Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver broke out the full proverbial can of whoop-ass yesterday at the Democratic National Convention, delivering one of the stronger thumpings of Republicans on women’s issues we’ve seen this election season–certainly from any Colorado politician. Excerpts follow, full transcript as prepared for delivery available here:
My sisters and I were encouraged to choose the direction of our lives. We became a congresswoman, a stay-at-home mom, a filmmaker, and a journalist. And Lino and I taught our children that they could rise to even greater heights. They could become surgeons, CEOs, supreme court justices, secretary of state, and even president of the United States. We didn’t teach our daughters that they were second-class citizens.
With proposal after proposal, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to make women second-class citizens again. [Pols emphasis] We will not let that happen. As a fourth-generation Coloradoan, I believe that our western spirit is an inspiration for what makes America great. Westerners stand strong in our defense of individual rights and women’s equality.
In 2013, Colorado will celebrate its 120th anniversary of granting women the right to vote–the first state in the nation to do so. The accomplishments we’ve achieved did not come easily. Many opposed the advance of women into new roles and responsibilities–they even opposed our right to vote. But, working together, we have established our rightful place in our American republic…
Romney and Ryan support the so-called “personhood amendment” that would ban many forms of birth control, would ban all abortions (even in cases of rape, incest, or to save a mother’s life), ban in-vitro fertilization, which helps families have children of their own, and would ban embryonic stem cell research, which holds the promise to cure so many diseases.
But, although these restrictions on women’s rights are all Republican ideas, even in their platform, my friends across the aisle now try to change the subject. “It’s the economy,” they cry. And they are right. When they break the guarantee of Medicare, it will hurt women and families right in the pocketbook. When they allow insurance companies to deny coverage based on the pre-existing condition of being a woman, it hits women and families right in the pocketbook. When they take away the guarantee of coverage for mammograms and cervical cancer screenings in the Affordable Care Act, it will hurt women and families right in the pocketbook. When they deny women access to birth control so we can plan when to have children, it hits women and families right in the pocketbook.