War on Women? Depends on Who You Talk To

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Democratic Party is promoting the idea that Republicans are waging a war on women. But skeptics say it depends on which women you talk to, whether they believe there is such a war, and who's really waging it.

War on Contraception/Abortion

Democrats have cited the Republicans' plan to repeal Obamacare as proof the GOP is targeting women's rights.

"It includes preventive care. It includes coverage during pregnancy. Those issues are really important to women. Women need that coverage," Elizabeth Rose, communications director for the Center for America's Future, said.

Others, like passengers on the Women Speak Out bus tour, say women concerned about health care should not fear the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan ticket, especially those who believe abortion is not health care.

For weeks, the bus filled with pro-life women has been crossing the country, opposing the man they call the most pro-abortion president in history. They said if there's a war on women, it's President Obama who's leading that fight.

"There's never been a pro-life bill that he liked or a pro-abortion bill that he didn't like," passenger Jill Stanek said. 

They said a second Obama term will mean taxpayer-funded abortions nationwide.

On the flip side, pro-abortion advocates, like those at the Democratic convention, have issued dark warnings about a Romney presidency. 

"He would overturn Roe vs. Wade and sign into law a wave of outrageous restrictions on a woman's ability to make decisions about her pregnancy," Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, said.

These days that appears to include what the call the right to free contraception.

"The whole idea that you and I as taxpayers have to fund college kids' contraception: come on, give me a break! There's a drug store on practically every corner," Concerned Women for America's Dr. Janice Crouse said.

Contraception 'False Security'

Stanek said that such unlimited access to contraception and abortion has brought on 1.2 million abortions a year.

"It's a false security that contraceptives provide," she said. "But also, it isn't healthcare. It's not healthcare to offer women the opportunity to kill their own babies."

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch said he believes most women don't agree that opposing abortion equals a war against them.

"I think you would be very surprised at how few women put free abortions and government-paid-for birth control at the top of their priority lists," the Republican governor said.

New polling this year provides some evidence to support his point.

"Forty-one percent of Americans said that they were pro-choice, which is the lowest in recorded history," Stanek said.

Crouse agreed.

"Their concerns aren't there," she said. "Their concerns are about the future stability of this country."

But Rose countered that that's why many of her friends fear Romney: the economic future.

"My friends really care about the kitchen table, economic issues. We want our kids to be better off than we are," she said.

But Crouse also cites concern for the nation's economic future as a reason why her friends fear Obama.

"They're concerned about the economics, the fiscal crisis, the debt burden that we're passing along to our children," Crouse said.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.