You often hear the argument that it’s patronizing when political candidates appeal to women about women’s issues. What women voters really care about is what everybody cares about, and this year, that’s the economy… Moreover, the fact that sometimes gets lost in this parsing and claiming of voter motivation is that access to contraception and abortion are economic issues. They are matters of health care, as the Democrats like to emphasize, and they are moral matters, as the Republicans like to. But there is a reason why the dramatic rise in women’s work-force participation in the nineteen-sixties and seventies coincided with the wider availability of a reliable birth-control pill and abortion. Women’s ability to pursue education and careers is predicated on their ability to plan when they will give birth. The health and prospects of their families rests in part on mothers’ access to reproductive health care. When some, usually more affluent, women can easily obtain birth control, and others cannot, that has real economic implications, both for individuals and for social equity. Romney and Ryan would prefer that your forget it, but women’s issues are everybody’s issues.