What is the GOP ‘War on Women’? The ‘War on Women’ is an unprecedented attempt by the Republican Party to roll-back women’s rights on a host of critical issues. These issues include equal pay, intrusive medical procedures, access to women’s health resources, abortion access, and laws protecting women from violence…and the list goes on.
#1 – No Abortions for ‘Legitimate Rape’ Victims or Incest Victims over the age of 18
We could not make this up. The poster child of the Tea Party Paul Ryan worked closely with Todd Akin to define different types of rape – based on the willingness of the victim. Below is an excerpt from a ThinkProgress article that explains the insanity. The rape comment is at 2:20.
How Todd Akin And Paul Ryan Partnered To Redefine Rape - By Ian Millhiser on Aug 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm – ThinkProgress.com
Earlier today, Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) claimed that “legitimate rape” does not often lead to pregnancy because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” This is not the first time the biologically challenged senate candidate tried to minimize the impact of rape. Last year, Akin joined with GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as two of the original co-sponsors of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” a bill which, among other things, introduced the country to the bizarre term “forcible rape.”
Michelle Goldberg explains who Akin and Ryan would likely target:
Under H.R. 3, only victims of “forcible rape” would qualify for federally funded abortions. Victims of statutory rape—say, a 13-year-old girl impregnated by a 30-year-old man—would be on their own. So would victims of incest if they’re over 18. And while “forcible rape” isn’t defined in the criminal code, the addition of the adjective seems certain to exclude acts of rape that don’t involve overt violence—say, cases where a woman is drugged or has a limited mental capacity. “It’s basically putting more restrictions on what was defined historically as rape,” says Keenan.
Although a version of this bill passed the GOP-controlled House, the “forcible rape” language was eventually removed due to widespread public outcry. Paul Ryan, however, believes that the “forcible rape” language does not actually go far enough to force women to carry their rapist’s baby. Ryan believes that abortion should be illegal in all cases except for “cases in which a doctor deems an abortion necessary to save the mother’s life.” So rape survivors are out of luck.
#2 – Mandatory Transvaginal Ultrasounds
Yes, it is as bad as it sounds. Below is an excerpt from a recent MotherJones.com article by Kate Sheppard that summarizes (far better than what we could) exactly how the GOP is passing Mandatory Transvaginal Ultrasound bills all across the nation.
Source: MotherJones.com – Most abortions take place within 12 weeks after a woman becomes pregnant. And if the woman has been pregnant for eight weeks or less, conducting an ultrasound generally requires the doctor to insert a probe in a woman’s vagina in order to actually see or hear anything. Virginia is not alone in its desire to subject women to invasive probes before they are allowed to get an abortion, a legally protected medical procedure. Twenty states already have laws dictating rules for ultrasounds, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Here are seven other states that have advanced similar measures in the last year:
Alabama: State Sen. Clay Scofield offered his own ultrasound measure a few weeks ago, which included a penalty of up to 10 years in jail and a $15,000 fine if doctors don’t carry out the procedure. But Schofield backed off component of the bill that would have required doctors to stick a probe in women’s vaginas, instead offering that a woman could undergo the “method of ultrasound that she would be more comfortable with.”
Idaho: State Sen. Chuck Winder (R-Boise) has introduced yet another bill requiring an ultrasound before an abortion, expanding upon a law already in place in the state that requires doctors to offer an ultrasound by forcing them to do it and to show the woman the image. As one anti-abortion advocate in the state described it to the local press, the idea behind the law is to make women undergo the procedure because it “gives her a window into her womb.”
Illinois: The House Agriculture Committee advanced a bill on February 22 that would require doctors to carry out an ultrasound and show it to the woman, unless she declines to view it in writing. And yes, you read that correctly: the “Ultrasound Opportunity Act” came from the agriculture committee. This prompted opponents to show up at the hearing wearing “Women are not livestock” T-shirts.
Kentucky: The state Senate approved a new bill requiring that a woman undergo an ultrasound before she can get an abortion, and instituting criminal penalties if the ultrasound isn’t carried out. The bill is is not expected to advance in the House.
North Carolina: This law passed in 2011 was pretty much exactly like Virginia’s, but as the local press pointed out, it didn’t get nearly as much attention because people weren’t talking about the “transvaginal” aspect. A federal judge ruled last October that doctors don’t have to show women the ultrasound image, at least.
Pennsylvania: A pair of Republican state representatives introduced the “Women’s Right to Know Act,” which passed out of committee last month before the uproar in Virginia prompted the majority leader to shelve it.
Texas: The Lone Star State was ahead of the curve on transvaginal ultrasounds, passing its bill in May 2011 under “emergency” status. A legal challenge to the law failed last month, and it became effective immediately.
For more from MotherJones.com article – click HERE.
#3 – Equal Pay for Women Bill blocked by GOP Minority in Senate
An excerpt from a post in the Huffington Post by Marcia D Greenberger, Co-President of the Nation Woman’s Law Center.
