Politicians on Women’s Rights

26 Oct


After Indiana Senate candidate, Richard Mourdock added his take on abortion rights, its hard to ignore that reproductive rights are on the national stage this election season. Some comments politicians have made, like our potential Senator, are incredibly offensive. Here’s a list of quotes, courtesy of a few Cosmo articles. I think it’s very important to fight misinformation and challenge views that could potentially take rights away from women.

1) “I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician with a rape issue, that that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape.” (R) Idaho State Senator, Chuck Wilder

2) “These Planned Parenthood women, the Code Pink women, and all of these women have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness…We are not going to have our men become subservient.” — Rep. Allen West (R- Fl.)

3) Life begins “from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman.” —Statement from an Arizona bill signed into law by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer

4) “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country…. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” —Former Presidential hopeful, Rick Santorum (he almost beat Romney, guys)

5) “As long as it’s inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it.” — Texas gubernatorial candidate, Clayton Williams

6) “Understand though, that when we talk about exceptions, we talk about rape, incest, health of a woman, life of a woman. Life of the woman is not an exception.” –Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Il.)

7) “I realized that life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.” –Indiana Senate hopeful, Richard Mourdock

8) “I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea that, the position that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life,” Paul Ryan, VP hopeful

9) “It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare [pregnancies from rape]. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.” — Todd Akin


Hopefully holding politicians accountable to what they say may make the country more vigilant towards intolerance. The best way to protect our rights is to show politicians that we are truly a moderate country, a majority of people do not support radical views on reproductive rights.

Then maybe our elected officials would be sensitive to their female constituents, instead of leaving them out of this extremely important national conversation.

4 Responses to “Politicians on Women’s Rights”

  1. maliakmanor October 26, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    This article got me so fired up. I just do not understand how someone can think in these ways. All of these quotes seem so narrow minded; they’re saying things I would expect from someone with very little experience, understanding, or knowledge of the world.
    But, that isn’t the case.
    It makes me wonder if the men who make statements, such as these, ever sit back and look at the women in their life. What if their wife or daughter were to be impregnated by some stranger or unintentional person? Could they look them in the eye and say: “Sorry, you should have shut your body down while he was holding you down.”

    I do not like thinking my way of thinking is the way that’s right, because I understand that others have much to bring to the table; however, I’m simply baffled by these quotes.
    It’s just infuriating.

  2. Darren Wheeler October 26, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    All classics, but we could make lists of all sorts of dumb things politicians have said on lots of different topics (e.g., jobs, national defense, the environment). Why does something like this hit so close to home with several of you ladies? Do women really base their votes on “women’s issues”? Is that what politicians should focus on to get your vote?

    • jcjohnson3 October 29, 2012 at 1:38 am #

      Women’s issues are not the only thing I vote on. Jobs, national security, and domestic policy also deeply influence my decision. These influence so many tangible things in my life, but women’s issues effects my own identity– who I am, how people judge me, who I can be.

      When sexual aggression isn’t taken seriously, when I am valued less as an employee because of my sex, when pursuing a career raises questions of me valuing my children’s welfare, when policy aims at limiting birth control to discourage me from having premarital sex, when people want to defund a clinic where I may receive potentially life saving mammograms because abortions were performed there, when continuing a pregnancy from rape is considered my biological destiny rather than my deeply personal choice… I and other women are forced to fight on these issues.

      Women have not been welcomed into the national conversation on women’s issues. Dismissing politicians views of these issues can frankly endanger a woman’s quality of life. For me it is personal. It’s a huge problem that politicians think they can say something controversial regarding women’s issues without a response.

  3. brittanyposey22 October 28, 2012 at 12:01 am #

    This article really enraged me! I cannot understand how someone could make these sorts of statements in today’s society. The comments about rape and about men refusing to be subservient, I believe directly reflect the arguments made in Miss Representation that women are seen as sex objects and not taken seriously in leadership roles. Rape doesn’t seem to be a big deal to them. It’s disgusting to me. I think that something like this really hits close to home to me because it makes me realize just how far women still have to go to achieve equality. I grew up in an environment where I was taught that women are equal and can do anything a man could do. I grew up with strong female role models and my male relatives and friends have a great respect for women. I feel as though I kind of had my blinders on to the reality that women are not treated equally in this country. Personally, I do base my votes of a politician’s stance on women’s issues. This is one reason why I cannot in good conscience support Romney as president. I just feel that he has no respect for women and I do not agree with his stance on many issues. For example, I do not support his abortion policy. I myself, because of my moral beliefs, do not believe that I could ever have an abortion. However, I do believe in a woman’s right to chose. We are a democratic society and not everyone has the same beliefs as me. My beliefs should not be imposed on everyone else. I think that these issues enrage women so much because they do not affect men in the way that they do women. I think that women believe that men do not understand their perspective. They don’t believe and man should have a say in these issues that do not affect them, or at least do not affect them to the degree that they do women.

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