Thursday, September 25, 2008

McCain No Friend of Women

There's a reason why 53% of women voters believe that Obama-Biden better understands the issues and concerns important to women, compared to 35% for McCain-Palin, according to a September poll for Emily's List. While Obama and Biden have a record of fighting to strengthen families and provide women with the rights and support they deserve, John McCain and Sarah Palin offer just more of the same.

Choice: In what should serve as a wakeup call to the McCain campaign, John McCain was booed by the largely female audience on "The View" last week when he said 'I believe Roe v Wade was a very bad decision, it was a bad decision.' The audience, in fact, reflected the wider opinion of women across the country. Sixty-two percent of women believe that Roe should not be over-turned, compared to only 30% who do, according to a July 2008 poll by Hart Research. John McCain wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, a move that would make all abortions illegal. He caved to pressure from the right wing of his party by selecting a Vice Presidential nominee who is even more extreme than George W. Bush and favors taking away a woman's right to choose – even in cases of rape and incest. While McCain voted against requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for prescription birth control, 64% believe that it is very or extremely important for the next president and Congress to expand access to contraception, according to the July Hart poll

Equal Pay: As the father of two young girls, Obama wants them to grow up in a nation that values their right to work, and pays them fairly for it. But even now in 2008, John McCain opposes a law that would guarantee women are paid the same as men for doing the same work. While Barack Obama was proud to cosponsor the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which would have reversed last year's Supreme Court decision making it more difficult for women to challenge pay discrimination on the job, Senator McCain opposed it. He suggested that the reason women don't have equal pay isn't discrimination on the job – it's because they need more education and training. Once again, McCain has put himself on the other side of women's strongly and widely held values. 77% of women say that it is very or extremely important that the next president and Congress provide women with the legal protections they need to get equal pay, according to the Hart poll.

Economy: John McCain believes "we've made great progress economically" under George Bush. Yet, unemployment is at a 5 year high, home values are plummeting, and working age family incomes have dropped $2000. For good reason, American women believe that John McCain doesn't understand their struggle to make ends meet. He showers corporations with almost $2 trillion in new tax breaks, but offers no tax relief to 101 million households or to any small business. While Americans can barely afford a tank of gas, he'll give billions in tax breaks to Big Oil. Barack Obama will bring the change we need by reversing the policies of the last eight years and rebuilding an economy that works for the middle class. He'll break the grip of the special interests, and put the middle class first by giving a permanent tax break of up to $1,000 to 95 percent of hard working Americans. Under Barack Obama's plan middle class families will face the lowest income tax rates in over 50 years. And overall taxes will be below what they were under Ronald Reagan. Barack Obama will create jobs by ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and cutting taxes for small businesses investments and companies that create jobs in America. And, he'll raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2011, and ensure the minimum wage rises each year to keep up with rising costs, giving 8 million women a well-deserved raise.

Health Care: Women and families are struggling with soaring healthcare costs and 8 million of our nation's children are uninsured. According to the Hart poll, 84% of women believe that it is very or extremely important for the next president and Congress to guarantee access to quality, affordable, comprehensive health care. And yet, John McCain doesn't have a plan to insure every American—under his plan Americans will pay taxes on health care benefits for the first time ever, eroding employer-based health care that millions of Americans rely on. His plan also allows insurance companies to cherry pick their state laws, which would allow them to evade hard fought state requirements to cover preventive and prescription coverage, and provide the bare minimum coverage. It shouldn't be surprising from the man who repeated again this week his claim that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" and admitted last week that, "It's easy for me to go to Washington and frankly, be somewhat divorced from the day-to-day challenges people have." [CNN, 9/15/08; CNN, 9/11/08]

Iraq: While McCain supports keeping troops in Iraq with no end in sight, an August Economist poll found that 68% of women disagree, with 54% believing that troops should leave within the next year.

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