How President Obama’s Re-election Helps Women

Minutes after polls on the West Coast had closed Tuesday night — and even before votes in Florida, Ohio, and Virginia had been counted — news outlets declared President Barack Obama the winner of the 2012 election.

“Today we congratulate President Obama on his re-election,” Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, the executive director and co-founder of MomsRising, said in a statement. “We’re ready to move forward with him to ensure that we close the gender wage gap, to see health care reform fully implemented so that all our families get the health care they need, and to secure earned sick days for all workers.”

Women were the coveted demographic during this campaign season, which set new records for advertisement spending and animosity levels. Insensitive comments about “legitimate rape” may have cost Republican Congressman Todd Akin the Senate race in Missouri, and in Indiana, Democratic Representative Joe Donnelly beat State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a Tea Party-backed candidate who said during a recent debate that pregnancy from rape “is something God intended to happen.”

Though women from both political parties were quick to point out that women care about more than just reproductive rights.

How will Obama’s re-election effect women?

• With Democrats on track to hold the Senate, the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — is likely to be fully implemented, making domestic violence counseling and breast feeding support available to more women, and covering well-visits and prescription contraceptives with no out-of-pocket costs for patients.

• If a Supreme Court justice retires in the next four years, it’s likely that his or her replacement will support Roe v. Wade.

• Paid parental leave is still a political non-starter, but ensuring that women receive equal pay for equal work will continue to be a priority.