Well the primaries are almost over here in the red state, and so my time of pointing and laughing will sadly come to a close and I shall actually have to make a decision for the general. As a swing voter, my vote really doesn’t matter unless I’m voting in a Republican primary. However, I still vote my conscience regardless and consider occasionally moving. After my urge to kill abated today, I began to seriously consider a few things on the national scale, namely what this may mean to the largest voting bloc in our country- single women.
While I am a person of faith, the recent rulings for elimination of the buffer zones and that certain companies may choose which forms of birth control they wish to cover holds more of an economic challenge that I am now trying to conceptualize. If you want to know about my faith, you feel welcome to sit with me any Sunday at Northside Drive Baptist Church, come serve in VBS in Taliaferro County, or volunteer with me through Habitat, the Junior League of Atlanta, Inc., etc, etc. My actions speak my faith so that my words do not have to. Here, I will stick to a discussion of economic impact and political ramifications.
The engagement of the single woman in politics is difficult. She knows what she wants and is busy trying to compete: professionally (who doesn’t want to climb the ladder?), physically (gotta at least keep the fat rolls at bay), and socially (who wants to stay at home on a Saturday night?). She has been told by the same folks who lied to her mother that she can have it all. So politics fall down on the priority list until she’s voting for President. If she’s married, she might be influenced by her partner. But single women (whether those who have not yet married, are divorced, or their partner has passed) are influenced by other things. And now that this group of people make up the largest voting group in the nation, their votes are coveted, elusive, and every consultant I know wants to crack ‘em.
Problem is, social issues like these drive women to the polls….and they drive them to the left. As the prevalence of the church wanes, and social conservatives seek relevance, people are turned off by moral arguments and women more often lean left. I’m pretty solidly middle of the road, but I’m also solidly pro-choice. Many women, even those who would never consider abortion have difficulty understanding why its taken so long to get insurance coverage for their mammograms, their birth control choices and pelvic exams. You see, these all economically impact women; particularly birth control methods.
We all know that conception of an unplanned child alters men and women’s lives. The fact is though, that birth control choices also make an economic impact in a woman’s life. The most effective method of birth control is an IUD. Hobby lobby doesn’t want to pay for them. In 2007, an IUD cost 27-year-old me $1,600- that didn’t include the doctor’s visit. I also had to go round and round with my insurance company at the time. Meanwhile, my last three boyfriends had no idea what an IUD was- even the two who had been married. These things are not ones they have to consider. Contraception outside of condoms seem to not weigh as much on their minds. Maybe it was just them- maybe other men discuss their partner’s birth control methods over beers on the regular. I do not pretend to know what goes on at “guys’ nights”.
Recently, I purchased a plan on the marketplace as a result of the ACA, and found out that while I would still have to pay for the doctor’s visit, the IUD this time around was free. I have no idea what they cost, but I’m betting it’s more than $1,600 after a five year gap. This is real savings for women. This affects their pocketbooks- and in case you weren’t aware, that can buy you a lovely Chanel bag. At the same time, single women in childbearing years are better able to plan their destinies this way, and can follow whatever career goals they may have-a la Dagny Taggart.
So while the social conservatives claim victory for today, the DNCC is thanking their lucky stars. SCOTUS just gave them a theme for the convention and a carpet on which Hill can ride to the nomination. The ACA that many women this year can thank for giving them more options in birth control methods has just been carved into and that carving celebrated by the minority within the GOP. They will celebrate this victory and will again miss the engagement of the single female voter, who knows well what she wants and typically waits to cast her vote.
In chess, the game is played through a longer ball strategy that engages the pieces at differing times to reserve the powerful players for the most decisive moves. Knight, then Rook, then Bishop are typically used. And you know which piece is the most powerful and moves the fastest when engaged, right? It’s the queen.