Governor Haley, To Insist That The Women Of SC Don’t Care About Contraception Is An Egregious Misrepresentation of Your Constituency
By Beth Rogers, a graduate student in the women’s studies department at USC and an assistant at New Morning Foundation. She loves reading and writing about reproductive health issues in South Carolina, and is excited about partnering with Tell Them on future projects. Please feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
On the April 3rd edition of “The View,” South Carolina governor Nikki Haley made the following statement: “Women need to get involved in office…we need real people running for office, because we need to make sure that we’re getting our experiences out and that we’re telling our story.”
You won’t hear any disagreement from me on that front—I do think that it’s imperative that we have female legislators who can speak up for women’s causes. Unfortunately, Governor Haley proved yesterday that she is not such a legislator.
In the midst of pontificating about her experiences of marginalization in our state, Nikki Haley was asked about the tendency to associate female representatives with reproductive health care causes, such as the current debate surrounding contraception. Her response: “Women don’t care about contraception. They care about jobs and the economy and raising their families and all of those things.”
You’re right, Governor Haley. I do care about the economy. I care about the fact that unplanned teenage pregnancies cost South Carolina taxpayers at least $197 million in 2008. I care about the fact that in that same year, teenage childbearing cost our country approximately $10.9 billion.
And jobs? Right again. I care deeply about jobs in this state. And my job happens to be making sure that the young women of South Carolina are afforded access to medically accurate, age-appropriate reproductive health care information and services, including contraception… It’s my job to make sure that our representatives are doing everything in their power to make sure that said access is not hindered or restricted via legislation.
My family? Funny you mention that…I’ve elected to postpone starting a family until I’ve achieved the educational and career goals that I established for myself. Right now, my family consists of myself and a boyfriend, and both of us are working our way through graduate school in order to provide the best possible futures for ourselves and the family we hope to have one day; contraception is a big part of making sure that we can do that.
I am a woman in South Carolina, and I care about contraception. If Governor Haley truly wants to speak for the women of our state, and accurately represent the voice of her constituency, she needs to make sure that she’s telling the real story.