New York Times Editorial, Columnist Weigh Election's Significance for Women's Health

November 9, 2012 — The New York Times recently published an editorial and a column that discuss how Tuesday's election results relate to women's reproductive health issues. Summaries appear below.

~ Roger Cohen, New York Times: "If there was one unequivocal message delivered" in the election, "it was that Americans do not want politicians meddling with their sexual orientation, the right of gays to marry, or women's choices over reproduction," columnist Cohen writes. Voters "particularly do not want white male Republicans invoking religious faith to theorize about the nature of rape or whether pregnancy following such [a] violation might be God's will," he adds. According to Cohen, voters sent a "clear" message to conservatives: "Come to terms with equal rights and freedom of choice for women, and with the different sexual orientations of Americans, or go on losing" (Cohen, New York Times, 11/8).

~ New York Times: "On Election Day, Florida voters wisely rejected a proposed amendment to the State Constitution that would prohibit abortion coverage as part of health plans for state workers and Medicaid recipients," a Times editorial states. It adds, "The defeat should send a strong message to politicians in Florida and elsewhere who might want to broadly attack women's reproductive rights." However, the editorial notes, in Montana "voters approved a parental notification mandate that will require physicians to notify parents of minors under the age of 16 at least 48 hours before performing an abortion." The law is "bound to inflict harm," but its passage "does not mean that voters would support broader government interference with women's reproductive choices," the editorial adds (New York Times, 11/8).