July, you might be forgiven for thinking, was not a great month for Democrats’ outreach to women. Between San Diego mayor Bob Filner’s sexual harassment scandal, and the never-ending saga that is New York City politics these days, thanks to Eliot Spitzer of prostitute fame and Anthony Weiner’s newest sexting revelations, American women could well have been thinking that “R-e-s-p-e-c-t” was not exactly representative of the Democrat party’s attitude toward women.
But according to the Democrat National Committee, July was a terrible month for Republican outreach to women. Why? Well, because in some states, Republicans dared to make abortion slightly less conveniently accessible:
Governors across the country are signing legislation that severely limits women’s access to health care—and they are often doing it with no notice, late at night or hidden as part of larger unrelated bills. Why? Because these Governors and state legislatures know these types of restrictions that severely limit access to health care are not what the women in their states want.
Take a look at what the GOP has been doing in their attempt to reach out to women this July:
In Texas, Governor Rick Perry signed legislation that would close all but 5 of the 42 abortion clinics in the state requiring women to travel unreasonable distances making it almost impossible for some women to access these clinics. [Politico,7/18/13]
In North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory signed legislation that seriously limits access to abortions by eliminating abortion insurance coverage for city and county employees and barring state residents from paying for the coverage through state health exchange, among other restrictions. [Washington Post,7/29/13]
And the DNC memo continues on in the same vein, and if you’re in the market for the penance of reading deadly dull press releases, you can read the whole thing here.
First, one quick refresher: Forty-six percent of women are pro-life, according to a May Gallup survey. Only 47 percent – a mere point more! – are pro-choice. That means Republicans are reaching out to a heck of a lot of women by placing restrictions on access to abortion.
That aside, what does this say about the Democrats’ view of women? Don’t women voters, even those who are pro-choice, sometimes care about other issues besides abortion? Don’t they care about education and jobs and national security and the economy and the national debt and oh, a gazillion other political issues?
The reality is that most Americans support some restrictions on abortion. A July Huffington Post/YouGov poll (and no, that mention of the Huffington Post was not a typo) found that 59 percent of Americans backed a federal ban on abortions after twenty weeks. And a July Wall Street Journal/NBC news poll found that “More women than men supported the state bans [that made abortions after twenty weeks illegal], 46 percent to 40 percent.”
When it comes to what many women want, the DNC is out of touch.