President Barack Obama’s on women’s issues
From the beginning, President Barack Obama has demonstrated an aggressive pro women agenda—from increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to establishing community programs to bring quality healthcare to women and children in low-income areas.
Staunchly pro-choice, Obama supports women’s reproductive rights and is dedicated to fight against any future attempts to overturn the Roe vs. Wade decision.
During his campaign, Barack Obama proposed instituting a national healthcare system which would provide medical care to anyone who could not otherwise afford it.
Covered under the plan would be important women’s services such as primary care and access to preventative medicine, including mammograms and cervical cancer screenings.
An important issue that President Barack Obama champions is the promotion of pay equality for women.
During his time in Congress, he was involved in the introduction of the Fair Pay Restoration Act, proposing to overturn the Ledbetter vs. Goodyear Tire & Rubber decision, which ruled that the female employee was not entitled to receive any monetary damages for the gender-based pay discrimination that she experienced during her employment.
Later on, in his presidency, he signed the bill into law. It has been estimated that approximately sixty percent of people below the poverty line are women. This issue affects not only the women themselves, but also their children, whose inability to obtain good medical care and educational opportunities will negatively impact them in the future.
President Obama has also shown support for low-income women by proposing to increase the minimum wage, mandating employers to allow all employees seven paid sick days per year, and by nearly doubling the Child Tax Credit (CTC).
In August, 2011, President Barack Obama had his Department of Health and Human Services issue new guidelines that require health insurance companies to cover birth control with no co-pay expenses.
This move has raised a firestorm of criticism from right-wing politicians and pundits. Rep. Stephen King (R-IA) went so far as to suggest the new policy would endanger the survival of millions, stating, "If you applied that preventative medicine universally what you end up with is you've prevented a generation.”
There is, however, no evidence that access to free birth control would lead to a dramatic decrease in the nation’s population.