Tell Romney Campaign that Women’s Issues Matter

Target: Mitt Romney’s senior campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom

Goal: Don’t dismiss women’s rights as distracting “shiny objects” of no real importance.

It’s no secret that women have a lot to lose this election season, like access to birth control and abortion rights. But according to a man at the helm of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, these important social issues are comparable to “shiny objects.” Recently, Senior Campaign Adviser Eric Fehrnstrom made a highly controversial statement to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos dismissing crucial women’s rights issues as an attempt by Democrats to distract voters. Tell Fehrnstrom that social issues affecting women deserve to be treated with careful consideration.

According to a Raw Story report, this senior adviser’s anti-woman rhetoric came on the heels of a statement made by President Barack Obama aide Davis Plouffe in New York magazine.

“Potentially abortion will be criminalized,” Plouffe said of a Romney presidency. “Women will be denied contraceptive services. He’s far right on immigration. He supports efforts to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage.”

Undoubtedly, these are legitimate concerns for millions of women across America. Though issues surrounding the economy bear extreme importance, Fehrnstrom enjoys a position of power as a straight white man and a senior-level employee. He will never have to struggle through an unwanted pregnancy or be denied the right to marry the person he loves.

“Mitt Romney is pro-life,” he explained to Stephanopoulos. “He’ll govern as a pro-life president, but you’re going to see the Democrats use all sorts of shiny objects to distract people’s attention from the Obama performance on the economy. This is not a social issue election.”

Not only are Fehrnstrom statements offensive, but they’re also misleading. As Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter pointed out, social issues affecting women are often spoken about by Republican counterparts.

“If it’s not a social issue election then why did Mitt Romney just spend the last year campaigning on social issues?” she asked.

As senior campaign adviser, Fehrnstrom should know better than to alienate a huge segment of the population with a careless dismissal of issues of great importance to them. By signing the petition below, you will tell the Romney campaign that women’s issues are anything but “shiny objects” of no real importance.


Dear Mr. Fehrnstrom,

Publicly stating that social issues directly affecting women are “shiny objects” meant to distract voters from legitimate issues is misleading and dangerous for women everywhere. Women’s rights aren’t merely entertaining side issues. Rather, women’s well-being is critical to the prosperity of the United States. If we ignore issues that affect approximately half of the population, we can’t move forward as a nation.

Women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect; by essentially labeling their concerns as “distracting” and trivial, you alienate female voters and the men who support them. No political campaign can afford to do this.

It is imperative that you hold yourself accountable for this hurtful statement and ensure that the Romney campaign take women’s issues seriously. Please commit to taking action immediately.


[Your Name Here]

Sign the Petition

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41 Signatures

  • Ana Maria Mainhardt Carpes
  • Darlene Roepke
  • Frédérique Pommarat
  • Lynn Juozilaitis
  • Ann Blank
  • Eveline Mutsaerts
  • tam O
  • Mary-Carol Gales
  • Debbie Biere
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