Women's Health Leads Election Debate

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The debate over women’s health issues has been at the forefront of this election. Just this weekend, Rep. Todd Akin caused a stir when he said most victims of “legitimate rape” don’t become pregnant. Then on Tuesday, the GOP included language in their official platform calling for a constitutional amendment banning abortion with no specific exceptions for rape or incest. 

Two voters who are weighing their vote a bit more carefully this year in light of these events are Callie Pioli and Ally Bishop. Callie is a law student at Suffolk University in Boston, and Ally is a teacher and Takeaway listener.


Ally Bishop and Callie Pioli

Produced by:

Joe Hernandez

Comments [16]

Trevor from Boston

The real war is on men. Today a woman professor of "women's studies" was interviewed by a woman host who then talked about men...but only in relation to the "status of women." The host then mentioned another female who, mirabile dictu, had switched to the Democratic party. Today's 2 women cited women "finally" getting the vote. They failed to say males only got universal suffrage in the UK when women did (previously, one had to own land). Talking of women "finally" working during WWII, there was not a peep about men being slaughtered then. They mentioned abortion after rape (about as common as winning the lottery), but no talk about men forced into parenthood by female fiat. All the while the male co-host was silent. Where was the MALE expert on "Men's Studies"? Why no mention that men have ZERO "control" over THEIR bodies per the sexist draft? More and more men are going "off grid," earning money under-the-table rather than pay taxes to fund anti-male programs. It's called MGTOW: Men Going Their Own Way...a response to the culture having no interest in their interests. Watch, too, for the coming uptick in male support for Republicans, the Democrats pandering to females. As I write this, there's a promo for yet ANOTHER woman "expert on boys" scheduled to tell us the male side of things. Again. So where are the males speaking for males? The only "power" most guys have is being workhorses.When NPR mentions deaths in wars, for example, they use "Americans" or "soldiers"...not "males." Why? Because feminists only mention gender when it helps their cause. Anything that shows male sacrifices as firefighters, rescue swimmers, cops, soldiers, etc. gets neutered. Guys notice their not being noticed.

Aug. 23 2012 11:57 AM
anna from new york

"Shouldn't we be encouraging our young people to have political opinions rather than dismissing them as being too young?"
Lauren, we should first of all raise ETHICAL (look up the word), considerate and compassionate individuals.

Aug. 23 2012 09:44 AM
anna from new york

"Many entire groups of people are moving to the Democratic side"
Yeah, Larry, this should make me happy. Sure.
Since their only concerns are: THEIR "precious bodies," THEIR precious bank accounts, and THEIR precious civil liberty it matters soooooooooooooooooo much how they are registered. Sure.
Obviously, it matters very little whether this zombie is in Democratic or Republican party, because ... you guess it there is no difference between the parties.
Why don't you actually listen to what this ACTIVIST(?)Political hack(?) is saying. Her only concern is HER precious body.
Now the question: how do you raise this ...
It is bad. It is really, really, really bad. If I, a political junkie, am not voting it must be really bad.
This country isn't reformable and it can only collapse.

Aug. 23 2012 09:09 AM
unkerjay from Puget Sound

Republicans have not demonstrated any great degree of mastery over the
economy given the last 12 years going all the way back to the beginning
of the George W. Bush presidency. Going back to the Reagan administration,
some 30 years ago it's no more evident that republicans have answers anymore than democrats do.

The last four years have demonstrated a democratic inability to overcome republican opposition even with a democratic majority indicating either an incompetent legislative branch or an incompetent executive branch or a combination of the two.

Put the two together and I don't see either party resolving issues that are the heart and soul of America. First there would have to be a discussion about issues at the heart and soul of America.

Robert F. Kennedy had more heart than either of the two current presidential candidates:


Republicans would just as soon deny poor and middle class america such a legacy either by inaction or distraction. Democrats seem incapable of addressing such legitimate concerns over republican objections.

Either way, I don't see that changing the next election - Todd Akin notwithstanding.

Todd Akin is just symptomatic of MUCH larger problems in our politics of late.

I don't have to choose, on the larger stage, between Romney or Obama.

It's not that I don't care.

I just don't expect the result to make a difference.

If the best answer is to make a difference for better in the lives of ALL,
it's irrelevant if the discussion is either NOT Obama or NOT Romney revolving around a debate about "legitimate rape" which may make little difference ultimately in the conservative state of Missouri whether Akin or McCaskill wins.

Aug. 22 2012 11:53 PM
John A.

I could be said to be with the Repubs on the issue of Abortion. However - (1) Since the issue is used to galvanize votes and is most often Not argued maturely, (2) Wedge issues are used to push back important problems like ways and means, (3) The repubs stance on building the deficit is a bloody horror - Since these things exist I will Not vote for them. And do not mistake - Todd Aikin is too clumsy for me to support in any way.

Aug. 22 2012 03:29 PM
Michael Gaston from Bend, Oregn

I don't see Aiken's comments as a "gaffe." His comments are consistent with the Republican platform that does not allow for an exception for rape or incest, and with the actions of many state legeslatures that are controlled by Republicans. In fact VP nominee Paul Ryan co-sponsored an anti-abortion bill with Aiken that allowed for no exceptions.

The reason that Republican leaders are dumping Aiken isn't his position, which is basically the Party's position, it's that Republicans realize that their party's position on abortion (and othe social issues) is costing them support among women, and may cost them the election.

Aiken is just a bad poster child for an unpopular party platform plank.

It would be helpful to the election process if journalist would cover the Aiken story in context of the past and current positions taken by the Republican party rather than simply write off Aiken as a gaffe prone extremist.

Aug. 22 2012 02:12 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Many entire groups of people are moving to the Democratic side...They are willing to accept the "disappointing candidate over the frightening candidate"

Perhaps, if the Republicans spoke for a larger percentage of the people, they might become a voice that Voters would be willing to listen to.

Listeners need to go back and check out Callie Pioli's career. She worked for a Republican Senator who won in Mass. not a Democrat. Perhaps some investigative listeners were surprised that a senator could be Republican in Mass. and that Senator Brown has a photo of himself with Obama made the fact checker assume the he was a Democrat instead of a responsible Politician who is willing to work with Our President.

Aug. 22 2012 11:43 AM

@dlmc: I'm sorry, but I don't see any connection between the number of elections someone has voted in and the validity of their political beliefs.

Aug. 22 2012 11:13 AM

@dlmc - Someone who is 22 or 23 was able to vote in the last presidential election and several local elections. Shouldn't we be encouraging our young people to have political opinions rather than dismissing them as being too young? And if this is such a "fake" news story, maybe you should find something better to do than googling the people interviewed...? Your conspiracy theories about "democratic operatives" is laughable.

Aug. 22 2012 10:47 AM

This fake "news" story is disgraceful. Callie Pioli is not the most common name. There is a Callie Pioli listed on linkedin. If that is the same Pioli that would make her about 22, so she is a bit disingenuous when she discusses all the previous elections she voted in. Oh and imagine one of her first jobs was interning for a democrat. So when exactly was Ms. Pioli a republican? In high school before she could vote?
When democrat operatives pretend to be republicans to bad mouth republicans, that is not news. That is called advertising and should be paid for privately - not with tax dollars through public funding.

Aug. 22 2012 09:42 AM
anna from new york

And to think that there are countless brilliant kids who don't have a chance of getting education while someone with IQ -50 ...

Aug. 22 2012 08:39 AM
anna from new york

This was scary.
This Callie is beyond belief - an outspoken idiot.
A string of platitudes followed by a string of cliches - no feelings, no understanding of human condition, no compassion - a perfect marching zombie. Will make a good American lawyer.

Aug. 22 2012 08:31 AM

Serious question: How is it that Mitt Romney is a "frightening" candidate, when he essentially agrees that Todd Akin is an unacceptable Senate candidate? When exactly did Romney become frightening?

A teacher, and a lawyer-to-be. The Democrats' two natural constituencies.

Aug. 22 2012 08:30 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Yes, Catholics can choose what they want to use in their insurance policies. But a Catholic employer can't morally pay for insurance for his or her employees that they use for these procedures. That's participation and facilitation of immoral action. On the individual side also, for example, in the new insurance situation, everyone will pay $1 that goes into an 'abortion kitty', that is insurance money others can use for abortions. Catholics can't contribute to that.

Aug. 22 2012 08:26 AM

Ed - if Catholics are not allowed to buy insurance policies because they cover the 3 women's health procedures you mentioned, then are Catholics actually allowed to live in a country where these procedures are legal? I don't get it. Aren't Catholics allowed to choose what they want to use in their insurance policies just like everyone does?

Aug. 22 2012 07:52 AM
Ed from Larchmont

It has a big role for Catholics: we can't buy insurance that pays for contraceptives, sterilizations and abortifacients, so what happens could be drastic. But the courts will probably take this away.
But these are not just women's issues, the shape of society is everyone's concern.

Aug. 22 2012 06:10 AM

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