President Obama and Mitt Romney need to appeal to women on this final home stretch of the election, and they're using the high-profile debates to do so. Last week's town hall debate was dubbed "ladies' night," as both men talked about how their policies would benefit women. Before tonight's final debate in Florida, check out this rundown of what Obama and Romney said last week, and then weigh in on whether they're swaying your vote in our poll.
Obama: "The first bill I signed was something called the Lilly Ledbetter bill. And it's named after this amazing woman who had been doing the same job as a man for years, found out that she was getting paid less, and the Supreme Court said that she couldn't bring suit because she should have found out about it earlier, whereas she had no way of finding out about it. So we fixed that. And that's an example of the kind of advocacy that we need, because women are increasingly the breadwinners in the family."
Romney: "We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks,' and they brought us whole binders full of women."
Romney: "There are 3.5 million more women living in poverty today than when the president took office."
Obama: "One of the things that makes us grow as an economy is when everybody participates and women are getting the same fair deal as men are."
Obama: "In my healthcare bill, I said insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage to everybody who is insured. Because this is not just a — a health issue, it's an economic issue for women. It makes a difference. This is money out of that family's pocket. Governor Romney not only opposed it, he suggested that in fact, employers should be able to make the decision as to whether or not a woman gets contraception through her insurance coverage."
Romney: "I don't believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not. And I don't believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care or not."
On the reproductive rights issue especially, it seems Mitt Romney used the debate to appear more moderate. While Romney praised contraception in last week's debate, earlier this year, Romney supported the Blunt Amendment, which would have let any employer opt out of providing healthcare coverage — like birth control — that violated their conscience or religion. It's not clear whether Romney has changed course on that issue, but we do know from the vice presidential debate that the Romney/Ryan ticket still favors limiting abortion rights in all cases besides rape, incest, and saving the life of the mother. For his part, Obama attempted to paint Romney as extreme on social issues. "George Bush never suggested that we eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood," Obama said in the second debate. Is all the back and forth on women's issues during the debates impacting your vote?