Forget the mama grizzlies. In 2012, Hell may hath no fury like a woman voter scorned by the right, reports Politico. Between Rick Santorum's call for states to be able to ban birth control, Komen's defunding of Planned Parenthood, Catholic bishops' contraception brouhaha, a Santorum backer who defined birth control as a "Bayer aspirin" between "the gals'" knees, and various states instituting personhood laws or mandating vaginal probes for women seeking abortion, this election cycle suddenly has the potential to clear the women's rights' benches. “If women feel they are being targeted again, that women’s health is on the line—that’s not an argument you want to make in an election year,” says one expert.
President Obama did well among women voters in 2008, notes Politico, but they veered right in 2010 and have largely sat on their hands until now—so stirring the debate over women's issues could prove dangerous to the GOP, and though most conservatives are framing it as a fight for religious freedom, many women aren't buying it as such. “I feel like the world is spinning backwards,” says one former politician who caught flak for her birth control in the 1960s. “If you had told me this would be a debate in 2012, I would have thought you were nuts." (Read more women's health stories.)