You would think, from the presidential debate this week that the election was about the economy. So I was surprised to see the Washington Post headline, “Obama hits Romney on women’s issues in Virginia.”
In his speech, the president lit into Romney on women’s health issues, an area where the Obama campaign believes it has gained a significant advantage. Polls show the president with a healthy lead among women voters nationally, an edge that has helped boost him to a lead in swing states, including Virginia, where Obama leads Romney by 19 points among women.
Obama warned that Romney’s health-care policies would return women to the 1950s by limiting their ability to access contraception, get an abortion, and purchase insurance that covers breast cancer.
The mainstream media likes to convince readers that there is a gender gap on the issue of what we euphemistically call “women’s reproductive health.” But the gap is suspect. As Ramesh Ponnuru reported,
The last time Gallup asked questions about the circumstances under which abortion should be legal was in 2011. There was no consistent gender gap in the results. Men were slightly more likely to take the pro-choice side on some questions: more likely than women to say that abortion should be legal when the mother’s life is in danger, when her physical health was threatened, when the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, and in the second and third trimesters; less likely to favor mandatory ultrasound laws, or waiting periods, or parental consent.
It looks like Obama’s advantage with women has to be explained in some other way than claiming that abortion has an advantage with women.
Let us put aside the issue of dead babies for a moment. In a time when the economy is in turmoil and the budget is out of control, Obama wants to win an election on free goodies for the middle class. He and his media are putting out the message that women can’t afford their own birth control pills, and that opposing government-funded abortions proves that Republicans don’t care about those suffering in the economy.
Obama and the media may claim this is about the economy, or about justice for the poor, or about helping the middle class. But in the midst of this historical crisis, Obama has another concern that he can’t stop talking about. He is running as the champion of the sexualized Left. He is still running on the ideal of Julia, the no-husband-needed, eventually-one-child-only, single woman who lives on free loot from the politicians who promise to take care of her.
And who would want to ruin that dream merely because of all the dead babies it makes?