Luci Ramirez and Jodi Salyers, both Texans, have just spent two hours hearing from top Democratic women like House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at the Democratic National Convention’s Women’s Caucus. The message? Republicans don’t like women and want to take away their birth control.
“We are celebrity overdosed!” says Ramirez “I didn’t realize how anti-birth control, how anti-women, period, the Republicans are until today,” adds Salyers.
The recurring theme: Republicans have what one speaker calls a “disregard for women’s freedom.”
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi began by mocking Republican emphasis on women at their convention last week in Tampa. “I love hearing how they loved their mother and loved their wife and all of that,” said Pelosi. “I’m interested to hear how they respect women’s decisions to determine the size of their family, if they choose to have a family. Republicans “are not even pro-birth control," Pelosi added, "That’s a radical position. That’s just wrong.”
Republicans do not want to force religious groups and taxpayers to pay for free contraceptives, abortifacients, and abortions for others. But banning contraceptives is not a Republican position. But that’s not what the audience heard Tuesday.
Republicans “want to take us backwards—so far back that we’ll be in the kitchen,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of the pro-choice group EMILY’s List.
Donna Brazile, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, compared Republicans to segregationists: “They want to relegate women to the back of the bus,” she said. Democrats “don’t have to pretend to love women."
“All our caucus chairs are women,” said DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “So who is for women’s priorities, and who’s just pretending? We are!”
Delegates also heard from recent Georgetown law graduate Sandra Fluke and senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, both of whom emphasized the taxpayer subsidized contraception mandated by Obamacare.
“Lets not assume that we can take for granted that this election will turn out the way we hope it will,” said Jarrett, “It will only turn out that way if we roll up our sleeves, and if we work every single day, and if we do . . . I am confident that come November 6 we will have a new president!”
Jarrett quickly corrected herself: “The same president that we have right now!”