Obama vs. Romney: A Comparison Of Women’s Health Issues

A woman wrapped in the American flag, with the word vote typed across the front

While the economy, immigration, Libya, job creation and gun control figured prominently in the 2012 U.S. presidential debates, it has been women’s issues-related questions that have prompted lots of attention. The battle for women’s votes has helped to shape each candidate’s platform.

As we quickly approache the homestretch, here’s a look at where Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney stand on women’s health.

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1. Abortion & Birth Control

Obama: Supports abortion rights. Health care law requires contraceptives to be available for free for women enrolled in workplace health plans, including access to morning-after pill, which does not terminate a pregnancy but is considered tantamount to an abortion pill by some religious conservatives. Supported requiring girls 16 and under to get a prescription for the morning-after pill, available without a prescription for older women.

Romney: Opposes abortion rights. Previously supported them. Says state law should guide abortion rights, and Roe v. Wade should be reversed by a future Supreme Court ruling. But says Roe v. Wade is law of the land until that happens, and should not be challenged by federal legislation seeking to overturn abortion rights affirmed by that court decision. “So I would live within the law, within the Constitution as I understand it, without creating a constitutional crisis. But I do believe Roe v. Wade should be reversed to allow states to make that decision.” Said he would end federal aid to Planned Parenthood.

2. Campus Sexual Violence

Obama: His administration introduced guidelines clarifying colleges’ obligations for preventing sexual violence, declaring that schools receiving federal funds must investigate sex-assault charges “promptly.”

Romney: Has not indicated whether he’ll make fighting campus sexual assault a priority.

3. Maternity and Child Care

Obama: His stimulus bill provided $2 billion for child care and development, and the PPACA mandates that employers provide nursing moms “reasonable break time” and a private place to pump milk at work.

Romney: Says he wants to raise the work requirements for mothers receiving welfare benefits and that he’ll increase federal funding for child care to help make this happen.


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Domestic Violence & Black Women

Portrait Of Unhappy Teenage Couple In Urban Setting

In a recent heartbreaking turn of events, Earl Hayes — an artist on boxing champ Floyd Mayweather’s Money Team record label — and Stephanie Moseley, a dancer who starred in VH1’s drama, “Hit the Floor.” were both found dead in an apparent murder suicide. Also, as it turns out, Mayweather was on FaceTime with Earl Hayes when the rapper went on a rampage, according to reports.

LAPD officials stated that police swarmed the Palazzo East apartments after a neighbor reported a woman’s screams and a barrage of 10 gunshots.

How does this happen? Were there any signs??

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According to Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community, Black women who are battered have more physical ailments, mental health issues, are less likely to practice safe sex, and are more likely to abuse substances during pregnancy than black women without a history of abuse.  They are also at greater risk for attempting suicide, particularly if they were physically abused as a child, for being depressed, and to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

What are some of the other domestic violence issues facing African American women?

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• Intimate partner violence among African Americans is related to economic factors. Intimate partner violence among blacks occurs more frequently among couples with low incomes, those in which the male partner is underemployed or unemployed, particularly when he is not seeking work, and among couples residing in very poor neighborhoods, regardless of the couple’s income.

• In a nationally representative survey conducted in 1996, 29% of African American women and 12% of African American men reported at least one instance of violence from an intimate partner.

• African Americans account for a disproportionate number of intimate partner homicides. In 2005, African Americans accounted for almost 1/3 of the intimate partner homicides in this country.

• Black women comprise 8% of the U.S. population but in 2005 accounted for 22% of the intimate partner homicide victims and 29% of all female victims of intimate partner homicide.

• Intimate partner homicides among African Americans have declined sharply in the last 30 years. Partner homicides involving a black man or a black woman decreased

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Signs of Domestic Violence 

1. Sudden changes in their friendship circle

2. Lack of interest in activities, school or failing grades

3. Isolation from friends and family

4. Emotional outbursts

5. Excessive calling/texting or desire to quickly call/text back a significant other

6. Social media harassment, humiliation, or constant pressure to “status update/check in”

7. Romanticizing of significant other’s jealous remarks or behavior

8. Frequent demand of privacy or secretive behavior

9. Constant apologetic language

10. Excessive makeup or unusual clothing choices (to hide physical bruises, scratches etc.)

For more clues that point to domestic violence, click here. If you or a loved one needs help with a domestic violence issue, click here.