Dear President Obama,
As a certifiable member of the female sex, I want to thank you for preventing the Republican Party from conducting a "war on women."
Some cynics might say that you were worried about women's declining support for Democrats. While 56 percent of women voted Democrat in 2008, only 48 percent did so in 2010. And while the percentage of women with a favorable view of your leadership has been climbing back up recently (women seem more willing than men to give you credit for improving economic numbers), you need a really lopsided proportion of the women's vote to compensate for your weakness among men. A February Quinnipiac poll, for example, found that white men disapproved of the way you are handling your job by a two to one margin.
Still, women were 53 percent of the electorate in 2010, and while I'm sure you weren't thinking of that, if a significant percentage can be persuaded that the Republicans wish them harm — isn't that what wars do? — you can continue to live in public housing for another four years.
I really appreciate your insisting that insurance companies and employers provide me with free birth control without regard to my ability to pay. Giving away free stuff to the middle class has worked so well in other areas of our national life. Just look at how well Medicare is working. And Social Security. And the auto bailouts. And your recently announced plan to help speculators who bought second, third or fourth homes with the hope of flipping them. Is this what you meant when you promised that Obamacare would reduce medical spending in the United States? I ask because it's going to cost more to provide all these "free" services to millions of women. Well, I guess we can think about that tomorrow, like Scarlett O'Hara.
I notice that your campaign is sending mailings to a million women this week, some under the heading "Nurses for Obama." Nice way to imply that women's health depends upon you. And I see you have your people at The New York Times working the "war on women" angle. A March 10 story, "Centrist Women Tell of Disenchantment With Republicans," was heavy on interpretation and light on facts. The Times found a handful of "independent" women voters who may not vote Republican because of the contraception flap. "The sudden return of the 'culture wars' over the rights of women and their place in society has resulted, the women said, in a distinct change in mood in the past several weeks." Those who read past the headline discovered this though: "To what extent women feel alienated remains unclear: most interviews for this article were conducted from a randomly generated list of voters who had been surveyed in a recent New York Times/CBS News poll, and their responses are anecdotal, not conclusive." Ah.
So I love the free contraceptives, but there are other things that are important to my health that you and Secretary Sebelius seem to have overlooked. What about abortion? Clearly women cannot be expected to pay for their own abortions. If we are to be functioning members of society, equal to men, then isn't it obvious that abortions ought to be paid for by everyone? Sure, some religious types may object, but they aren't sincere in their religious scruples. It's only a smokescreen for their "war on women."
There are a few more items, while we're on the subject. Have you thought about calcium supplements? Every year, more women suffer osteoporotic fractures than heart attacks, strokes and breast cancers combined. We cannot participate fully in national life with weak and broken bones. So we need free calcium supplements, along with free bone density scans and free hip replacements when the time comes. Also, weight-bearing exercise is good for bone health, so gym memberships should obviously be "covered" by insurance. And when I say "covered," I mean it the way Sebelius does: Free. No co-pays. We don't want women to be set back by decades, do we? Republicans, of course, want women to be crippled and hunchbacked. But not you.
Since it's well known that women do the majority of housework in America, it's only fair that maids and cooks be covered by insurance. It's for our health. While the maids are cleaning and the cooks are in the kitchen, we can spend time at the government-subsidized gym.
And let's not forget dental health, why, did you know that women . . .
To find out more about Mona Charen and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.