Debate 2012: #NoSoftBalls
Reproductive rights issues are frequently raised in the debates, but too often, the questions are softballs or the moderators don’t push back enough to get real, meaningful answers from evasive candidates. Supporters of the Center for Reproductive Rights have sent some suggested tough questions. Here is a selection.
What would you ask the presidential candidates at the first debate?
Do you believe that a woman’s right to choose is a fundamental women’s health issue? -Debra W.
What kind of reproductive rights policy (specifically) can we expect from your presidency? -Margaret C.
Would you sign a Bill granting a conceived embryo “personhood?” If so do you realize this would outlaw many forms of birth control? -Santuario J.
Please ask each of the candidates if they support the financial and logistical burdens being put on abortion clinics in states around the country that are
forcing them to close. Please also ask if they support the hurdles that women are being forced to face before an abortion such as having forced
ultrasounds and other measures coming between a woman and her doctor. -Linda S.
I was 20 years old when I was attacked on the street by a couple of thugs who raped me at gun, and knife point. The clinic doctors at my school’s student
health office gave me drugs which caused me to, thankfully, have a chemical abortion 1 week later. Do you think it is the government’s obligation to decide
whether or not I should have been allowed to take those abortion inducing drugs? -Anonymous
Please pretend you’re 24 and a freelance writer living in a tiny studio apartment. You’re doing well – selling articles and getting
assignments. You have a great boyfriend who’s in business school—in debt up to his ears. You’re proud to be paying the rent and the grocery
bills, barely. And you get pregnant in spite of taking every precaution including a sincere attempt at abstinence. What do you do? -Kristina L.
What would you say to a young college coed who was pregnant and the victim of rape? What would he say if it was not rape but an accidental
pregnancy? Do you think it is fair and equitable that a man can purchase condoms at a drugstore but a woman cannot purchase contraceptives including
a diaphragm except through a physician? -Linda G.
Explain how the US Congress can define when medical procedures provided by licensed physicians may or may not be used on a woman’s reproductive organs. -Marcia B.
Answer one or the other, without spin: who should be the decision makers on reproductive rights, women or politicians? -Daniel C.
The past two evenings, PBS has aired the series Half the Sky, about women and female children as young as toddlers who have been
raped, sold into sexual slavery, denied education, and endured just about every other kind of abuse, around the world as well as here in the United States,
and what is currently being done to remedy this massive problem. Your questioner wants to know what you, with your administration intends to do
to address, then accomplish, full gender equality? -Jane L.
Will you support or repeal the Lily Ledbetter Law? Don’t waffle on about job creation and discouraging business—just a Yes or No. -Joan W.
In the last decade, U.S. programs for the poor, handicapped and eldery were drastically reduced. If birth control access is restricted, will the next
set of lawmakers make it mandatory to have onsite daycare centers for the resulting children? -Sylvia B.
How will you as President ensure that I will not have to live by the religious mandates of a faith that is not my choice of religion? -Stephanie S.