MHP   |  August 25, 2012

Is Romney out-of-step with women?

Democrats have taken notice of the so-called "War on Women," but has the GOP been left behind? Melissa Harris-Perry and her panelists talk about how women are reacting to politicians who are telling them what they can or can't do with their bodies.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this is my body. i do what i want with it.

>> this is my body. i make my own decisions.

>> this is my body. i use it as a canvas, tattoo it, decorate it, pierce it.

>> i take medicine if i want to and only undergo medical procedures i choose.

>> i eat what i want. exercise for my health or where what i like.

>> it's a simple but powerful message in response to the assault on bodies these women and more are starting to say, but this is my body. and from the looks of the lineup of speakers of the democratic convention , that takes place in less than two weeks and it appears the democrats have taken notice. sandra flew and eva longoria and planned parenthood action fund president cecile richards are a few of the names to grace the stage. a strategic part on the move of the dmaktds democrats to deliver the message of your body, your choice. joining me back here around the table, isn't it politics to keep pandering it this far? please, akin, ryan and up, we'll put women on the stage that both republican women and end pen dentd women will consider coming over to the party.

>> the point i was going to make before we broke is that while women have the power and the need to make these decisions and to be fully informed about the consequences, because it's not one life here, it's two lives. and it has to be, it has to -- i think, just as a human being , that you would want every person to realize that. and then decide what is in the health interest, what is in their best interest . i can live with that. even with my pro- life stance . however, the debate in the united states congress , when i was there 30 years ago and it still rages today, is what do we do with public money when the public university does not support a certain policy? and that, you know, i know we can call it politics and i know the republicans have beened ament on this and i think the democrats are going to take political advantage. i think you're right, but it is a legitimate on all projects and issues. we are spending the public's money for an individual decision.

>> sure. i think two things. we have to remember the majority of women who seek termination of their pregnancy are women who already have children, so for the most part they have a great deal of personal inherent knowledge as well as medical knowledge on what a pregnancy is, and the second thing is public money , part of the nature of public money is none of us get to make choices how each piece is individually spent. so, for example, if you are a medicare recipient and i don't like your politics and i don't like the live choices you're making and you're not a good guy, but you need a liver transplant, well, you're going to get one with the public money . if my president is going to go into the war in iraq , my tax dollars are going to pay for it. i don't get to opt out of paying taxes once we have made a collective decision. but this point is interesting, let's look at democrats going to exactly this. we'll look at the new ad by democrats that includes gop women for obama on exactly this question.

>> one of the thing that is makes me really upset about it is the attitude toward birth control contraceptives and abortion.

>> if you truly believe in a small government , that government shouldn't be deciding what i can and cannot do with my own body.

>> right. so every woman in that commercial is a republican. they all say i'm a republican and make that point. if you believe in small government , don't make it so small to end or fit on the end of a transvaginal probe.

>> clearly democrats are seeing their support of these policies pay off. now this is a moment where women 's rights act viss need to push the democratic party further on the issue and not let them be complacent. there's democrats , anti-choice democrats are included in the party and we need to use this moment as a time where women are speaking with one voice saying the right to abortion is a real fundamental part of being a democrat.

>> jonathan, it feels like it is connected to controlling the bodies. controlling brown bodies to come across the border. we have to build a fence to keep them out, right? and we have to keep bodies that love other body that is are the same sex from them from being able to marry, but a lot of it, despite claiming to be libertarian that we see from ryan and others on the right, this attempt, not only to control their body with 7% body fat but to control everything your body and my body can do.

>> paul ryan and mitt romney are in a republican party that if it does not broaden its base, it's going to die. right now the republican party is a reactionary party. and is keeping out latinos over immigration and a whole lot of other issues. keeping out the lgbt community because of its opposition to same sex marriage and a whole lot of other things. there's a poll out just this week from logo television where they asked self-identified gay people if mitt romney and barack obama had the same position on gay rights issues. would you be more likely to vote for mitt romney ? mitt romney got 20% of those people! that would have put barack obama and mitt romney tied for the gay vote. can you imagine?

>> and this is someone who had a much more reasonable marriage equality position in his -- in the romney, one poll in massachusetts.

>> romney said he stood a better chance of being better for the gay community than senator ted kennedy because he was a republican and he could go to the other side and be sort of the ambassador to bring them along. now look where he is.

>> and this question of getting ready to go do this show, i was reading paul ryan and where he stands on choice. he makes an eloquent argument about the dread scott decision and one case of the court deciding individualism and he pivots to roe v. wade . in his estimation, individual question is not the woman carrying the pregnancy but the fetus. he confers personhood on that fetus. it's a fundamental different understanding of the individual then that i can't relate to, i don't agree with but it is then consistent with his principles.

>> that dread scott thing, they have been doing that. if you remember there was a moment when george w. bush was responding to a debate and said something about the dread scott , you would be like, why is he talking about this?

>> it is genius.

>> but it is also wrong.

>> look over here, not over here.

>> look over here where there's slavery. up next, we'll stay on this topic. mitt romney channels his inner donald trump . was it a gaffe or a dog whistle for the tea party base? yes, birtherism