EDITORIAL: An insult to women

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Sarah Palin’s selection as the Republicans’ vice-presidential candidate is an insult to women, and to the American people. It sent several disgusting messages.

One: We can use women for window-dressing.

Two: Women voters are dumb. They’ll be so enthralled by our lipsticked candidate that they won’t notice that a) she has no clue about the issues that matter, or about much of anything else, and b) she opposes every social measure that would make women’s lives better.

Three: putting any old woman on the GOP ticket, no matter how vastly ignorant and unqualified, makes it ok to vote against Barack Obama because he’s African American — in other words, now racism is ok but we don’t have to say so because we’re all for women, though we’re not for any programs that would actually help women move forward and achieve real equality.

National Organization for Women head Kim Gandy writes, “For me, this election has never been about getting one woman into office. It’s about opening doors and opportunities for all women. … And make no mistake, the McCain-Palin ticket will leave millions of women behind.”

“Sarah Palin, like John McCain, vows to overturn Roe v. Wade. In fact, she opposes abortion even in the case of rape or incest … Has she no human compassion? She wouldn’t even allow an abortion to protect a woman’s health — only to prevent her ‘imminent death.’ Wonder how many of a woman’s internal organs would have to shut down before ‘Dr.’ Palin would consider her death to be imminent?”

Further, Gandy notes, while Palin was mayor of Wasilla, rape victims were required to pay up to $1,200 for the cost of processing the police evidence (called “rape kits”) in their cases. “Just imagine — during perhaps the most traumatic moments of their lives, Sarah Palin made women pay, before the law would protect them. And it didn’t stop until Democratic governor Tony Knowles signed statewide legislation prohibiting the practice.”

As governor, Palin slashed funding for schools for special needs children, and for programs helping teenage mothers and troubled youths.

She and her running mate both oppose the equal pay bill stalled in Congress — the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

And now Palin wants to sell you John McCain.

David Greenberg, head of Oregon’s Planned Parenthood, called McCain “among the most extreme members of Congress who voted against common sense measures on family planning, sex education and access to basic health care.”

Here’s the record Palin is peddling:

• McCain voted against requiring health care plans to cover birth control (3/22/03).

• He voted against comprehensive, medically accurate sex education (7/25/06).

• He voted against international family planning funding (3/14/96).

• He voted against funding to prevent teen and unintended pregnancies (3/17/05).

• He voted against public education for emergency contraception (3/17/05).

• He voted against restoring Medicaid funding that could be used for family planning for low-income women (3/17/05).

• He voted twice against reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Last year the nonpartisan Children’s Defense Fund rated him the senator with the worst voting record on children’s issues, which so vitally affect women.

Women live longer than men, and rely heavily on Social Security. Palin-McCain’s privatization plan will wipe out that safety net.

The list goes on.

Palin’s effort to grab the image of typical “working mom” trivializes the reality of how hard it is to be a working mother and women’s serious pressing needs for support — for laws, programs and funding to enable women to be fully equal in our society.

What a phony.