Existing laws essential for women's economic survival have often been regressively interpreted. Women on average remain poorer than men, largely because of unequal pay. Recently, the Supreme Court held in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Inc. that plaintiffs must sue as of the first unequal paycheck, when they might not even know that their pay is unequal. Barack Obama supports restoring the rule, followed for decades, that allows suit for all the wage discrimination as of the last discriminatory paycheck. John McCain opposed this in the Senate...
Since 1980, when the Supreme Court permitted exclusion of medically necessary abortions from Medicaid coverage, poor women (disproportionately women of color) have not had effective access to abortion because they cannot afford it. This was when many women lost the right to choose.
Last year, a slim majority upheld a federal abortion ban on a specific procedure that had no exception for protecting a woman's health, ominously eroding the rights of even financially privileged women. Should the abortion ban on the ballot in South Dakota prevail this fall, its challenge in court would place any federal decriminalization of abortion in jeopardy. Of all issues that affect women as women in this election, who sits on the Supreme Court may determine this one, along with the fate of a new possible civil remedy for violence against women.......An Obama presidency could restore that balance in fairness that ideological appointments by past administrations have upset, and that Mr. McCain has committed to continue.
Neither presidential candidate has taken a position on all of these issues. But the decision, in Mr. Obama's words, on "what kind of America our daughters will grow up in" could not be more urgent. At stake is nothing less than whether women will be, finally, equal.
Professor MacKinnon, I couldn't agree more.