Today the Senate had a chance to stand up for the American value of an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work by voting “yes” on the Paycheck Fairness Act. Despite widespread public support for this common-sense bill and a majority of the Senate in support, it fell short of the votes needed to defeat a filibuster.
I have been working to combat wage discrimination for many decades, and have seen first-hand the injustices caused by the loopholes in the nearly 50-year old Equal Pay Act. Since 1963, when the Equal Pay Act became law, the wage gap has narrowed by only 18 cents. American women who work full time, year-round are paid, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. Although the difference in pay between men and women has not changed much in the last half-century, what has changed is that women are fast becoming breadwinners in a majority of American families. Even when controlling for factors like time out of the workforce to care for children, years of work, hours worked and job tenure, women are still paid significantly less. That’s why, now more than ever, we need the Paycheck Fairness Act.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would help combat wage discrimination by strengthening the Equal Pay Act in critical ways, including by providing incentives to employers to pay women fairly and by preventing employers from retaliating against women and men for discussing their pay with each other.
Paying women fairly is crucial to achieving economic security for women and families — hardly a distraction from the pressing economic issues facing our nation, as opponents claim.
Paying women less hurts moms, dads and their children. In the toughest economic climate in recent history, working moms are trying to put dinner on the table for their families with one hand tied behind their backs. In these hard times, a median wage gap of $10,784 per year means families have less to spend on basic necessities.
For the entire post – please click HERE.
#4 – BLUNT Amendment
The Senate voted along party lines 51 to 48 this spring to reject a controversial amendment sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) that would have overridden the Obama Administration’s new contraception coverage rule and allowed any employer to refuse to cover any kind of health care service by citing “moral reasons.” As written, the amendment would have given employers a blank check. They would had the ability of claiming the higher ground while also saving themselves a lot of money. For women, this would have meant the possible elimination of reproductive preventive care and all hormonal treatments.
Romney created quite a stir when he first opposed, but then just a few hours later his team said he was for it.
#5 – Defunding Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of reproductive health services in the United States serving over 3 million people every year who would not otherwise have have access to these services. Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide.
Their health centers provide a wide range of safe, reliable health care — and more than 90 percent is preventive, primary care, which helps prevent unintended pregnancies through contraception, reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections through testing and treatment, and screen for cervical and other cancers.
Mitt Romney has said that he would de-fund Planned Parenthood as soon as he took office even though 97% of total service have nothing to do with abortion. What would the millions of women who utilize Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings and other vital services do? Mitt Romney famously said in a campaign stop in March that women “Could do whatever they wanted to do. It is a free society.”
#6 – Women who Use Contraception are Sluts, Whores
Rush is well known for his controversial statements, but this one got more attention than usual. Republicans offered muted criticism of his comment – mostly saying that he used a poor word choice or he is at heart just ‘an entertainer’.
Do check out the video – it is available on You Tube.
#7 – Anti-Abortion Bills
GOP sponsored bills limiting the time period during which abortion is legal have proliferated in recent years as other states have followed Nebraska’s lead and banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. But but some laws under consideration are taking this even further. A new law under consideration in Arizona would also roll back access to abortion to 20 weeks.
Other anti-abortion efforts include laws to ban abortion coverage from insurance providers. In early April, Wisconsin’s embattled GOP governor signed a bill that blocks abortion coverage through health care exchanges.
Similar laws are being passed across the nation in practically all states with GOP majorities.
#8 – Personhood Laws
Republicans hoping to take down both abortion and President Obama in 2012 think they have a winning issue in the debate over “personhood.” In at least a dozen states, new legislation defining human life as beginning at conception – not birth – is being voted on, making it a hot-button social issue a key factor in the election cycle.
The laws, intended to override Roe v. Wade and effectively prohibit virtually all abortions, have Democrats and pro-choice activists concerned that the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling, which gives women the constitutional right to have abortions, is slowly being dismantled.
#9 – Opposition to the renewal of the Violence Against Women Bill
The Violence Against Women Act first became law in 1994, and has been renewed with near-unanimous support every time it’s come up for review. But according to the New York Times, when it came up for renewal again last November, Republicans on the judiciary committee noticed that there were new provisions in the act that rubbed them the wrong way. While it passed out of committee, no Republicans voted for it.
So, what are these awful sneaky political maneuvers the Democrats are pulling? The issues that Sessions thinks “invite opposition” include an expansion of domestic violence services for American Indian women living on reservations and women in rural areas. The expanded law also buttresses the definition of “domestic violence” to include stalking. But the part of the Violence Against Women act that really upsets the GOP is the provision that would grants temporary visas to undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic abuse and expand domestic violence services to same-sex couples.
#10 – Women’s Health Insurance Costs
Too often, women pay more than men for their health care, and insurance companies have long been free to discriminate based on gender. The Affordable Care Act is cracking down on these practices to make sure all of us pay a fair rate and have access to the services we need.
Romney has vowed to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. This would result in the continuation of this discrimination.
Any better way to Start your Morning?