Indiana Daily Student

Why Paul Ryan could be a serious step back for women's rights

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has proposed some serious conservative changes in our government, including completely revamping Medicaid to make it a voucher system and cut trillions from the budget.

But what exactly does he have in mind for the future of women?

First, by following Ryan’s proposal to cut the Medicaid system by more than 20 percent in the next 10 years, low-income women, who are 70 percent of the recipients of this aid, will feel the cuts.

Also, the Romney-Ryan ticket plans to repeal  Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, neglecting the 13.5 million women without health insurance. The repealing of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, would take away impending birth control coverage the law will provide in the near future.

Ryan claims the mandate is “an affront to religious
liberty.”

Through the Sanctity of Human Life Act, he also supports cuts in Planned Parenthood funding. This act outlaws abortion, forms of birth control and in vitro
fertilization.

Ryan wants to overturn Roe. v. Wade, taking away the right for women to have safe and legal abortions, even in episodes involving rape or when the mother is at risk. This would outlaw some forms of contraceptives.

Ryan said that with the Roe v. Wade ruling, “the Supreme Court made virtually the identical mistake” as it made in the 1857 Dred Scott case, a ruling that said African Americans were not protected by the U.S. Constitution.

His new budget ideas would eliminate Title X, a sector that provides AIDS, sexually transmitted disease and cancer screenings and birth control to low income families.
Ryan voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for women to file discrimination cases against their employers.

The Romney-Ryan ticket has problems with the female voting base, perhaps a catalyst of the negative relationship between Ann Romney and the public. In the first week of August, childless women favored Obama against Romney by more than 20 points, according to a Reuters survey.

In late July, according to an NBC News poll, 54 percent of women voters sided with Obama while only 39 percent favored Romney.

In the 2008 presidential election, more than 10 million more women voted than men. This number is big enough to push women’s issues to the forefront of this year’s election.

Since 1980, the gender gap of voter participation between women and men has only grown, with women increasingly going to the polls.

While Ryan obviously isn’t going to call all the shots in the Oval Office if the two are elected, Romney will have to follow through with some of Ryan’s promises to please the Conservative base, which will only cause a step backward for women’s rights.

­— crshelle@indiana.edu

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