What’s At Stake for Women (Part 2)
A recent self-care Monday, during which I had all my moles and skin tags and dark spots checked out and this year’s flu shot injected, led to another preventive discovery. In the clinic waiting room, I came across the September 26, 2016 issue of Women’s Health magazine, chock full of the usual advice on how to deal with foot pain, master the podium for public speaking, and choose the latest shades of make-up (as well as an intro to eating paleo). Plus a well-timed article, put together by journalists and policy experts in the arena of women’s health and wellness, exploring “what if” the most dramatic gender-related proposals that have been put forth by candidates this election cycle actually came to pass. How might this figure in the choices women voters will make on or before Nov. 8th?
Last week’s blog laid out the consequences of completely repealing the Affordable Care Act or of declaring abortion to be illegal. There would be huge costs in terms of sicker women and dangerously unregulated medical procedures. This week let’s take a look, based on the opinions of dozens of experts who were interviewed, at what is at stake for women around immigration. Again, if the most extreme proposed measures were adopted, the financial and human costs would be high and the damages great.
If the federal government followed through on deporting even half of the undocumented immigrants in this country, some five million women would be forced to leave. Many of these women would be separated from their children, since 88 percent of the kids in immigrant families are U.S. born citizens. The cost in emotional upheaval would be unfathomable.
The median household earnings of citizen wives and children — left behind to make it alone after their spouses and fathers were deported — would fall by half, to less than $25,000 a year. Estimates are that this drastic reduction in income would “shave an average of 2.2 years off these women’s lives.”
The UU Women’s Federation has participated in work for common sense immigration reform. We do this work, along with dozens of other faith and secular groups, with a commitment to protecting rather than breaking up immigrant families, ensuring due process, and promoting immigration policies that empower women. We urge you to go to the polls with this intention.
Next Week: The Power of Women in Presidential Elections.