Paul Ryan’s record on women’s issues is appalling, and if elected, he and Mitt have no intention of softening this position, much less rethinking it. Rep. Ryan has already taken an extreme position against women:
- Not only opposing insurance coverage of birth control but supporting a bill that would make some forms of birth control illegal as well as criminalizing in vitro fertilization.
- Actively opposing abortion even in cases of rape or incest.
- Supporting legislation allowing hospitals to refuse abortions even if the woman would die without one.
- Voting against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (costing women $431,000 on average each over the course of their lives).
- Dedicating himself to eradicating the funding for Planned Parenthood.
It seems obvious that no woman in her right mind would vote so clearly against herself and other women by voting for Romney and Ryan, yet with the aftershocks of the Great Recession still rippling through our lives, our work, our country, some women and men think the economy is more important, and they take it for granted that Republicans in general, and Ryan and Romney in particular, will be better for the economy.
But is this true?
We can’t find out from the candidates themselves. A Romney aide told Politico that Romney and Ryan will not reveal any details of the proposed budget that is the focal point of the campaign: “The nature of running a presidential campaign is that you’re communicating [directly] to the American people. Campaigns that are about specifics, particularly in today’s environment, get tripped up,” said the advisor.
Perhaps they are counting on Ryan’s record in Congress to demonstrate what he and Romney will do for the economy if elected. Or, rather, they are counting on people not actually looking at Ryan’s record and just assuming he must be better than those spendy Democrats. His actual votes since 2001, on 65 separate bills that would increase the national debt, would have cost us (if all passed) $6.5 trillion.
Under Barack Obama and Joe Biden, on the other hand, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch, federal spending has been at its slowest pace since Eisenhower. In fact, a look at the chart in Forbes shows us that Republican presidents are consistently bigger spenders than their Democrat counterparts:
In other words, Obama is the most fiscally responsible president since the ’50s. Romney and Ryan simply want to take women’s rights back to that era. Considering the next president may be appointing up to four new Supreme Court Justices, the threat of Romney and Ryan is even more long-lasting and dangerous to our country, and especially to our mothers, sisters, and daughters, than we can imagine.
In some respects, Romney’s selection for a running mate seems almost like a gift to Obama and Biden. Ryan’s positions are so extreme that he is pushing those on the fence toward the Democrats.
But this is exactly when things get dangerous. It’s easy to think Obama is a shoo-in and not think it’s necessary to speak up, to spread the facts, or even to vote. Yet as we’ve seen in state after state, with legislative assaults on women rising and getting voter support, the seeming unbelievable can happen if we let our guard down.
Now is not the time to become complacent. Now is the time to add our voices and our actions to the momentum in what has been an uphill battle for women and the men in their lives. We have not crested that hill yet. It would be all too easy for everything we’ve been fighting for to start rolling backwards again. For backwards is exactly where Ryan and Romney wish to head with our nation, with our economy, with our lives.
We know where they stand. On the backs of women. We will only topple them by rising up.