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MOTHER'S DAY MEMO: Romney's Record On Issues Important To Women And Families

As families across the country celebrate Mother’s Day and honor the women in their life, it is also a good opportunity to reflect on the policies that allow women to pursue equal pay for equal work, protect women and families from violence, and help to prevent serious illnesses. Unfortunately for women and their families, Mitt Romney has consistently advocated against these policies. With the Republican Party consistently advocating an anti-women agenda, they have found the perfect standard bearer in Mitt Romney.

MITT ROMNEY DISMISSED THE ABILITY OF SINGLE MOTHERS AND LESBIAN MOTHERS TO RAISE A CHILD

2011: Romney Believed The Ideal Setting For Raising A Child Was “Two People Working Together And When One Is Male And One Is Female.” According to Advocate.com, “Being raised by a single mom — or two moms — is not the ‘ideal’ that society should encourage, Mitt Romney told an audience in New Hampshire this week. A woman at a town hall meeting in Hopkinton said she’d been raised by two women — her grandmother and her mother. And so she wanted to know why Romney, who says marriage is intended for one man and one woman to raise children together, sees her upbringing as inferior to his own. ‘I can say, look there are a lot of folks who get raised by one parent through divorce, through death or through a parent having a child out of wedlock,’ he answered in a CSPAN video of the event posted by ThinkProgress. ‘But in my view, a society recognizes that the ideal setting for raising a child is when you have the benefit of two people working together and when one is male and one is female.’” [Advocate.com, 10/11/11]

Romney: “The Nation Presumably Will — Would Be Better Off If — If Children Are Raised In A Setting Where There’s A Male And A Female.” According to a transcript of the ABC/Yahoo!/WMUR New Hampshire GOP primary debate, Romney said, “But it’s instead a recognition that, for society as a whole, that the nation presumably will — would be better off if — if children are raised in a setting where there’s a male and a female. And there are many cases where there’s not possible: divorce, death, single parents, gay parents, and so forth. But — but for a society to say we want to encourage, through the benefits that we associate with marriage, people to form partnerships between men and women and then raise children, which we think will — that will be the ideal setting for them to be raised.” [The Washington Post, 1/7/12]

MITT ROMNEY PROPOSED WORK REQUIREMENTS THAT WOULD FORCE MOTHERS WITH YOUNG CHILDREN OUT OF THE HOME

FY07: Romney Proposed Work Requirements And Time Limits For Transitional Assistance To Parents Caring For A Child Between One And Two Years Of Age, Mothers In Their Last Trimester Of Pregnancy, Teen Parents Who Are Attending School, Individuals Caring For A Disabled Family Member, And Many Disabled Parents. According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, “Like last year’s budget proposal by the Governor, this budget offers similar proposals to reform the TAFDC program. For example, the Governor proposes to impose work requirements and time limits by removing exemptions for parents caring for a child between one and two years of age, mothers in their last trimester of pregnancy, teen parents who are attending school, individuals caring for a disabled family member, and many disabled parents. His proposal would also remove working parents’ guarantee to child care, which, under current law, is available up to one year after benefits end.” [Massachusetts Budget And Policy Center, 2/1/06]

Romney Said Stay At Home Parents Needed To Have “The Dignity Of Work.” According to the Washington Post, “Mitt Romney, it turns out, was against calling stay-at-home mothers ‘working moms’ before he was for it. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes broke the news this morning. Back in January, Romney appeared at a town hall even in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he explained his position on welfare. ‘While I was governor,’ Romney said, ‘85 percent of the people on a form of welfare assistance in my state had no work requirement. I wanted to increase the work requirement. I said, for instance, that even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless,’ and I said ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving daycare to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.’’” [Wonkblog, Washington Post, 04/15/12]

MITT ROMNEY REFUSED TO SAY IF HE WOULD HAVE SIGNED LEGISLATION GUARANTEEING WORKING MOTHERS PAY ON PAR WITH THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS

Romney Refused To Say Whether He Would Have Signed The Lilly Ledbetter Act. According to ABC News, during an interview, Diane Sawyer asked: “I want to talk about a couple of issues relating to women. This 19-point difference between you and the president on women. Here are some specific questions. If you were president — you had been president — would you have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Law?” Romney said “It’s certainly a piece of legislation I have no intend — intention of changing. I wasn’t there three years ago …” Sawyer interjected “But would you have signed it?” and Romney replied “I’m not going to go back and look at all the prior laws and say had I been there which ones would I have supported and signed, but I certainly support equal pay for women and — and have no intention of changing that law, don’t think there’s a reason to.” [ABC News, 04/16/12]

MITT ROMNEY VETOED FUNDING AND PROPOSED CUTS FOR CHILD CARE CENTERS THAT WOULD HURT WORKING MOTHERS

FY06: Romney Vetoed Funding For Child Care Providers by $2.5 Million. According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, “The Governor reduced the Conference Committee’s reserve account to fund rate increases for child care providers from $12.5 million to $10.0 million.” [Massachusetts Budget And Policy Center, 7/7/05]

