Campaign 2008: A Woman's View

  • As not only a journalist, but a female psychiatric patient, I feel it is not only vital but necessary to filter Campaign 2008 issues through the lens of my gender. Starting in January, this web site and other HealthCentral sites will research and debate the major topics: healthcare reform approach, covering the uninsured, drug price control, stem cell research, prevention, screening and chronic disease management, and medical technology.


    Here now, I'll talk about my views on an issue that I also think is of prime importance. I'll quote some of the candidates, and at the end of this blog entry, I'll link you to their web sites, as well as provide the URLs of their competitors.

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    My contention is this: I want the government to get out of women's bedrooms. Today I'll let the Republicans speak for themselves, and on Thursday I'll give the Democrats their place at the table.


    Mike Huckabee:

    I support and have always supported passage of a constitutional amendment to protect the right to life. As President, I will fight for passage of this amendment. My convictions regarding the sanctity of life have always been clear and consistent, without equivocation or wavering. I believe that Roe v. Wade should be over-turned.


    John McCain:

    Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, returning the abortion question to the individual states. The difficult issue of abortion should not be decided by judicial fiat.

    However, the reversal of Roe v. Wade represents only one step in the long path toward ending abortion.


    According to his web site, "As president, John McCain would nominate judges who understand that the role of the Court is not to subvert the rights of the people by legislating from the bench."


    What's wrong with this picture?


    The president nominates Supreme Court judges, and over the last decade this highest U.S. court has whittled away at the ADA Act protections for Americans with Disabilities. Trained as a researcher at Pratt Institute, I took an Online Databases in Law class, and uncovered this dirty little secret: the majority on the bench voted against the ADA in nearly every case.


    To trust the Supreme Court to act objectively when faced with a woman's right to choose is another problem. To trust state courts in individual jurisdictions not to sleep with faith-based fanatics is also debatable.


    If I got pregnant, I couldn't carry a fetus to term without going off my psych meds. Is the life of a squiggle in my body more sanctified than my own mental health and well being? Would any of the Republican candidates prefer I lose my mind instead of my baby?


    Additionally, I have a friend with multiple sclerosis whose life would be in danger if she got pregnant and had to go through childbirth.


    Would the candidates who are against a women's right to choose be in favor of a single woman at a low-paying job raising her child without the benefit of SCHIP, the State Child Health Insurance Program that president Bush vetoed because he considered it a "middle-class entitlement?"


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    The buck doesn't stop here. Even if abortion weren't legal, the Republicans would still shoot down other forms of healthcare, as they did with "partial birth abortions." And it would only slide toward women being second-class citizens. Did you know pharmacists in certain towns and cities won't dispense birth control because it goes against their moral beliefs? Are we women supposed to be birthing factories? Is that the only role the religious right sees for us?


    As I said, I want the government to get out of my bedroom, and I want the next president to be someone who doesn't use his or her church to run the state. On some issues I can compromise, like stem cell research, but on this one I won't take the fall.


    Now, if you go on the Democrats' web sites, there's nary a mention of free choice. Is that because they're secretly against a woman's rights, and aren't telling us? No. I believe it's because they aren't letting their faith dictate how they'd run the country. It would be unethical to claim to support women, and then deny us our rights once in office. Perhaps these candidates truly have nothing to hide.


    I've presented my slant here. On Thursday, I'll discuss the salient points each major candidate (Republican and Democrat) makes regarding his healthcare reform approach, specifically his take on universal healthcare.

    To go to the campaign web sites now, log on here:


Published On: December 17, 2007