Columnist dives into why women vote GOP

By Hayley Devitt

I have my reasons for voting for President Barack Obama on Nov. 6. To say the least, I feel the incumbent is more in touch with the average American citizen than former Gov. Mitt Romney even pretends to be.

However, I recently found an online discussion focused on Republican women. Why would any woman vote GOP, despite the party’s desire to regulate her body?

It’s true that, generally, most American women today identify as Democrats; 56 percent of total female voters in the 2008 presidential election voted for Obama, and 43 percent voted for Republican John McCain, according to CNN exit polls. However, the question is why does this minority favor the Republican Party?

I had a few ideas as to why, like some women just aren’t as concerned with the woman-specific issue of free birth control. To me, it doesn’t make sense to oppose it. If income plays a role in party affiliation, my guess is that women who don’t view access to birth control as a problem can afford contraceptives without help.

Also, religion is often a factor. With many Christian girls I’ve known and befriended, faith and conservatism always seemed to go hand-in-hand. Those “traditional values” are important to members of the Grand Old Party.

Now, there’s a widely-held belief that all women are or should be Democrats. This is founded on the assumption that all women are pro-choice, which is simply not the case.

Regardless of my own speculation and opinions, I thought it right to go to the source and find out what the ladies themselves had to say. For NIU College Republican Lyndsey Jones, the matter comes down to personal responsibility.

Jones, a senior biology and psychology major, said she is pro-life. Her view is that abortion should not be used as a form of birth control because it leads to the harm of a fetus for no reason other than the parents weren’t prepared for a baby.

“I don’t plan on starting a family until I’m ready,” Jones said. “A lot of people our age aren’t ready to start families and they’re making choices that can lead to having a family.”

I also talked to a senior political science major and College Republican, Nyleved Concepcion Clark. Clark feels women shouldn’t be treated as special cases due to their biology.

“Republicans don’t mind men speaking on the issues of abortion and birth control because they know that it is not just a female issue, it is a human issue that involves the father as much as the mother,” Clark said.

Clark also pointed out the already substantial regulations on how and when a woman can have abortions. “So what is it that Democrats want exactly: no regulation, less regulation?” she said. “It is hard to say, but what is clear is that the Democratic Party is sexist on its view that the male opinion carries little value on so-called ‘female issues.’”

I still think the female body is the topic of incessant debate here, and so, as women, it is our problem. No one knows what’s good for us better than ourselves.

Nevertheless, I encourage all young ladies at NIU to vote this November, and also to decide where they stand on other controversies like health care, economics, gay rights and the war in Afghanistan. Remember that “female issues” are not the only ones important to this election.