sophia bush autumn party 'Partners' star Sophia Bush talks women's rights and healthcare: 'For me, these are non negotiable issues'When Zap2it arrived on the “Partners” set to sit down with Sophia Bush,
we found her spread out in the “office” set usually used as Michael Urie
and David Krumholtz’ fictional architectural firm. On this particular
day, though, Sophia had commandeered the room as her own office space —
and when we found her, she wasn’t looking over her script or emailing
her agent like one might expect. Instead, highlighter in hand, she was
carefully poring over a stack of research detailing both Governor Mitt
Romney’s and President Barack Obama’s records as pertaining to civil
rights issues.

If you follow Sophia on Twitter, you’ve noticed
that she doesn’t shy away from fierce activism and passionate political
statements. While her (very) vocal support of one candidate over another
might make a publicist wince, Sophia’s not one to hold back her opinion
— be it gratitude and generosity or sheer disgust and outrage. She’s a
vocal supporter of marriage equality, environmental preservation, and
global education initiatives.

Recently, she was called out by conservative
blogger Michelle Malkin for using the word “vagina” in a tweet about her
focus on women’s rights, from healthcare to the workplace. Their
exchange grew heated as Malkin blogged about Sophia’s refusal to “shut up” and accused her of being “girly bits obsessed.” (Needless to say, Sophia’s recap of the evening’s back-and-forth was a little different.)

While the dust was still settling, we asked Sophia what she feels is the most important issue on which she’d like
to see her fans educate themselves before November 6.

“For me, it all
boils down to women,” she says without hesitation. “There’s strong,
factual history to prove that Obama supports women with the Lilly
Ledbetter Act, with the other one that he’s trying to pass right now to
close up the loopholes that lawyers are finding in Lilly Ledbetter, the
Paycheck Fairness Act. Romney and Ryan don’t support those. Mitt Romney
won’t give an answer, and Ryan has publicly stated that he will vote
against them. I don’t understand why he thinks that’s okay, but he
does.”

sophia bush obama 'Partners' star Sophia Bush talks women's rights and healthcare: 'For me, these are non negotiable issues'At this point, Sophia pulls a print-out from her stack and
points out some highlighted stats. “They’ve started this rumor that
women in the Obama administration make 18% less than their male
counterparts, but I spoke to women in the Obama administration
yesterday, and they’ve documented that that’s also factually incorrect.
Equal pay for equal work exists in Obama’s office. The percentage of
females working … decreased to 31% in Massachusetts in Romney’s office
[from 46% when he took office]. That stuff is factual. All these people
are trying to say he hired all these women, but it’s a lie!”

Whatever your politics, it’s impossible to deny that Sophia — whose binder-full-of-women Halloween costume said it all — has done her research, particularly as she’s balancing a giant pile of political documentation between takes on set.

“The
issue for me doesn’t come down to what you feel about religion, it
doesn’t come down to how you feel about abortion,” she says. “It comes
down to how you feel about what you deserve as a woman in this country.
Do you deserve to be treated with equality? Do you deserve the same fair
shake that your brother or your father or your husband or your
boyfriend is getting? I believe that we do.”

Pointing out evidence of
Planned Parenthood’s breast and cervical cancer screening programs for
low-income and uninsured women, Sophia directs the conversation toward
women’s health. “Even if you’re talking about healthcare, which is one
of the other things most important to me, in the plan that Romney is
proposing, having survived breast cancer is a preexisting condition for
which you can be denied healthcare. That doesn’t exist under Obamacare.
That doesn’t exist. If you’ve had breast cancer and survived, all
that happens under Obamacare is your care continues. For me, these are
non-negotiable issues. I don’t believe in jeopardizing women’s health
and I don’t believe in telling women that their work is less valuable
than men’s.”

All that, and she didn’t even mention her “girly bits,” as Malkin would say, once. Hmm.