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Students Scrutiny Women’s Election Issues

Amanda Kate Johnson

Women’s bodies are always under constant scrutiny by the media—from the size, shape, to the decisions that women make regarding their own bodies.  Planned Parenthood funding, abortions, and contraception are topics that many government officials are discussing.

Here at Mary Baldwin College, women’s healthcare is a pertinent issue.  Being a women’s college, women’s issues are at the forefront of many students’ minds.  Women voters also have the potential to make a huge impact on this election.  Several students at Mary Baldwin College have already formed strong opinions about who they are voting for.

Senior Ellie Scott expressed concern about healthcare for women. “I don’t necessarily believe all the hype going on about this attack on women and their bodies.  Overall, I am prochoice.  I feel like these issues in the election, however, take a backseat to the economy.”

Sophomore Victoria Nixon shares a similar view—while concerned about women’s healthcare, she is more worried about the state of the economy.

However, if Governor Romney was to become president, it is apparent that women’s healthcare would change.  Romney wants to cut all funding to Planned Parenthood, which provides basic healthcare needs for many women.  Romney is also against abortions for women unless in the case of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother.

With a more conservative view, Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, opposes abortion regardless of the circumstances.  Romney has also stated that he would appeal Roe v. Wade, the historic court case that made abortion legal, if he had the opportunity to do so.

Romney will not receive sophomore Nichole Kennedy’s vote because she feels, “like he doesn’t respect the role that women are trying to play in society.  He doesn’t even want to give us the most basic right of taking care of our own bodies.  My mom being a nurse, women’s health has always been an important issue.  I feel like it won’t be an area that is emphasized, as it should be, if Romney is elected.”

Fellow sophomore Siobhan Beza also believes that Romney would take America into the wrong direction, “Women’s health care is most certainly one of the main reasons my vote is going to Obama. If Romney gets elected, I will honestly be afraid of my rights being taken away from me.”

Romney would also veto President Obama’s healthcare act, which required insurers to offer coverage for contraception.  However, Romney is not against birth control but he is against some types such as intrauterine devices and Plan B, because they block fertilized eggs from implanting.  Romney and other conservatives believe that life begins at conception; therefore, in their eyes these forms of birth control would be causing miscarriages.

Romney also tried to pass a “personhood” bill at the state level while serving as the governor of Massachusetts.  This would outlaw some types of birth control.

Overall, women are forced to seriously evaluate their needs when making a decision at the polls this November.  While Obama has promised to protect the rights of women across the nation, if Romney was to become the 45th president of the United States, changes will loom ahead for Americans.

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