DNC in Charlotte kicks off with women's rights
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2012 03:09
The Democratic National Convention kicked off Tuesday morning with a women's caucus inside and protestors outside.
Inside, women's rights were on the table as representatives discussed how President Obama has helped women in his policies.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and is known for supporting pro-choice legislation, was there.
"Women have the most to gain by the reelection of Barack Obama,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi has supported family planning services, including contraception, to reduce cost to state and federal governments in the past. She is also the first woman to hold her current office.
President Obama has voted against prohibiting minors to cross state lines for abortion, expanded embryonic stem cell research, and blocked the Born Alive Infant Protection Act,which would have banned partial-birth abortion. He also supported the Fair Pay Act and refused to cut funding for Planned Parenthood.
Pelosi called out the Republicans for not taking a stance on women's rights as she and other representatives discussed contraception and Planned Parenthood.
"They do believe in the role of government in our bedrooms." Pelosi said. "It's just not right!"
However last week at the RNC, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stated in his nomination acceptance speech that he would "protect the sanctity of life." Romney's viewpoint has changed since he began his political career, going from pro-choice to pro-life.
President Stephanie Schriock of Emily’s List, an organization that supports pro-choice Democratic women, was there too. "This election is about women,” Schriock said.
Ashely Judd, an actress who spoke at the women's caucus, supported Planned Parenthood and the right to have a choice.
"When girls and women can prevent pregnancy, they can prevent the need for an abortion," Judd said.
She also quoted former President Clinton by saying abortions should be "legal, safe, and rare."
When Romney first ran for governor, that was his stance too.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the DNC, shared a personal story of her battle with breast cancer. According to Schultz, because of President Obama’s healthcare reform, she can continue to get insurance, even though she has the breast cancer gene.
“Making sure that being a woman will never again be treated as a pre-existing condition again, that was so incredibly important. said Wasserman Schultz.
Outside, Planned Parenthood supporters rallied on a street corner a few blocks away.
"Not the church, not the state, women must decide their fate," they chanted.
Pro-life supporters protested from across the intersection. Men with a microphone chanted Bible verses, as women and children stood silently holding signs with pictures of aborted fetuses.
Police stood shoulder to shoulder in the intersection to ensure safety in the case of a riot.