Women Kept Abreast of Politics in Mammogram Debate

December 15, 2009 | NeW Staff

While the healthcare debate ensues, women remain at the center.  The November mammogram screening age recommendation by the government task force has not faded to old news, in fact, it has become one of the most hotly politicized issues.  And it’s not just a fight over healthcare, it’s a fight over women, according to a recent Politico article.

Democrats and Republicans have latched onto this issue in an attempt to secure the women’s vote in the 2010 election.  Both parties have taken an angle they believe will assure women they are on the women’s side of the mammogram debate.  

It’s not surprising the parties are targeting women over this issue.  After the government task force recommendation, Gallup reported that 76% of women disagreed with the new screening age.  Democrats are working to keep women on their side, 

“For Democrats, seizing on the issue has become a means of playing to female constituency that has typically been in the party’s back pocket.”

Republicans see this new recommendation as something to pin on Democrats and are structuring a way to lure female voters back to their side. In California, Carly Fiorina, a breast cancer survivor who is running a Senate campaign to challenge Senator Barbara Boxer, has become a lead spokeswoman for Republicans, 

” ‘They said that most women under 50 don’t need regular mammograms and that women over 50 should only get them every other year. And yet we all know that the chances of surviving cancer are greater the earlier it’s detected. If I’d followed this new recommendation and waited another two years, I’m not sure I’d be alive today.’ “


How will women side?  Or will they?  Wherever women fall in their party and ideological alliances, one thing is certain: the mammogram issue is a continuing concern for women going beyond just politics.  It’s somethi
ng women believe is a matter of life and death.

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