November 9, 2012 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from the Huffington Post, Slate and more.
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: "A Good Day for Women, A Good Day for the Country," Debra Ness, Huffington Post blogs: "In reelecting President Obama and significantly increasing the numbers of women and progressives in the United States Senate, Americans have said 'yes' to" many policies that benefit women, including "to ending gender discrimination and strengthening consumer protections in health insurance" and "to a more patient- and family-centered health care system," writes Ness -- president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Voters reelected a president who "stands ready to block every single effort to wage war on women," she continues, adding that the election also was "noteworthy" because of "unprecedented attention to issues that matter deeply to women, including fair pay and reproductive health," and the defeat of several congressional candidates who made "horrifying statements" about rape. She calls on elected officials to "abandon attacks on women and the politics of division, and instead work together for the progress the nation needs" (Ness, Huffington Post blogs, 11/8).
What others are saying about the presidential election:
~ "Women Voters Won Last Night -- But Did Anyone Get the Message?" Lisa Belkin, Huffington Post blogs.
~ "Why Romney Lost Women," Melinda Henneberger, Washington Post's "She the People."
~ "Obama Got Aggressive on Reproductive Rights, and Won," Amanda Marcotte, Slate's "XX Factor."
FEMALE VOTERS: "Women: The Silent Majority?" Jessica Valenti, The Nation: On the topics of abortion, rape and reproductive rights, "Republicans certainly underestimated how important these issues are to women's lives because of sexism and misogyny -- but mainstream women's silence made it a lot easier for them to believe their own hype," Valenti writes. "Too many in the GOP simply cannot imagine that the women in their communities, in their families -- or even in their political party -- have been touched by these issues," but "when women are silent about their personal experiences, it furthers that cultural ignorance," according to Valenti. Although the election shows "there's no more denying that these issues matter," she concludes that "[t]he hurdle now is ensuring that [women] continue to be heard long past Election Day" (Valenti, The Nation, 11/8).
CONGRESSIONAL RACES: "There was a War on Women, and the Women Won," Amanda Marcotte, Slate's "XX Factor": Women were the "big winners" in Tuesday's election, in part because "a record number of women" won Senate seats, Marcotte writes. "Reaction to the Republican war on women played a critical role in getting to this all-time high," she adds. "Overall, the election showed an electorate tilting left in the culture wars," Marcotte writes, concluding, "The influx of women will likely tug the Senate's Democratic majority to the left" with newly elected Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) "taking the lead as passionate advocates for progressive policies" (Marcotte, "XX Factor," Slate, 11/7).
What others are saying about the congressional races:
~ "Women Win in New Hampshire, Now the First State With an All-Female Congressional Delegation," Diana Reese, Washington Post's "She The People."
~ "Women Make Historic Gains in the U.S. Senate," Suzi Parker, Washington Post's "She The People."
~ "The Republican Rape Caucus Crumbles," Hannah Levintova, Mother Jones.
~ "How Choice Became a Winning Issue," Joan Walsh, Salon.
FAMILY PLANNING: "STUDY: Women Rely on Publicly-Funded Health Clinics Like Planned Parenthood for Their Primary Care," Annie-Rose Strasser, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": A new study by the Guttmacher Institute finds that 40% of women rely on publicly funded women's health clinics -- like Planned Parenthood -- for their primary care needs, while 60% rely on the clinics specifically for contraception. The study underscores how moves by states, such as Texas, to defund abortion providers and affiliates of abortion providers "would have the unintended effect of undermining women's health care as a whole," Strasser adds (Strasser, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 11/8).
ABORTION-RELATED BALLOT INITIATIVES: "ELECTION 2012: Florida Voters Defeat Amendment 6, the 'No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion' Amendment," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check: "On election night, Florida voters rejected an amendment that would have dramatically limited access to safe abortion care by restricting state funding for abortion, though it does not exist, limiting private insurance coverage of abortion care, and stripping privacy rights from teen girls seeking to terminate a pregnancy," Marty writes. She quotes Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, who stated after the election, "The people of Florida have sent a clear message that politicians have no place in a woman's deeply personal and private medical decisions" (Marty, RH Reality Check, 11/6).
What others are saying about abortion-related ballot initiatives:
~ "ELECTION 2012: Montana Voters Approve Parental Notification for Teens Seeking Abortions," Robin Marty, RH Reality Check.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: "Silence on Rape is the Biggest Obstacle to Rape Prevention," Marianne Møllman, RH Reality Check: Amnesty International's Møllman writes that the biggest obstacle to preventing sexual violence is "silence," which is "particularly true in the countries most affected by sexual violence in war: not only is rape not talked about, but many of those who try to address this terrible crime are attacked, often violently." She highlights a briefing paper from Amnesty International "detailing the continued silence about the rapes in Republika Srpska, almost two decades after the war in Bosnia and Herzogovina ended." Any attention today to the widespread rapes is focused on the perpetrators, not the survivors, Møllman explains. Another important, yet often ignored, factor in "guaranteeing justice is to make sure rape victims have access to the justice system in the first place, and that they receive meaningful reparations for the harm they suffered," she writes (Møllman, RH Reality Check, 11/6).
What others are saying about violence against women:
~ "1 in 3 Women in the Military Have Been Sexually Assaulted," Ximena Ramirez, Care2.
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, 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