Saturday, 7 June 2008

Policy Focus: Women's Issues

After this long primary season, we may all feel like we know everything there is to know about the Democratic candidate, but in reality Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton shared so many policy views in common that there was no in depth analysis of the his proposals. Now that we are entering the general election, the situation could not possibly be more different - there is an enormous difference between John McCain's positions and Barack Obama's.

Each week of the campaign, I'd like to highlight a different area of Barack Obama's policies. This week, in tribute to Hillary Clinton's record breaking campaign, I would like to focus on women's issues.

From the first moment a woman dared to speak that hope - dared to believe that the American Dream was meant for her too - ordinary women have taken on extraordinary odds to give their daughters the chance for something else; for a life more equal, more free, and filled with more opportunity than they ever had. In so many ways we have succeeded, but in so many areas we have much work left to do. ~ Barack Obama, Speech in Washington, DC, 11/10/05

Firstly, Barack Obama is a a strong advocate for a woman's right to choose.

At this link you can see him addressing Planned Parenthood last year:

In the video he gives a detailed critique of recent supreme court decisions that have failed to properly consider the scientific evidence in favor of women's right to choose, and that he sees as condecending - he points out that Justice Kennedy simply assumes a woman will regret her decision without supplying any evidence in support of this.

Towards the end, he starts to speak about broader women's issues as well, saying:

But most of all I'm here as a candidate because there are these two little girls that I try to tuck in every night - and it's harder during the campaign season - whose futures depend upon us creating a more equal society. I want my daughters to grow up in a country where they have the exact same opportunities as Americas sons. I want Sasha and Malia to dream without limit.

You can read more about Barack's policies towards women's issues on this page:

I will be highlighting different aspects of his policies towards women in the coming days.

But I also want to say a words about John McCain and his policies towards women.

John McCain does not have a section on his website focussed on women. He does, however, have a page labelled "Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life". The first paragraph on THAT page is the following statement:

John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench.

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