Female Fights: #4 Abortion

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A highly charged election year had political parties accusing one another of waging a war against women. Reproductive issues like abortion surfaced in the national discussion and in online searches. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

In 2012, women put up a good fight to defend their interests, even as others fought for their favor. Here are the year's top female fights, as measured by search volume and percentage spikes compared with 2011 on Yahoo!.

At a time when teen pregnancies have dropped and abortion rates have plateaued, the issues of birth control and abortion became political fodder. Each political party accused the other side of waging a war against women, and the status of Roe v. Wade was one of many skirmishes. Republican candidate Mitt Romney expressed his view that state legislatures should make policy about abortions. In an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board, however, Romney said, "There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda." His vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, in the debate with Vice President Joe Biden, declared: "We don't think that unelected judges should make this [abortion rights] decision; that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination." President Obama, of course, outlined his pro-choice stance.

Abortion was as much a discussion at the state level: Ohio narrowly rejected the "heartbeat bill," while a federal judge put a stop to Mississippi's plans to close its last remaining clinic offering abortion services. And of course, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., gained notoriety as he spoke of banning abortion even in cases of rape (see Female Fights #9).

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