The GOP War on Women has had many of us confused, irritated, and a little bit scared. Who knew that an entire party could run on a platform that includes not only a few nips and tucks to Roe v Wade but a blatant disregard for women’s health?
Well, it’s never sounded like a very good strategy, and the Republican Presidential candidates have lost women’s support as a result. A Gallup poll published on Sunday shows that a substantial percentage of women voters under 50 have swayed their support away from Romney to Obama in the past month. But is this switch, which is based on women running away from oppressive policies and not necessarily towards beneficial ones, obscuring the need for real change?
The Obama campaign has taken the GOP’s failure with women as an opportunity to stress the President’s support of women’s rights. Last week, the campaign released a Gloria Steinem ad encouraging women to stick by the president during these turbulent times for feminism, and Obama spoke out in support of Planned Parenthood in another video, saying that “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.”
This is what it’s come to: simply reminding the country that women have the ability to make their own health decisions is enough to steal voters away from another party and keep those of us who already intended to vote for Barack Obama appeased.
While this strategy should help bring Obama another term in office, which is great, where is the room for actual progress? Not to suggest that Barack Obama hasn’t done anything for women, but if his duty is now to make sure that our existing rights aren’t eroded, and in essence to merely preserve the status quo, are we being shortchanged?