Romney Proposed A 10 Percent Cut In Child Care Funding In His FY04 Budget. According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, “While funding for child care programs that serve welfare recipients and low-income families appears to rise, the increase is illusory. After accounting for the consolidation of an early education program for three to five year olds with these programs, total spending on child care drops by $44.7 million, nearly ten percent. At the same time, more stringent work requirements for welfare recipients will increase the demand on these programs.” [Massachusetts Budget And Policy Center, 3/5/03

MITT ROMNEY CUT FUNDING FOR TEEN MOTHER PROGRAMS

FY04: Romney Proposed Spending Cuts To A Home Visiting Program For Teenage Mothers. According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, “Spending on a variety of prevention programs, including smoking cessation and a home visiting program for teenage mothers, is cut sharply.” [Massachusetts Budget And Policy Center, 3/5/03]

FY06: Romney Vetoed Almost Half Of The Funding For Teen Pregnancy Prevention. According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, “The Governor vetoed $907,357 within the teenage pregnancy prevention programs, leaving $1.1 million.” [Massachusetts Budget And Policy Center, 7/7/05]

MITT ROMNEY VETOED FUNDS FOR BREAST CANCER DETECTION

FY04: Romney Vetoed $35,678 For Early Breast Cancer Detection & Research – The Legislature Overrode.  Romney reduced funding for early breast cancer detection & research by $35,678. The Senate overrode the reduction 39 to 1. The House voted to amend Romney’s reduction, 142 to 15. [Romney Veto Statement, House No. 4005, 6/30/03; Senate Journal, 7/16/03; House Journal, 7/16/03]

Romney Vetoed $2.8 Million For Cervical And Breast Cancer Treatment. According to Lowell Sun, “Romney vetoed the entire $2.8 million earmark for cervical and breast cancer treatment, cut $6.6 million a little more than half from a program to counsel first-time mothers under 21. He also cut the entire $654,942 account for gambling treatment, eliminated $1 million in funds for prostate cancer prevention.” [Lowell Sun, 7/1/03]

FY04: Romney Vetoed $2,784,551 For Cervical And Breast Cancer Benefits – The Legislature Unanimously Overrode. Romney vetoed “$2,784,551 for cervical/breast cancer benefits.” The House overrode Romney’s veto 157 to 0. The Senate overrode Romney’s veto 40 to 0. [Romney Veto Statement, House No. 4005, 6/30/03; Senate Journal, 7/17/03; House Journal, 7/16/03]

Romney Vetoed $107,500 For Breast Cancer Detection Funding. According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, Romney vetoed “$107,500 for early breast cancer detection funding; funding for these services currently stands at $3.3 million.” [Massachusetts Budget And Policy Center, 7/7/05]

Romney Admitted Lt. Gov. Healey Cautioned Him Against Cutting Preventative Programs. According to a Boston Herald Opinion Column, “Take the reductions in various preventive-illness programs, from breast cancer research and screening to AIDS screening and teen-pregnancy prevention, and the $10 million stripped from anti-smoking programs. Even Romney admitted, at a town meeting in Leominster on Thursday, that Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey had cautioned him that cutting a preventive program likely to save heavy medical costs in the long run seemed ‘penny-wise, pound-foolish.’ He said something had to go when the state’s well was dry.” [The Boston Herald, Wayne Woodlief Opinion Column, 2/2/03]

MITT ROMNEY CUT FUNDING TO SUPPORT MOTHERS AT-RISK OF VIOLENCE

Romney’s Administration Made Cuts To Domestic Abuse Shelters In 2006 And Vetoed Funds For Domestic Abuse Programs. According to Politico, “New accounts from Romney’s time as governor are mixed on how the administration handled issues and budget cuts related to domestic abuse. Boston Globe columnist Eileen McNamara slammed Romney’s administration for cuts to specific domestic shelters in Novemer [sic] 2006. He also proposed budget cuts in 2003 and 2006, some of which were later restored by the legislature, to departments like the Legal Assistance Corporation, which had a program earmarked specifically for legal help for battered women. Budget cuts in overall dollars flowing to municipalities were also cited in a 2006 Boston Phoenix article as to why statistics showed a drop in rape arrests. There were also specific dollar amounts earmarked for certain programs, which, according to records, Romney vetoed or sent elsewhere.” [Politico, 4/18/12]

MITT ROMNEY REFUSED TO CLARIFY WHETHER HE’D SUPPORT THE UPDATED VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT REAUTHORIZATION

Campaign Spokeswoman Andrea Saul Did Not Detail Romney’s Position On The Updated Violence Against Women Act Which Broadened Protections. According to Politico, “Mitt Romney, who in his presidential run four years ago said he wasn’t ‘familiar with’ the Violence Against Women Act, ‘supports it’ and ‘hopes it can be reauthorized without turning it into a political football,’ said a spokeswoman for the presumptive nominee. Spokeswoman Andrea Saul didn’t detail how Romney feels about the partisan debate over additives to the bill, which Republicans have argued needlessly broadens routes for immigration, and adds protections to same-sex couples. Democrats are making a big push to for reauthorization of the 1994 act, with Vice President Joe Biden leading an event today to draw attention to it.” [Politico, 4/18/12]