Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill
August 11, 2012
Republican Mitt Romney could not have picked a better running mate to telegraph the very essence of his campaign for president than Representative Paul Ryan. Together, these two candidates plan to lead the way in transferring even more wealth from the middle class, the working class and even the poor to the very rich in this country. Women should beware, because they are the targets or the disproportionate casualties in virtually every policy Romney and Ryan propose.
All we need to know about Ryan is written down in his infamous budget plan, which Romney has wholeheartedly embraced. Its most hated feature is that it converts Medicare to a private voucher system — something that would be particularly harsh for women because they rely on Medicare to a greater degree than men. But it only gets worse from there. The Romney-Ryan budget plan places future cuts to Social Security benefits on a fast track that Congress could not slow down; makes Medicaid a state block grant program; repeals Obamacare, which makes health insurance affordable to tens of millions of women and their families; and slashes a whole range of social programs that disproportionately serve and employ women.
Members of the media will tell you that Ryan is smart and “wonky.” But what he has in store for this nation is not smart — it’s doubling down on the disastrous policies of the Bush-Cheney years that not only wrecked the U.S. economy but pushed relentlessly to turn back the clock on women’s basic rights. A Romney-Ryan administration would support anti-abortion efforts like “person hood” amendments, totally de fund Planned Parenthood and all ferderally-funded family planning services, and use government to sanction religious opposition to birth control. Their vision is a threat to women’s rights, public health and the economic security of the vast majority of people in the United States — all for the benefit of the most fortunate among us.
In the coming days and weeks, right up until November 6, NOW will reach out to voters to drive home the message that a Romney-Ryan administration would be truly devastating to our economy and to women in particular. We will be dogging Romney-Ryan on the campaign trail, mobilizing to expose the disproportionate impact on women of their positions on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the social programs they would slash. We will also shine a spotlight on Romney-Ryan’s threats to equal pay, reproductive justice, protecting women from violence, and other issues that deserve greater attention in this deeply consequential election