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Paul Ryan Pick Presents Unique Conundrum for Republican Women Voters

Written by Rebecca Sive for RH Reality Check.This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

Reports on women's reasons for choosing public office are replete with data supporting the fact that these women, regardless of political party affiliation, are motivated to seek office by their desire to improve the lives of women and children. There are also occasions when women-electeds join hands across the political aisle to support a women's cause, albeit usually of the "motherhood and apple pie" sort.

And women of every political stripe share that "girl power" bond so evident during the last couple weeks when America's women Olympians were proving girl power to the right and to the left, literally. Regardless of political party affiliation we whooped and hollered; we didn't know the athletes' political views, but it didn't matter. Knowing the desire and will of Gabby and Missy and Allyson and their team mates to assert their girl power was sufficient to being supportive.

Yet, while American women of differing political views share so many fundamental beliefs about the power (and virtue) of women, Republican and Democratic women officeholders increasingly differ in their approach to policy issues affecting women. The recent fight over re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and Republican women Member votes against the Paycheck Fairness Act are just two proof points.

Further proof came in the formation earlier this year of the Women's Policy Committee by a group of Republican women Members. Alas, according to the Center for American Progress, these women are united in "...their legislative opposition to women's rights..." including the fact that, as rated by Planned Parenthood:  "20 of the 24...women earned a zero score, voting against reproductive health at every opportunity. The average score for the women was under 6 percent."

Therein lies the conundrum for Republican women voters as they consider their vote come presidential Election Day 2012. When the United States is as politically polarized as it's ever been, now epitomized by the Obama-Biden and Romney-Ryan presidential tickets, will women voters join these Repubican women elected officials and vote against their self interest?


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