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Election 2012: What moms should know

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

A mom's eye view of the issues

With the election season heating up, you're probably wondering where the candidates stand on issues related to parents, families and women. Here's what you need to know.

President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be on the ballot on November 6. But before you head to the polls, you should know where each stands on these important issues.

Hey, Mama, it's good to be informed, right?

Employment

There's no doubt that times are tough for most families these days. Money is stretched thin between housing, rising prices of food and gas and more. And with so many people out of work or otherwise underemployed, a better job market would mean better times for moms and dads.

Obama

President Obama says he's turned the job market around since taking office, with 31 consecutive months of job growth and the addition of 5.2 million new private sector jobs. His plan for contributed job growth includes eliminating tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and creating incentives for businesses to bring jobs back to America. However some say that the job growth numbers are misleading.

Romney

Romney says that he knows how to create jobs and will do so (in fact, he said that again and again in the second presidential debate). But how? Romney has said he will create 12 million jobs through energy independence, tax reforms and expanding trade. He also has promised to crack down on China to help bring jobs back to the U.S. However, The Washington Post says that his numbers and plans don't really add up.

Education

Everyone will agree that education in the United States needs improvement. Ranked 27th in the world in math, 22nd in math and 7th in literacy, our kids aren't getting as good an education as they could be. Teachers work so hard, but mandates from the government have made things very difficult.

Obama

The Obama administration has worked to overhaul education, crafting an education policy that builds on the effective provisions of the No Child Left Behind act and drops cumbersome mandates. Many states were also issued waivers allowing them flexibility in meeting math and reading proficiency standards. The crux of his efforts is the Race to the Top initiative that awarded grants for innovative efforts to improve education.

Romney

Romney's education plan is dubbed “A Chance for Every Child” (sounds vaguely familiar, no?). It's a departure from the present educational system and would give more educational power to states and parents. It revolves around school choice — allowing parents to choose where their child goes to school if they aren't happy with how the school is performing. The plan supports the creation of more charter schools and reforming how teachers are evaluated.

Reproductive rights

Who is in charge of your body? Reproductive rights really center around this question -- and depending on where you fall on the pro-life vs pro-choice debate, candidates speak to both sides.

Obama

President Obama is pro-choice and a supporter of women's reproductive rights. As part of Obamacare, birth control is now fully covered by many insurance plans.

Romney

The Romney campaign is putting forth a pro-life stance. He's said that he'd like to overturn Roe v. Wade and also turn abortion decisions over to individual states.

Health care

As a mother, health care matters -- not just for our kids but for ourselves too. Whatever your specific concerns are, having access to health care and life-saving medications is essential. But what's the right way to ensure that Americans get the health care they need?

Obama

Obama signed the Affordable Health Care Act into law in 2010. It overhauls health care, ensuring that more Americans are insured, that people aren't excluded from insurance because of pre-existing conditions and also establishing standards for health care plans.

Romney

Romney has repeatedly attacked the Affordable Health Care Act and promised to overturn it if elected. He believes that health care matters should be handled at the state level, following the lead of what Massachusetts did while he was governor.

More on the issues and debates

Presidential debate: Romney 1, Big Bird 0
Vanessa Williams: I had a teen abortion

Celebrities speak out for Planned Parenthood

Photo credits: WENN

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