As Americans around the country worry about a myriad of issues from the unemployment rate and home foreclosures to worker’s rights and gun control, women should ask the question: where do GOP presidential hopefuls stand when it comes to women’s health issues?
Women typically take the lead in maintaining the health of their families: scheduling regular check-ups for their children, making sure their husbands and children eat properly and caring for elderly parents. So it’s imperative that they themselves have access to quality healthcare and resources.
Earlier this year officials for NARAL Pro-Choice America expressed that none of the current GOP presidential candidates would be beneficial to women’s reproductive health.
In addition to stating that they are against abortion rights, most of the Republican and Tea Party contenders have gone on record stating they’re in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood. Some of them have also voted against or been vocally opposed to any kind of federal funding for contraception.
“We can’t afford to give up the good fight until the day Roe v. Wade is nothing but a shameful footnote in our nation’s history books,” Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) stated.
Six candidates have signed a pledge from Susan B. Anthony List that states they will nominate only anti-abortion candidates to judgeships and top executive branch positions, as well as defund Planned Parenthood and other recipients of federal funding that provide abortion care.
Earlier this year former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said, “”I can’t imagine any other organization with its roots as poisonous as the roots of Planned Parenthood getting federal funding of any kind.”
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former pizza executive Herman Cain declined to sign the pledge, while former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman also said he would not sign it or any other pledge.
Romney’s position on abortion and other women’s health issues switched from pro-choice to anti-choice during his term as governor from 2003 to 2007, and his record on choice-related issues is mixed. He vetoed a measure that would have allowed pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception without a prescription to rape victims, but he signed into law a measure to expand family planning services for low-income women and families in Massachusetts.
Huntsman is anti-choice but has supported some family planning-friendly legislation.
As governor, he signed a bill that banned second-trimester abortions and another that would trigger a full ban on abortions if Roe v. Wade were ever overturned. He also signed a bill that penalizes unmarried couples by taking away social services for their children.
On Monday, Sept. 12th, CNN will broadcast the “Tea Party Republican Debate,” live from Tampa, Florida at 8 p.m. ET. Watch for yourself.