Reproductive Rights: Perhaps the lack of women in office led to compromises for women in Obama’s historical, largely contested health care reform. The public option and the Pitts-Stupak amendment blocking federal dollars to fund abortion were early concessions, and it was unclear whether universal health care would include measures for birth control. However, women breathed a collective sigh of relief recently when Obama proposed a mandate that insurance companies must universally cover contraception for women, and that birth control will not require a copay. Though this will not take affect until 2013, it is an important statement from the White House recognizing women’s ability to control their own wombs, and that bodes well for the possible expansion or at least the protection of reproductive freedoms in the future. Insurance plans did not always cover birth control, but now, women are guaranteed that their plans will. Obama has also spoken out and directed money to education and resources to curb domestic violence, and he signed into law the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.
but what are your thoughts? What letter grade would you give the Obama administration on Women’s Rights?
Today, our Nation’s daughters reap the benefits of these courageous pioneers while paving the way for generations of women to come. But work still remains. My Administration is committed to advancing equality for all of our people. This year, the Council of Women and Girls released “Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being,” the most comprehensive report in 50 years on the status of women in our country, shedding light on issues women face in employment, crime, health, and family life. We are working to ensure that women-owned businesses can compete in the marketplace, that women are not discriminated against in healthcare, and that we redouble our efforts to bring an end to sexual assault on college campuses.
On the 91st anniversary of this landmark in civil rights, we continue to uphold the foundational American principles that we are all equal, and that each of us deserves a chance to pursue our dreams. We honor the heroes who have given of themselves to advance the causes of justice, opportunity, and prosperity. As we celebrate the legacy of those who made enormous strides in the last century and before, we renew our commitment to hold true to the dreams for which they fought, and we look forward to a bright future for our Nation’s daughters.
What does this mean in terms of practical, tangible results? When part of common discourse is “Women have it great! Why are they complaining?” and “We don’t need women’s rights groups anymore” and “feminism is dead” these proclamations and claims of dedication to equality bring women’s liberation efforts into the spotlight, but do little to deepen the conversation. Every little bit helps, though.