President Obama’s re-election campaign has been heavily invested in women’s rights and reproductive health in recent weeks, but it’s worth noting that the focus is not limited to campaign advertising. The president was in Denver yesterday, speaking to a largely-female audience, and vowing not to let the country slip backwards.
“[W]hen it comes to the economy,” Obama said, “it’s bad enough that our opponents want to take us back to the same policies of the last decade, the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place, the same policies that saw jobs going overseas and ended up seeing people’s wages and incomes going down even as the costs of everything from health care to college were going up – policies that culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and that we’ve spent, now, three and a half years trying to recover from. That’s bad enough. But when it comes to a woman’s right to make her own health care choices, they want to take us back to the policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century.”
There’s obviously an electoral significance to remarks like these. Obama is not only counting on Colorado to win a second term, but he’ll need to take full advantage of the gender gap, urging women to turn out in force in November. (Note, the president was introduced in Denver by Sandra Fluke, whom you might recall was the target of a repulsive Rush Limbaugh attack.)
But let’s also note that Colorado isn’t just a 2012 swing state. Irin Carmon reported yesterday that in the Centennial State, a far-right group called Personhood Colorado is still fighting to force a measure onto this year’s ballot that would classify a fertilized egg as a person in the state constitution.
Though proponents deny it, Carmon noted the language of the proposal would make effective in-vitro fertilization nearly impossible and prohibit the use of many forms of birth control. There’s a reason these ballot measures keep failing, even in states like Mississippi – even many on the right consider them far too extreme.
But in Colorado, home to the Personhood movement, conservatives are pushing forward anyway. It’s a fight worth watching.