If time and political inclination allowed, Fox News debate moderators who will wrangle with the top ten GOP White House wannabes in Cleveland Thursday evening could but probably won’t ask them these 11 questions Ohio Women want answers to.
Republican candidates, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich who barely made the cut, will be there for the first of more GOP debates in advance of the start of primary state voting next year. In order to help these candidates explain their vision for the future, Majority Ohio, a new organization founded to educate Ohioans around reproductive health and economic issues, released a list of 11 questions that Ohio’s women would like to hear answered.
“I’m worried that with so many candidates running and such a short debate, that the candidates won’t have time to address issues important to me like access to quality reproductive health facilities or making sure that I am being treated fairly at work,” said Tiffany Wolf a mother and resident of Columbus. “I don’t want the moderators to give these candidates a pass on these issues just because there is limited time for each candidate.”
Majority Ohio, which includes ProgressOhio, the Buckeye State’s preeminent advocacy group, launched a new website and petition—www.MajorityOhio.com—asking Ohioans to sign up in support of getting answers to these questions. Majority Ohio is inviting each of the Presidential contenders to expand or explain the statements, according to an email to reporters Wednesday morning. In recent weeks, the group said, some candidates have suggested slashing funding for women’s health providers.
“Some of the statements made by the various presidential contenders have been inflammatory or even degrading to women,” said Cliff Schecter, Founder and CEO of Majority Ohio. “We want to give Ohioans a chance to get the answers they deserve before making a critical decision about our country’s future.” Majority Ohio will also be advertising around the site of the debate in order to spotlight these candidates records on women’s health.
Majority Ohio’s questions:
1. Do you believe that a Woman should consult with her Doctor or with Politicians when making decisions about her own reproductive health?
2. Teenage pregnancies are at their lowest level in forty years. The Affordable Care Act provides millions of dollars to states like Ohio to teach sex education. As president, will you continue to provide federal funding for states like Ohio to continue the program?
3. There is evidence paid maternity leave would help lower the abortion rate. As President, will you require businesses to provide paid maternity leave?
4. In Colorado, the distribution of 30,000 low or no-cost IUD implants to low-income women cut the teenage birthrate by 40% between 2009 and 2013 and their abortion rate was cut by 42%, saving $42.5 million taxpayer dollars in the process. Should we expand this program to cover the entire country?
5. There are a number of states, like Ohio, that require women to have an ultrasound before aborting a pregnancy, something that many doctors says is medically unnecessary and many women have said is invasive. Would you, as president, expand this practice to the federal level?
6. House Republicans are trying to end a successful 45 year old government program named Title X. Its was created by a Republican president and it prevents 345,000 abortions a year. Do you support the effort to end it?
7. Over the last forty years women who work have added 3.5 trillion dollars to our economy. The U.S. used to rank at the top of advanced nations when it came to women’s participation the workforce. Now we are near the bottom. Would you support policies to reverse this trend, and if so, what are they?
8. Nearly a quarter of Americans report being threatened with the loss of their job due to taking time for an illness or to care for a sick family member. This affects women’s income disproportionately, since they are still more often our caregivers. Should Americans have access to paid sick days?
9. Many of our economic competitors around the world are expanding ways to give women ways to enter and stay in the workforce, such as government provided childcare. As president will you support Affordable Childcare Programs?
10. It’s estimated that if equal pay for equal work was fully instituted it would be an immediate $448 billion gain for women and their families. As president will you be willing to sign a law guaranteeing Equal Pay, making it illegal not to pay women the same wage paid men for the same job?
11. Research shows that investments in the first five years of a child’s life—including high quality preschool—result in long term gains for students and produce significant savings for governments and taxpayers. As President, will you support universal preschool?