After months upon months upon months of campaigning around the country, we’ve finally reached the most important date of the year (No, not my birthday). It’s election day. This morning I woke up at the crack of dawn, brushed my teeth, put on my warmest jacket and walked to the community center in my neighborhood to vote. Thankfully, because I got out so early, I was able to vote in less than 25 minutes. All I had to do was deal with the usual confusion (i.e., which lines to stand in, clearing up what assembly district I’m in, etc.) and I was out and on my way to work. As I looked over the ballot I was reminded of the four men fighting for our votes to be president, and when I looked over at the Republican ticket with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s name on it, I couldn’t help but wonder why a woman–black, white, green, purple, whatever–would vote for these men.
Aside from the irritating flip flopping that I’ve noticed by Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan depending on the audience they’re in front of, I’ve been more disturbed by the smug statements these men have made about hopes to eventually overturn Roe vs. Wade (by electing Anti-Roe vs. Wade justices in the future), and the hope to ultimately determine what a woman will do with her own body. Over the past few months, I’ve heard the words “abortion” and “rape” come out of the mouths of more men than I would prefer, and all of them, Republicans, seem to think that they know best about what to do with the body of another individual based on their own religious beliefs. While I view the life of a child as being beautiful and deserving of the right to live and thrive in this world, I can never say what decisions I would be willing to make under certain circumstances; circumstances that include carrying the child of a person who impregnated me through rape, or carrying a child that I possibly wouldn’t survive bringing into the world. I would want the right to choose what’s best for me and my baby, not to be told what choice I have to make by legislators.
And if that’s not enough, these men plan to defund Planned Parenthood should they win. While some like to assume that people only look to Planned Parenthood for abortions, according to the Huffington Post, abortions only make up for about three percent of what the group does. The health care provider allows many women without insurance to get the contraceptives they need, to get the STD and HIV tests and sex education they should have, and more. As someone who has used Planned Parenthood’s resources in the past, and in going, having seen the many young women who utilize the organization’s resources, I can say that to defund them would hurt so many women whose income isn’t as lavish as someone like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s.
I’ve seen Mitt Romney stand in a room full of people and be asked about what efforts he would make to bring about equal compensation in the workplace between men and women, only to watch him ignore the question and instead talk about binders full of women and the jobs he helped women working with him in Massachusetts get. I’ve heard him use language to claim that a lot of the gun violence occurring in this country is the cause of single parent homes and not how easy it is for folks with no good sense to buy and handle a weapon. And though he has done all this, there are a number of women out here, mothers at that, who are voting for him. Do you think you will never find yourself in the circumstances that women who need the resources of Planned Parenthood and have to make sad choices are in? I’m sure most people don’t think they will be, but only God knows what this life will hand you. If you’re one of those people who favor Mitt Romney, know that I’m not trying to question your womanhood, and you don’t HAVE to explain anything to me, but it would just be nice to understand what it is that I’m missing about him that you see. Why does a man who wants to take away our options to choose, who doesn’t make an effort to discuss equal pay efforts but is quick to talk about letting people choose whether or not we can or can’t have our children, doesn’t care about women of low income and pretty much just says what he thinks you want to hear but will tell another crowd something else deserve your vote? By all means, take advantage of the opportunity to cast your vote and make your voice heard, but know that you deserve better in these next four years, and as a woman, I don’t think Mitt Romney is the person who can provide that.
Hey, just saying.