Where the 2012 Presidential Candidates Stand on Women's Issues

Who deserves your vote?Who deserves your vote?2012 presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney clash on the topics that matter most to you. Consult this crucial cheat sheet before you cast your vote.

By Lauren Panariello

1. Abortion

Obama: Pro-choice. He strongly supports Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision establishing a woman's constitutional right to an abortion, and says he'll continue federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Romney: Pro-life. Despite recent remarks that he has "no legislation with regards to abortion...that would become part of my agenda," Romney has called Roe v. Wade "one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history" and believes abortion access should be decided by each state. (BTW, He later back-tracked on his most recent comments, saying that he would govern as a "pro-life president.") He also wants to stop federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

2. Equal Pay

Obama: Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which ended the 180-day statute of limitations for filing unequal-pay lawsuits. Supported the Paycheck Fairness Act to make it easier to sue for punitive damages (but it failed in the Senate in June).

Romney: Says he won't repeal the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Has never weighed in on the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Related: Sh*t Politicians Say...About Women's Rights

3. Campus Sexual Violence

Obama: His administration introduced guidelines clarifying colleges' obligations for preventing sexual violence, declaring that schools receiving federal funds must investigate sex-assault charges "promptly."

Romney: Has not indicated whether he'll make fighting campus sexual assault a priority.

4. Birth Control

Obama: Signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requiring employers to offer contraception in their health plan and insurers to cover the full cost (no co-pays or deductibles) of Rx birth control and emergency contraception.

Romney: Has promised to overturn the PPACA and let each state pass its own laws to determine whether insurers have to cover Rx birth control fully. Also favors a bill that lets employers opt out of contraception coverage if they have a moral issue with it.

Related: Politician Says "Legitimate Rape" Blocks Pregnancy


5. Maternity and Child Care

Obama: His stimulus bill provided $2 billion for child care and development, and the PPACA mandates that employers provide nursing moms "reasonable break time" and a private place to pump milk at work.

Romney: Says he wants to raise the work requirements for mothers receiving welfare benefits and that he'll increase federal funding for child care to help make this happen.

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