.com/blog/2008/01/31/th ose-great-folks-at-illinois-now/#comment -91265

   A response to Bonnie Grabenhofer, Illinois NOW President, from Lorna Brett Howard:

   Bonnie is correct. I was not the president of Chicago NOW when Senator Obama made the "present" votes. I never said I was. Somehow it was reported that way, but you can review the video blog for yourself at www.youtube.com., type in Lorna Brett Howard. Here are the facts: I was president from 1995 - 1999. Barack Obama was elected to the state senate in 1996. He had a 100 percent voting record on choice all the time he was in office and Chicago Now and Illinois NOW endorsed Barack in all his state senate races, as did Planned Parenthood and NARAL. NOW relied on Pam Sutherland, Illinois Planned Parenthood's lobbyist, to do all our work in the state legislature. She did a great job and it was because of her strategy we defeated many measure designed to restrict a woman's right to choose. It was with heavy heart that I first went on the record to defend Obama's record on choice, being a firm Hillary supporter. When the line of attack did not stop but was escalated in a direct mailer in New Hampshire to pro-choice voters from Hillary's campaign I stopped being sad and got mad. This is bad for the pro-choice movement. It hurts our reputation and credibility. I stand for choice and truth.

   In addition, does it not mean something that National NARAL president Nancy Keenan released a statement saying both Hillary and Barack are both 100 percent pro-choice?

   Illinois and New York NOW have done serious damage to their organization's reputation among serious pro-choice men and women. It is really distressing as a feminist to watch.

   Glad to set the record straight.

   Lorna Brett Howard

by Travis Stark 2008-05-10 04:53AM | 0 recs
You can lead a person to info, but you can't make

them read.

The info is there. I've supplied more above. It's relatively easy to find. No one can make you actually read it with an open mind.

by Travis Stark 2008-05-09 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom

Perhaps had Obama not painted me as a stupid, ill-informed idiot who is a racist who clings to God an guns out of bitterness...

Perhaps I would have a more open mind. The man is a fraud and a lie.

Never in the history of this country has someone done so little for it and felt entitled to be the leader of it.

by ladywalker68 2008-05-10 12:26AM | 0 recs
OK. So make anti-abortion candidate McCain prez

That'll fix everything.

by Travis Stark 2008-05-10 04:58AM | 0 recs

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