Washington Post columnist George Will dismissed women's reproductive rights as a small issue because access to contraceptives has been a constitutionally protected right for the past 47 years.
Will stated on ABC's This Week that “professional women with college degrees” resent the “condescension of the Obama campaign, which says” to women: “don't you trouble your pretty little heads about these men's issues like unemployment and all the rest, worry about contraception, which has been a constitutional right for 47 years.” Will continued: “It's a distraction. The entire war on women trope, and I think professional, educated women find it offensive.”
While it is true that the Supreme Court ruled in the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut that state governments cannot ban access to contraception, Mitt Romney supports the Blunt Amendment, legislation that would allow business owners to withdraw insurance coverage for contraception or any other medical treatment.
Moreover, Clarence Thomas, one of the justices that Romney has said will serve as a model for his judicial nominations, has said that he agreed with the dissenting judge in Griswold, who said that contraception bans are constitutionally valid.
In addition to his stance on contraception, Romney has said that he would appoint Supreme Court justices that would likely try to overturn the court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision -- a goal Romney has had since at least 2007. Appointing anti-Roe v. Wade judges to the Supreme Court could have drastic consequences. According to Tony Mauro of USA Today: “If a President Romney gets to appoint replacements for liberals Ginsburg and Breyer, then abortion rights, gay rights, affirmative action and campaign-finance reform could well be in serious jeopardy.” Romney has also reportedly opposed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which provides women more legal room to file pay discrimination claims against employers.
The Roe v. Wade decision awarded women a fundamental right in 1973, which Romney has repeatedly promised to revoke, calling it “one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history.” To George Will and other conservative media, women's rights remain a “distraction.”