WASHINGTON (JTA) — Three past and current leaders of Jewish women’s advocacy groups endorsed President Obama, citing their concerns about women’s rights.
Nancy Ratzan, the immediate past president of the National Council of Jewish Women; Barbara Dobkin, the founding chairwoman of the Jewish Women’s Archive, the chairwoman of the American Jewish World Service board of trustees and a major donor to a number of causes; and Millie Sernovitz, the chairwoman of Jewish Family and Community Services of South Florida and a past president of Jewish Women International, signed an Op-Ed in the Jewish Journal of Broward County titled "Stand With Us."
The newspaper is located in Florida, which is seen as a swing state. Both campaigns are focused heavily on its substantial Jewish population.
Speaking of the Republican presidential candidates, the Op-Ed claimed: "They all support ending access to reproductive choice, including basic contraception. Indeed, their likely nominee, Mitt Romney has called Roe v. Wade ‘one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history,’ he supports the ‘personhood amendment’ that would outlaw all abortion, and he says he will repeal health care reform on his first day in office."
Romney has said he would stop government funding for Planned Parenthood, but has never said he would stop access to contraception.
He has pledged to initiate a rollback of some aspects of the health care reform passed in 2010, but has suggested that he will keep some of its provisions and replace others with models he believes will be more efficient.
Romney does favor the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that guarantees a woman’s access to abortion as a matter of privacy, but he also has said that he favors legal abortions in cases of rape, incest or when the woman’s life is in danger.
Regarding Obama, the Op-Ed stated that, "With respect to Israel, our security assistance has increased every year, we’ve quelled attempts to isolate Israel, and Iran is under greater pressure than ever before. With respect to domestic achievements, his historic health care reform has created access to better and more affordable health care for millions of Americans."
Obama’s increases in security assistance to Israel are partly the result of a memorandum of understanding framed by the previous Bush administration.
The Op-Ed noted Obama’s mandated inclusion of contraceptive care coverage in health care plans whatever the religious inclinations of the employer.
Ratzan is a donor to Democratic candidates and acts as a surrogate for the Obama campaign in Florida. Dobkin has been a major giver to Democratic candidates.