No one likes to be a one-issue voter, and yet the GOP primaries seem to focus mostly on one issue—that of women’s' reproductive freedom. Before I go any further, let me stipulate that I am an independent who almost always splits her ticket, so this is not a knee-jerk assault on Republicans.
But the rights that women fought so hard to achieve are being slowly being eroded. Ellen Goodman, the former Globe columnist, wrote an excellent piece in the Boston Globe on January 21st in which she traces the successful devolution of women’s right to make decisions about their bodies. In her column, Ms. Goodman makes the point that many of the laws being promulgated by the Anti-Choice party are aiming at eliminating birth control.
If you can believe it, birth control was actually outlawed in many states—even for married women—as late as 1963. The right to use birth control was upheld in the Supreme Court decision Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965, which essentially ruled that women had the right to privacy concerning their bodies. That court case became the basis for Roe v. Wade.
Whether or not you support abortion, it is hard to argue with birth control. Many of us have the lives we do because of it. Probably many of the wives of the GOP candidates have the lives they do because of it (even Karen Santorum). To lose access would be to put all women back in the dark ages. And if you don't think the 21st century is capable of having a dark age, go read the news about the fundamentalists in Israel who are spitting at eight-year-old girls for not dressing modestly enough, or the woman being stoned for being raped in Afghanistan.
It's enough to make you a single issue voter.