Anti-Choice Extremists Will Be Welcomed During a Romney Presidency

Republican Richard Mourdock, candidate for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat, participates in a debate with Democrat Joe Donnelly an
Republican Richard Mourdock, candidate for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat, participates in a debate with Democrat Joe Donnelly and Libertarian Andrew Horning in a debate in New Albany, Ind., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. Mourdock said Tuesday when a woman is impregnated during a rape, "it's something God intended." He was asked during the final minutes of the debate whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

We're just a week away from electing our next president and the stakes are high.

How high, you ask?

So high that Mitt Romney put up a bogus ad to appear more moderate to women voters on abortion rights. Just yesterday, Romney surrogate Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) followed suit by claiming that Roe v. Wade is not in danger, should Romney become president -- a statement that contradicts Romney's own words.

As politics go, surrogates and candidates align their messaging and policies to reflect their party's values. I imagine they just roll the dice when it comes to keeping up with Romney's revolving positions.

They stand together on the campaign trail with promises not only to voters, but with promises to one another and to their party's values.

In this election, women's reproductive rights are at risk.

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has made efforts to stay away from all of the callous and outrageous comments made by his anti-choice allies. Should he win, it's likely Romney could give these anti-choice extremists a seat at the table.

Who are these extremists?

Let's begin with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. One of Romney's first actions as the presumptive nominee was to embrace his party's selection of McDonnell to chair the party's platform committee. Gov. McDonnell signed a forced-ultrasound measure into law that forces Virginia women to undergo an invasive ultrasound before accessing abortion care, even if it's medically unnecessary and even if it's against the woman's will.

Shortly thereafter, Romney chose anti-choice extremist Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his vice-presidential running mate.

Out of 60 opportunities, Rep. Ryan has never cast a pro-choice vote while in Congress. Ryan repeatedly voted to defund Planned Parenthood, which would deny millions of women access to comprehensive reproductive-health care and preventive services. And let us not forget, Ryan co-sponsored and repeatedly voted for the Federal Abortion Ban, a law that criminalizes some abortion services and endangers women's health, with the now infamous Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO).

Akin, the Senate candidate from Missouri who sparked controversy earlier this year for his opposition to abortion for rape survivors, stating "that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

And to add insult to injury, anti-choice candidates and Romney allies have continued their tirade of condescending remarks against women. State Rep. Roger Rivard (R-WI) questioned the credibility of rape survivors, claiming that "some girls rape easy." And beating a similar drum, Romney-endorsed Senate candidate from Indiana Richard Mourdock sparked controversy when he declared that, "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen." Romney continues to stand behind Mourdock's campaign.

You can tell a lot about a person by the company he keeps.

There is a chilling underlying theme of a blatant lack of respect for a woman's ability to make their own health care decisions among these candidates. This is also deeply rooted in the party platform Romney proudly embraces.

Should Romney win, these anti-choice candidates and allies will be welcomed into the Oval Office. Promises made on the campaign trail will be redeemed on the backs of women's reproductive health.

Mitt Romney has given women and men every indication that he will be an anti-choice president. This is a reality women cannot afford.

We have a choice on Nov. 6, the only choice these extremists cannot take away. We must continue to move our country forward and elect candidates who share the same pro-choice values that the majority of Americans share.

We must do our part to protect the future made for our daughters, granddaughters, and quite frankly, ourselves.

Overturning Roe v. Wade, making it harder for women to access contraception, and restricting reproductive rights is a top priority for these extremists. I take them at their word.

Their anti-choice agenda is real, so do not be fooled into thinking otherwise: the stakes are simply too high.