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Introducing the DNC Women's Institute

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This year, Republicans have gone after Planned Parenthood, tried to redefine rape, worked to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and have gone after Title X. One of their leading candidates, Mitt Romney, has recently embraced the Blunt-Rubio amendment, which would severely restrict women’s access to health care.

You've read the headlines and watched the GOP candidates try to out-extreme each other. I think you'll agree: It's never been more important for Democratic women to engage in this year's elections and with our party.

That's why I'm so excited to announce that today, we're launching a new initiative for Democratic women: the DNC Women’s Institute. This year, we'll be focusing on supporting the Obama campaign’s outreach to women—but we'll also provide a long-term structure for the Democratic Party to engage women at all levels in the years to come. The DNC Women’s Institute will be a home base for women to get information about issues, candidates, and most important, how to become active.

Working hand-in-hand with Women for Obama, we'll host events around the country to engage Democratic and independent women and make sure that we send President Obama back to the White House. But that's not all—we'll be writing op-eds, blogging, and using social media to get out our message. (Follow the Women's Institute on Twitter at @DNCWomen.) We'll be hosting house parties to tell our friends and neighbors why we support the President and get them engaged with the campaign. And we'll be volunteering: organizing with state parties and Obama campaign, registering voters, and spreading the word about new laws restricting voting rights.

Looking toward November, so much is at stake. Just look at the Republican candidates and what they are proposing for women.

While Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum see who can pander most to the far right wing, they’re alienating the women voters they would need to win in November. Romney’s run to the right may be winning him Tea Party voters, but he’s losing support from women after alienating them with his policies. While the Republicans in Congress are trying to limit affordable access to contraception and other health care services for women, the President has instead focused on the economy and jobs and the issues Americans care about.

Take the Blunt-Rubio amendment. It’s an extreme attack on the rights of women to make decisions about their health for themselves. It could affect a woman’s access not only to contraception but also to mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, and maternity care. As a cancer survivor myself, I find this legislation and Republicans’ attempt to pass it reprehensible. If ever there were any doubt that Romney and the Republican Party are undermining women’s rights, their support of the Blunt-Rubio Amendment should clear that up.

Women can’t let Romney, Santorum, or any other Republican take away their rights and focus on issues that distract from putting more money in women’s pockets to provide for our families.

That’s what’s at stake, and that’s why the DNC Women’s Institute is so important—and I hope you'll get involved today.

We want your voices, ideas, and your enthusiasm. Sign up for more information: