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Panic at New York Times? Two Lead Editorials Tar Romney as Sexist and Radical

The New York Times must be really worried about bolstering Obama's support among women, with a Gallup poll shows Romney pulling even with Obama among women (though reporter Michael Shear strenously downplayed the fact in a Wednesday post by saying that "other surveys -- and Mr. Obama’s top strategists -- disputed that finding.")

In the last three days the paper has played into the Democrats' "war on women" theme, issuing two lead editorials on the dangers a Romney administration would pose to females. Tuesday's lead editorial fixated on the hazard a Romney presidency would pose to the left's beloved Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. On Thursday Romney was accused of having a "1952 sensibility" in "Mr. Romney's Version of Equal Rights – Facing a Gender Gap, the candidate looks at the issues through an out-of-date lens."

On Thursday, the paper's hypersensitive liberal editorial writers managed to find sexism in an utterly straightforward observation made by Mitt Romney during Tuesday night's second presidential debate.

It has dawned on Mitt Romney that he has a problem with female voters. He just has no idea what to do about it, since it is the result of his positions on abortion, contraception, health services and many other issues. On Tuesday night, he bumbled his way through a cringe-inducing attempt to graft what he thinks should be 2012 talking points onto his 1952 sensibility.

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But then he started a slow, painful slide into one of the most bizarre comments on this issue we’ve ever heard, which became an instant Internet sensation. “We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet,” Mr. Romney said, sounding as if that were a herculean task. An appeal to women’s groups, he said, “brought us whole binders full of women.”

This was important, he said, because “I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the work force that sometimes they need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.”

At this point we could practically hear his political consultants yelling “Stop!”

But Mr. Romney did not. “She said, I can’t be here until 7 or 8 o’clock at night. I need to be able to get home at 5 o’clock so I can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school.”

Flexibility is a good policy. But what if a woman had wanted to go home to study Spanish? Or rebuild an old car? Or spend time with her lesbian partner? Would Mr. Romney have been flexible about that? Or if a man wanted similar treatment?

True equality is not satisfied by allowing the little lady to go home early and tend to her children.

The paper's abortion editorial Tuesday warned that "Some women would die" "If Roe v. Wade Goes."

It is no secret that Mitt Romney and his running-mate, Representative Paul Ryan, are opponents of abortion rights. When Mr. Ryan was asked at last week’s debate whether voters who support abortion rights should be worried if the Romney-Ryan ticket were elected, he essentially said yes.

They would depart slightly from the extremist Republican Party platform by allowing narrow exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the woman. Beyond that, they would move to take away a fundamental right that American women have had for nearly 40 years.

Mr. Romney has called for overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to make her own childbearing decisions and to legalized abortion nationwide. He has said that the issue should be thrown back to state legislatures. The actual impact of that radical rights rollback is worth considering.

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We do not need to guess about the brutal consequences of overturning Roe. We know from our own country’s pre-Roe history and from the experience around the world. Women desperate to end a pregnancy would find a way to do so. Well-to-do women living in places where abortion is illegal would travel to other states where it is legal to obtain the procedure. Women lacking the resources would either be forced by the government and politicians to go through with an unwanted or risky pregnancy, attempt to self-abort or turn to an illegal -- and potentially unsafe -- provider for help. Women’s health, privacy and equality would suffer. Some women would die.