(CNSNews.com) – Singer Carole King said on Wednesday the Republican Party is "too extreme” for women, but when asked about President Obama’s past opposition to a bill that would have protected infants who survived botched abortions, King said she’s looking at the president’s record on women “since he took office.”
King appeared with Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) to present a “political scorecard” to contrast the views of Republicans and Democrats on women's issues.
“But what about President Obama in his own record when he was in the Illinois State Senate," King was asked. "He opposed a bill called the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which would have mandated medical assistance for infants that survive botched abortions. And he was opposed to that several times. Do you think that’s an extreme position to hold?”
“I’m looking at President Obama’s record on women since he took office as president and that has been pretty consistent for things that are important to women,” King said.
“And again, it’s not like women’s issues aren’t men’s issues, as well,” she said. “There are men who love and respect women and there are men who seem bent on taking things away from women, taking rights away.”
The singer used “equal pay for equal work” as a “simple no-brainer” example: “What could be objectionable about that?” she asked. “And yet today’s Republicans consistently vote against it.”
“So, we need to make that change and get Democrats in power and also send a message to the Republican Party, ‘Hey, you’re too extreme,’” she said. “You need to come back to where most of the people are.”
CNSNews.com asked King why she came to Capitol Hill. “Well, (a) I’m a woman and (b) women’s issues are important to everyone because women—first of all, there are men who love and respect women and women are the core of families, along with men, and it’s an economic issue,” she said.
“The war on women seems to be keeping women down economically and why would any thinking man want to do that?”
King continued: “And yet you have a whole caucus, the whole Republican caucus, they don’t vote on important issues but they vote on issues that they know won’t get any farther -- like the what is it, 59 votes on abortion? And declaring rape ‘forcible rape,’ like that’s kind of an oxymoron.”
“Why is this happening?” she said. “I don’t know but I think we need to pull attention to it.”
King said historically Republicans have been “pretty good” on women’s issues: “A lot of Republicans actually are troubled by the fact that their party has moved away from their values and their beliefs, which include honoring women,” she said.
“To them I say the best way to change the party back to the party you love is vote Democratic.”
When asked if she believes if the Romney/Ryan ticket is “extreme,” King said, “I do.”
“Just for example that bill that mentioned—tried to set aside forcible rape as different from rape, Ryan was strongly on that,” she said. “Romney, you don’t even know where he stands because he’s had every position on every issue and yet we really don’t know what specifically he will do to improve the life of women.”
“For Ann Romney to get up and say, ‘I love you women!’ is not policy making or even sharing policy with American women and men,” King added.
Before he was president, Barack Obama voted three times against a bill that would have given legal protections to babies that survived an abortion.
Obama explained his opposition to the bill on the senate floor in 2003:
“As I understand it, this puts the burden on the attending physician who has determined, since they were performing this procedure, that, in fact, this is a nonviable fetus; that if that fetus, or child – however way you want to describe it – is now outside the mother’s womb and the doctor continues to think that its nonviable but there’s, lets say, movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just out limp and dead, they would then have to call a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved.”
Previously in the Illinois State Senate in 2001 Obama also said defining a “pre-viable fetus as a person” would obstruct access to abortion.
“Number one, whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a – a child, a nine-month-old – child that was delivered to term,” Obama said.
“That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place,” he said. “I mean, it – it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute.”