NOW applauds women voters for re-electing President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, defeating some of the most extreme anti-woman tea party candidates running for the Senate, and passing marriage equality measures in Maine and Maryland.
In a truly pivotal election, women voters rejected the Romney-Ryan war on women and chose moving forward over taking a giant step backward. Women demonstrated that civil rights are for everyone, including same-sex couples, and that reproductive rights are hardly a diversion from the dominant issues of jobs and the deficit — they are a central issue in our lives, part of our basic health care and an essential aspect of our economic well-being.
This election season, NOW’s grassroots leaders and supporters took to the front lines to ensure that voters across the country knew exactly what was at stake. We staffed phone banks, knocked on doors, organized events and talked with our friends, neighbors, co-workers and family. In the days leading up to Nov. 6, I met with voters in Virginia, Wisconsin, New York, Connecticut, Florida and Ohio — voters who were concerned that decades of progress could be reversed.
As we celebrate our victories in these elections, we call for an immediate and unconditional end to the war on women that has been waged by right-wing extremists for too long now. We call on Congress and the White House to take action immediately to achieve real equality for women. Women’s access to the full range of reproductive health services — including abortion and birth control — must not be subject to politicians’ whims or ideologies. We urge enactment and full enforcement of policies to close the gender wage gap. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid must be strengthened, not cut. The growing inequality of income and wealth, which has had a devastating impact on women, especially women of color, must be reversed.
In the end, well-informed voters were not fooled by the endless flip-flops, evasions and distortions perpetrated by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. A majority of voters recognized that the GOP ticket was more interested in tax cuts for the wealthy and turning back the clock on our rights than creating jobs for ordinary women and men.
NOW looks forward to working with President Obama, Vice President Biden and the new Congress in making tangible, identifiable progress in achieving women’s rights and equality for all in the United States of America.