Obama vs. Romney 101: 5 differences on women's issues

President Obama won the women’s vote four years ago, and he’ll need to again to win reelection, given Mitt Romney’s strength among male voters. Here are some of the women’s issues on which the candidates differ.

5. Domestic abuse

J. Scott Applewhite/AP/File
Rep. Gwen Moore (D) of Wisconsin recounts her own history of being sexually assaulted during her childhood and then raped as a young woman as she and other Democrats in the House push for the unrestricted reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, on Capitol Hill May 16, 2012.

The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) – which funds programs addressing domestic abuse – has long enjoyed bipartisan support. But this year, in its latest round of reauthorization, it has hit a snag. This is in part because Democrats have expanded coverage to include gays and lesbians, illegal immigrants, and native Americans.

President Obama supports this version, as does Vice President Biden, author of the original version when he was a senator.

Conservative Republicans object to the expanded version’s protections for same-sex couples and illegal immigrants, which, in the latter case, could provide access to temporary visas. Republicans say Democrats are using the bill to claim the GOP is waging a “war on women.”

The bill is now languishing in Congress.

Mitt Romney has said little about VAWA or domestic abuse in general. In April, the Romney campaign said the candidate supports reauthorization, but did not endorse the expanded Democratic version.

For a full list of stories about how Romney and Obama differ on the issues, click here.

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