Obama and Women's Reproductive Freedom
by twinmom, Fri May 09, 2008 at 03:27:18 PM EDT
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."
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:
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.
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.