November 8, 2012 — Three recent opinion pieces addressed the importance of female voters and women's health issues in the presidential election and other races.
~ Eleanor Clift, Daily Beast's "Election Beast": "[T]he extreme rhetoric that has driven down the GOP's share of two major voting blocs" -- blacks and Latinos -- "now threatens to damage the party with another even larger group -- women, who are more than half the electorate," writes Clift, a contributing editor at Newsweek. She adds, "The skepticism among women about [Obama challenger] Mitt Romney dates back to the Republican primaries, when the former governor [of Massachusetts], eager to court social conservatives, said he supported a 'personhood amendment' ... and that if elected president he would 'get rid of' Planned Parenthood." Clift adds that there "should be plenty of soul searching" among conservatives, given that they have "lost four of the last six presidential elections" (Clift, "Election Beast," Daily Beast, 11/8).
~ Meghan Daum, Los Angeles Times: "[W]omen, particularly single women, ... were among the most instrumental in putting Obama over the top" in Tuesday's election, with an NBC exit poll showing that 67% of unmarried women voted for him, columnist Daum writes. Noting that unmarried women are the fastest-growing voting bloc, Daum warns that election observers must be careful not to stereotype this group. Young, unmarried women are not "necessarily hip, urban professionals" like the characters portrayed on HBO's "Sex and the City" or "Girls," Daum continues, adding that many are "single mothers," "members of the working class" and residents of "the South, the rural Midwest and the Rust Belt." Women likely voted for Obama "because they stand to benefit from things like national healthcare and funding for pre-kindergarten programs," she adds, concluding that political observers "would do well to keep an open mind about what these voting blocs really mean about the demographic and cultural direction the country is taking" (Daum, Los Angeles Times, 11/8).
~ Amanda Marcotte, USA Today: "After decades of rewarding Republicans with votes for their scare-mongering over abortion and homosexuality, voters finally turned to social conservatives and said, 'Enough,'" Marcotte writes. She highlights the approval of same-sex marriage in multiple states and the defeat of an antiabortion-rights amendment on Florida's ballot, as well as losses by two Republican Senate candidates -- Richard Mourdock of Indiana and Todd Akin of Missouri -- who made controversial statements about abortion. The election shows that "[v]oters, female voters especially, are sick of attacks on gay rights and reproductive rights," Marcotte concludes (Marcotte, USA Today, 11/7).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership