People turn to contraception as a means of family planning and avoiding unwanted pregnancies. In order to prevent the conception of the wrong president, it’s time to put some of our family planning skills to use during the 2012 election. You should be informed on each presidential candidates' stance on issues that could possibly put a damper on your sex life. Using “presidential contraception” will hopefully prevent an unintended president.
Who we choose to be the next president will have a dramatic effect on funding and policies that could include reproductive health issues, access to birth control, costs, research for newer and more effective contraceptive options, accurate and available sex education, and abortion (a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body). In general, if these rights are compromised, the people who will be most significantly impacted are those U.S. citizens age 40 and younger who:
- Are in child-bearing years
- Want to control their family size or are not ready to become parents
- Are most likely to be using a current available birth control method
For the 2012 election, as Americans, we have the ability to decide who we want to run our country. Thus, it is up to all of us to critically choose who our next president should be. Know your option -- we MUST avoid an unintended presidency!
Presidential Election Voting Trends:
It appears that those of you US citizens between the ages of 18-29 can be a critical factor in the results of the 2012 election. This age group had the lowest voting turnout in our last presidential election -- with only 18% of this age demographic voting.
Statistics reveal that:
- Approximately 35% of eligible U.S. citizens are not registered to vote.
- 92% of American adults approve the use of birth control
- 99% of women use birth control during their reproductive years.
- Religious women (including those who are Catholic) use contraception at practically the same rate as the general population (with only about 2% of Catholic women relying on family planning).
- The average woman will rely upon contraception for approximately 30 years.
- Only 29% of US citizens age 29-44 voted in our last election as opposed to 53% of people age 45 and above.
The people who’s lives will be the most negatively impacted by restrictions in these public policies need to step up and have their voices heard in the 2012 election. These individual’s cannot allow the segment of our population who will be minimally affected by having their reproductive and sexual rights taken away have double the votes in this upcoming election.
In order to make an informed decision on who to vote for, you need to understand each of the 2012 presidential candidates’ positions on reproductive and sexual health/education issues. One way to do this is to research their past voting records as these can tell you what they have supported and where they stand.
When it comes to evaluating these candidates’ positions on such emotionally-charged issues like sexual education, contraception and abortion, I would like to offer the following advice. The notion of supporting a woman’s right to choose is a viewpoint that often gets lost in the political rhetoric of abortion. Just because a person believes in a woman’s right to choose does not automatically imply that one is for abortions. People are so quick to dichotomize this issue: You are either pro-life or pro-abortion. PRO-CHOICE is about being pro-options and pro-rights and pro-opportunities.
2012 Election - Candidate Positions:
The following is a brief summary of the positions offered by the two 2012 presidential candidates:President Barack Obama:
- January 2009: Barack Obama overturned the “global gag rule” -– a law that prohibited US money from funding international family-planning clinics that promote abortion. Also known as the "Mexico City Policy," this rule was created by President Reagan, reversed by President Clinton and then reinstated by President George W. Bush in 2001.
- Obama created a million dollar teen pregnancy prevention campaign that included grants for programs that have been shown to be effective (through rigorous research) at combating teen pregnancy. He endorses comprehensive sex education programs that teach about the risks of specific sexual activities, the benefits of contraception and encouragement of teens to delay having sex. These programs also focus on boosting academic achievement, extracurricular activities and smarter life decisions. President Obama has also invested money in the testing of new, innovative sex education approaches that aim to reduce the number of teen pregnancies.
- March 2010: President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. Under this healthcare policy, women will be able to receive a comprehensive set of preventive services. Additionally, this act mandates that most private health plans written on or after August 1, 2012, must also cover, without out-of-pocket costs, all FDA-approved birth control options (including the morning-after pill), thereby saving women as much as $18,000 over the course of a lifetime.
- Barack Obama is committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose; he consistently advocates for reproductive choice and plans to preserve women's rights under Roe v. Wade. Obama believes that a woman’s health care choices are personal decisions, best made with her doctor—without interference from politicians.
- He opposed attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. President Obama has openly stated that he supports Planned Parenthood because he wants his two daughters to be able to "control their own health care choices."
- Mitt Romney has publically declared that he is pro-life. He has declared that, if the opportunity presents itself, he will nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. He believes that individual states should have the authority to ban abortions. It is unclear whether or not Romney would permit abortions in the cases of rape, incest or where the life of the mother is threatened. He has flip-flopped on this point; however, the official platform of the Republican party is a No Exceptions Abortion Ban.
- February 2012: Mitt supported the Blunt Amendment, a bill that would have provided religious groups, as well as ANY employer with moral objections, to deny access to birth control or any other health benefit. He believes that mandatory coverage for contraception is a threat to religious liberty.
- While governor of Massachusetts, Romney funded abstinence education OVER family planning services. He endorsed “The Romney Vision: A Record of Promoting Abstinence, Not Sex Education.” As governor, he awarded Healthy Futures, a health program that promotes the benefits of abstinence, the contract to manage the state’s abstinence education program for middle school students (even though it has been proven that abstinence-only programs do NOT work, and that teens need more than abstinence lectures.
- Mitt Romney would eliminate all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and on March 14, 2012 was quoted, "Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that." When asked where he would tell the millions of women to go if he eliminated federal funding for Planned Parenthood, Romney responded, "Well they can go wherever they’d like to go. This is a free society."
- Mr. Romney believes that life begins at conception and wishes that US laws reflect this view. He has shown support for "personhood" amendments, at both the state and federal level. Such laws would guarantee constitutional protection to the unborn. The definitions established in these laws would also make common forms of birth control (such as hormonal contraception, IUDs, and emergency birth control) illegal as well as some cases of in-vitro fertilization.
- During one of his 2012 political debates, Romney confirmed his belief that states should have the right to ban contraception and commented that, in the case of Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court "got it wrong."