I maintained that Obama was the best candidate for defending women's rights back during the primary, when that opinion made me unpopular with the supporters of another feminist, Senator Clinton.
Well, given the current opposition, Obama's superiority on women's issues should be a little easier to see. Senator McCain is clearly not the standard bearer for women's issues. And Governor Palin? Her position on abortion is pretty clear: more radical than the retread abortion ban we South Dakotans get to vote on this fall.
Perhaps more telling is the policy Mayor Palin supported on rape back in Wasilla, Alaska (you know, Alaska, where the rape rate is two and a half times the national average, the highest in the nation?). During the first few years of Mayor Palin's reign, the City of Wasilla charged women for rape kits. Basically, victims of sexual assault had to pay $300 to $1200 to have the Wasilla police investigate the crime.
This practice stopped in Wasilla in 2000... when Democratic Governor Tony Knowles signed legislation banning police from billing victims for such investigations. This over the objection of Wasilla police chief (and Palin appointee) Charlie Fannon, who fretted that the new law would cost his department $5,000 to $14,000 a year.
Meanwhile, Mayor Palin was running up $20 million in municipal debt to build a sports complex. Ah, priorities.
Oh yeah, and what about that other guy in the race, Senator Obama? His home state Illinois used to let the police charge women for rape kits. Obama co-sponsored legislation to reimburse sexual assualt victims for their expenses under the Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Act.*
If you're interested in protecting women's rights, Obama's still the right choice.
*Big thanks to OpEdna for extended work on this story!
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