Friday, February 29, 2008

Clinton and Obama - Good Choices for Women

In this almost uniformly information-free, sound-bite-loaded campaign season, Erica Barnett has challenged the media 'no-facts-required' paradigm and written an informative article for RH Reality Check comparing Clinton and Obama's track records with regards to their support of pro-woman legislation. Here's a taste:
As First Lady, [Sen. Clinton] helped pass the Family and Medical Leave Act, which requires employers to provide unpaid leave to care for newborn babies or family members, and helped found the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancies, which set and achieved a goal of reducing teen pregnancies by one third. As senator, Clinton led the fight, in a hostile Republican-dominated Congress, to make emergency contraception available over the counter... Currently, women make just 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. To help address this inequity, Clinton sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help prevent pay discrimination against women and give women tools to fight for pay equity. She cosponsored legislation to add the Equal Rights Amendment to the US constitution. And she has been a strong proponent of real sex education, sponsoring legislation (along with Obama) that would replace failed "abstinence-only" sex ed with comprehensive, medically accurate curricula...

In the Illinois state senate, Obama opposed the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which would have defined a fetus as a child, saying it would "essentially bar abortions"; voted against a statewide ban on "partial-birth abortion"; and supported legislation requiring insurance companies to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives. As a US senator, he cosponsored, along with Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, legislation that would restore birth control discounts for low-income and college women. He also cosponsored (along with Clinton) the Freedom of Choice Act, which would codify Roe v. Wade as the law of the land. When South Dakota passed a law banning all abortions, Obama was the only US senator to help raise money to repeal the ban. He sponsored legislation that would effectively overturn a recent Supreme Court decision that curtails the ability of women and racial minorities to challenge past pay discrimination. He introduced the Responsible Fathers and Healthy Families Act, which would crack down on fathers who don't pay child support, fund support services for fathers and families, and support domestic violence prevention. And he cosponsored renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, which funds domestic-violence prevention efforts.
And there's more where that came from - the whole article really is a must-read for all voters, and particularly for those in states with upcoming primaries.

(image via The Boston Globe)

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