GOP still fights a gender gap |

GOP still fights a gender gap

The GOP must be looking at poll numbers. They are still losing the women’s vote, especially in Colorado.

The gender gap is wide as Democrat Sen. Udall begins the campaign with a 9 percent lead among women over GOP opponent Rep. Cory Gardner. July and August NBC/Wall Street Journal polls show a significant gender gap nationally. The Colorado gap may widen as more women learn Gardner’s positions on their issues.

So now Republicans are attempting to blunt the Democrats’ accusations that they are waging a war on women by trying to divert attention to job creation and the economy. It may not be a war on women, but the GOP consistently gives women’s economic and personal interests second place to other priorities. What Republicans do not understand is that women’s take-home pay and their ability to participate in the economy are being made more difficult by their policies of consistently putting women’s interests below employers’ rights and bottom lines or when core religious conservative supporters raise objections.

For example, women getting insurance from employers should not have to pay more for health insurance premiums than men. Increasing the minimum wage helps women who mostly hold the minimum-wage jobs. There is no one more important right that enables women to work than being able to control when, if, and how often they have children. That is the ultimate economic issue in middle-class families where the woman’s paycheck is vital.

While some GOP members have supported raising the minimum wage, the party as a whole, including Gardner, has blocked congressional action. Republicans’ adamant opposition to Obamacare would restore the right of insurers to charge women more for premiums, and Gardner has voted to repeal Obamacare 50 times.

The GOP has consistently supported limiting women’s ability to control their reproduction schedules. Birth control is even under assault from the GOP-lauded Hobby Lobby decision that permitted certain corporations to opt out of covering birth control for religious reasons.

Pro-life is the basic litmus test for the GOP to back any candidates. There are those who permit exceptions to banning abortions and others more extreme who want to criminalize abortions or the doctors who perform them. The GOP still nominates candidates who take the most extreme positions, including Gardner.

Gardner was also not only a proponent, but a longtime leader of the state personhood amendment that would legally establish life begins at conception, a backdoor way to make all abortions criminal, and passage would make certain kinds of birth control illegal.

Recently, though, Gardner quietly tried to walk back his support of the personhood amendment. His conversion is suspect, given the timing. With the personhood amendment on the state ballot in November, it will be hard for him to duck his history. In Congress, his name is still on a federal personhood amendment bill, and he recently voted for a bill that would make it criminal for abortions to be performed after the 20th week with few exceptions.

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