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Stephanie schriock


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Stephanie schriock

  1. 1. Stephanie SchriockWhy It Matters That We Elect More WomenEvery now and then in this job, I get asked why it matters that we electmore Democratic women to Congress, as opposed to more progressives, orjust more Democrats.The obvious answer is gender parity. Women make up an appallingly small17 percent of Congress, and girls in America deserve to be able to look up toa representative government.But the less obvious answer is the one you can see every day inWashington, if you turn on C-SPAN and follow the budget debate. Thisanswer is both troubling and potentially inspirational because this answeris: a more representative government leads to policies that represent moreAmericans, better.What weve seen in abundance since the Republicans took control of theHouse is that when left to their own devices, Republican men will forgotheir promises to create jobs and will instead attack the programsAmerican women rely on to take care of themselves and their families.Whether it makes sense or not.For weeks, we watched as man after man proposed debilitating anddestabilizing cuts that would disproportionally hurt women and theirfamilies. And this afternoon, we saw women fight back: Democratic womenin the Senate spoke with one voice on the floor of the upper chamber today.And they said clearly, so everyone can understand, that they would standbetween American women and the radical anti-woman agenda put forward
  2. 2. by John Boehner and House Republicans. They put their foot down andsaid: stop, no more, not on our watch.American women need champions in Congress right now. We need to knowthere are Democratic women who have our backs, because the GOP isdoing everything it can to take away our access to health care, our ability toplan and care for a family, and our opportunities to make successful, safe,and healthy lives for ourselves and our families. Women -- and men -- arespeaking out against it. Join us by signing this petition to tell Boehner andthe GOP you wont let them roll back the clock on our rights.Anyone can make the argument that cutting funding for cancer screeningswill undoubtedly cost us countless lives and dollars. We can make theargument that cutting access to family planning hurts women who want toplan families. We can lay out in bar graphs and pie charts how cuttingHead Start means paying exponentially more down the road. And we cansay that redefining rape to distinguish between "forcible" and otherwise,makes no sense at all.But the best arguments come from the women who have seized theopportunities Republicans are trying to take away, made the decisionstheyre trying to limit, and used the preventative services theyre trying todefund.Last month, when the notorious "HR 3" bill was debated in Housesubcommittee -- a bill that would dramatically reduce womens ability toaccess health care, a bill that attempted to "redefine rape", a bill thatallowed doctors to refuse health care to women facing death -- not a singlewoman sat on the Congressional dais. And a whole lot of bunk wentunchallenged.What a different picture it is when these things are debated on the floor,and Rep. Jackie Speier can calmly tell her male colleague what a difficult
  3. 3. pregnancy is really like -- demonstrating with devastating calm and dignityhow offensive and superficial his position is. When Rep. Gwen Moore canexplain that she probably knows a thing or two about caring for blackbabies, because shes given birth to three -- talking about the real decisionsmothers make when the formula runs out before the week does, and thechildren are still hungry.We need to elect more pro-choice Democratic women because we need toensure that the voice of reason -- the voices of women with real experiencein the issues being debated -- are always present. Not sometimes. Always.Its sad that the opposition needs to become this extreme, thisnonsensically malicious, this radically anti-woman for the need to electmore Democratic women to be highlighted this sharply. But lets not let theopportunity pass us by to point it out. If there were more Democraticwomen in the House, there would be more voices telling Boehner and hisband of "young guns" leaders to sit down, dont try to score political pointson the backs of women and children, and focus on jobs like you promisedwhen you were campaigning.Today, we saw our champions in the Senate make noise as if their numberswere much, much greater. And one day they will be, and we wont have tohave these fights, because Democratic women will never let it get this far.We wont have to fight back because well be negotiating the terms to beginwith. And thats a future worth fighting for. One seat at a time.Follow Stephanie Schriock on