News Column

Poll Reveals Diverse Range of Women's Concerns

Nov. 1, 2012
Women Voters

The War on Women is not just political campaign rhetoric leading up to the 2012 election. According to a poll commissioned by Rad Campaign, a web agency that works with advocacy nonprofits, and conducted by Lincoln Park Strategies, large numbers of Black men and Hispanic women, among others, agree that a group of lawmakers in Washington have been working to curb women's rights to contraception, abortion, and equal pay for equal work.

The poll results, which can be seen at http://www.itsawaronwomen.com, point to a more complex political environment than the stereotypical conservative-versus-liberal confrontation. These results make clear that these issues are a concern for a broad range of voters in the 2012 election. Rad Campaign's leaders believe the results underscore voters' anxiety about Washington's legislative hostility toward women, at a level of intensity unseen in 40 years since Roe vs. Wade passed.

"It's estimated that the House of Representatives wasted $249.6 million on the War on Women between January 2011 and July 2012," said Rad Campaign's co-founding partner Allyson Kapin. "The poll shows that people understand this is an attack on human rights, not just on women. With the election just days away, these numbers matter now more than ever."'

The poll of 1000 likely voters, taken earlier this month, asked respondents if they agree or disagree with this statement: "Lawmakers in Washington have been engaging in a War on Women, by taking away women's rights to contraception, denying equal pay for equal work, and curbing a woman's right to choose."

Among the results:

-- Though the majority of liberal people agree that there's a War on Women, surprisingly more liberal men (71%) agree than liberal women (68%).

-- The race and gender demographic who agrees the most that there's a War on Women are Black men at 67%, followed by 63% of Hispanic women.

-- 41% of men agree that there is a War on Women.

-- 63% of those satisfied with the direction of the U.S. agree that there is a War on Women.

Rad Campaign, which harnesses the power of the web to push political advocacy and social change, commissioned the poll to measure and understand the extent of public awareness and educate voters about the continuing legislative War on Women.

Katherine Spillar, the Executive Vice President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, said today, "The war on women being waged by lawmakers in Congress and state capitols across the country is not only an attack on women and girls in the U.S., but its reach circles the globe. Dangerous restrictions on abortion access and cuts in family planning budgets here at home turn deadly when translated into U.S. policies globally in the form of draconian cuts and restrictions on international family planning programs. The result: every 90 seconds of every day a woman or girl dies from complications of pregnancy or childbirth and unsafe abortions. Almost all of these deaths are preventable. The death toll mounts while mostly male politicians debate their next battle in the war on women."

"The House of Representatives spent at least 52 days this past session discussing laws that threatened to take away women's rights such as The Personhood Amendment, which would define a fertilized human egg as a legal person, criminalize abortion with no exceptions, and would ban common forms of birth control, stem cell research, and in-vitro fertilization," Kapin said.

"Our bodies should not be legislated, and these invasive laws need to be stopped," she said.

Rad Campaign has also produced a hard-hitting infographic accompanying the poll results at http://www.itsawaronwomen.com, which asks: Where's our equal pay? Where's our right to abortion access? Where's our access to contraception? Where are our rights for sexual assault victims and survivors? It then details the ways in which women's rights have been attacked in these areas.

The infographic briefly takes you through recent history, exploring laws that have been introduced, and passed. Some of the legislation explored by the infographic has benefited women, while others like the Violence Against Women Act, which would provide tough provisions to hold offenders accountable, and provide programs for survivors has not been re-authorized. And other legislation like the Fair Pay Act has not been passed.

"itsawaronwomen.com highlights what Americans need to know about the status of women's rights, days before the election," said Kapin.



Source: Copyright PRNewswire 2012


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