After losing the support of women voters by double-digits in 2012, the Republicans vowed to improve their outreach efforts and address the concerns of women and families. The GOP Autopsy report encouraged the use of “language that addresses concerns that are on women’s minds in order to let them know we are fighting for them” to correct Republican candidates’ alarming and ignorant assertions that pregnancies as a result of rape were “something God intended to happen” and that “legitimate rape” does not result in pregnancy.
In practice, however, all Republican candidates for president have made no progress toward such goals and have instead doubled down on the extreme positions of their party’s 2012 candidates. The GOP will remain unsuccessful in appealing to women this election year due to wrong-headed policies and inflammatory, sexist remarks, including accusing a female reporter of having “blood coming out of her wherever” and saying that “women left their kitchens” to participate in the political process.
“The Republicans have utterly failed to carry out the remedies that they prescribed for themselves after losing women voters four years ago. The current GOP rhetoric and policies clearly show that nothing has changed and will only worsen problems connecting with women voters this year.” – Shu-Yen Wei, DNC spokesperson
On women’s health:
All of the GOP presidential candidates oppose safe and legal abortion and/or want to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that a large number of women across the country depend on for essential health services.
Ted Cruz called abortion “the stain on our nation’s modern history” and has stated that he wants to end it.
Marco Rubio opposes abortion, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
Donald Trump said it was worth shutting down the government in order to strip Planned Parenthood’s funding.
On paid leave:
All GOP presidential candidates are opposed, or are hostile, to policies that guarantee paid leave, even though many women constantly struggle with the choice of either going to work sick or forgoing a day’s pay to provide for their children. Working parents also face not being able to take off work to care for their sick child.
Ted Cruz voted against an amendment to “allow Americans to earn paid sick time.”
Rubio stated that he did not believe that companies should be federally mandated to provide paid leave for mothers of newborns.
Donald Trump called pregnancy “an inconvenience for a business.”
On increasing the minimum wage:
All of the Republican presidential candidates have opposed raising the minimum wage, even though a majority of those who would benefit from a minimum wage increase are working women.
Last year, Ted Cruz stated that he strongly opposed raising the federal minimum wage.
John Kasich ruled out raising the minimum wage.
Marco Rubio called pursuing a minimum wage increase a “waste of time.”
Trump also said that he would not act to raise the minimum wage.
On equal pay:
None of the GOP presidential candidates favor guaranteeing equal pay for women. On average, women in the U.S. earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. African-American and Latina women earn even less at 60 and 55 cents on the dollar as compared to their white, male colleagues.
Ted Cruz came out against equal pay legislation and the Paycheck Fairness Act, which allowed for more transparency in determining and redressing employee wage differences based on gender.
John Kasich claimed that women didn’t need workplace protections, only “a change of hearts among major employers.”
Trump claimed that equal pay would be a departure from the American Dream.