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Women voters beware!

by Berna Bass, staff writer

 

With elections coming up Nov. 2, it’s important that voters know President Bush’s agenda if he is reelected for his second term in the Oval Office. It will affect American women by trying to strip away their right to choice, which was previously reported in the New York Times as Bush’s “War Against Women.”

 

A recent ruling issued in the Carhart v. Ashcroft case, concluded that the Federal Abortion ban which congress passed and President Bush signed last October, is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced. Although this ruling was favorable to women, it “will not stop President Bush, his administration, and his extremist allies in Congress from continuing their anti-choice agenda,” Gloria Feldt, president of the Planned Parent Action Fund, said.

Since his first term began, Bush has been trying to ban abortion and has signed a law that bans these procedures with no consideration for women’s health. This action will block abortion rights for women that are young, poor, or work for the United States government, including military women. His proposed Human Life Amendment will give personhood to the fertilized egg, banning abortion for a woman in as early as a 12 to 15 week pregnancy. In addition, Bush also opposes emergency contraceptives, also known as Plan B, and access to common contraception.

In a new poll regarding women‘s right to choose, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, a branch of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, reported that 73 percent of Republicans believe that women should have the right to choose, not the government.

While also opposing sex education, Bush’s budget for 2005 for “abstinence-only” programs is $273 million. And even though a Republican-led Congress approved funding for the United Nations Population Fund, Bush eliminated that funding, which could have helped prevent an annual 800,000 induced abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths and 77,000 infant and child deaths, said PPAF’s Gloria Steinem.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also opposes the ban. On Apr. 23, for the first time in a presidential race, the PPAF endorsed a candidate for president—John Kerry. On July 6, the US Newswire reported that Kerry’s running mate, John Edwards, also pro-choice, marked the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade. “The right to choose is not just about a woman’s privacy. It’s also about [her] equality and her personal dignity—her inalienable right to stand as a proud and independent equal in our society. The right to choose is an essential ingredient in the full equality of women” he said.

Besides banning abortion, Bush also wants to enforce the Patriot Act, which will allow the government access to Americans’ health records. It will even be against the law for health professionals to inform people about government requests for their health records. Attorney General John Ashcroft unsuccessfully tried to invade medical privacy by trying to obtain confidential medical records of women who had abortions in response to efforts of those blocking the ban.

Atthe Republican convention, Laura Bush, presented him as a man that would support women, “a champion of Afghan and Iraqi women,” as Steinem put it, but how can American, women especially, vote for a man that is personally attacking their basic right to choose?

The PPFA is an independent, nonprofit organization which “recognizes the importance of educating voters about where their candidates stand on reproductive health care.”

 
 

 

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