I have never seen Fox News so unable to make a convincing argument. Since this controversy began, they have not been able to report anything about the War on Women that anyone believes.
The ‘War on Women’ doesn’t Exist Argument
First they come out and say that it doesn’t exist. Well, anyone with an IQ over 50 can look at the facts and see that not only does it exist, it is being waged at a unprecedented ferocity. The War of Women is not occurring at one level, but rather at several levels for several related issues both in the states and in the nation’s capital. Krystal Ball gives a good description of it in a recent US News article:
“The GOP “War on Women” is real and it has real-world consequences for the millions of women whose lives can and will be impacted by legislation that erodes more than a century’s worth of progress on women’s reproductive rights. There were over 1100 antichoice provisions introduced in 2011 and 900 antichoice provisions introduced so far in 2012. Legislators in 13 states have introduced 22 bills seeking to mandate that a woman obtain an ultrasound procedure before having an abortion. Of these, seven states are pursuing the state-rape vaginal probe variety. In addition, legislators in 13 states have sponsored right-wing “Personhood” type bills, too extreme even for the electorate of Mississippi, that could make both abortion and reproductive choices highly restricted.” Krystal Ball, MSNBC Contributor.
In addition, Fox News and the GOP is not getting any help for their ‘the War on Women doesn’t exist argument’ from female Republican senators. All of whom have gone on the record saying that it does exist and that it represents a real threat to women.
Republican Senator Olympia Snowe stated that the contraception debate is “a retro-debate that took place in the 1950s. It’s sort of back to the future, isn’t it? And it is surprising in the 21st century we would be revisiting this issue.” She also criticized the right-wing attacks against Sandra Fluke. A couple of weeks earlier, Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison defended Planned Parenthood against conservative attacks, telling MSNBC that low-income women need the services it provides.
“We cannot afford to lose the Medicaid funding for low-income women to have health care services,” Hutchison said. “We cannot. We keep turning back federal funds that every state gets and then try to find money in our budget, which is already being cut in key areas like education. I do think that the governor needs to sit down with the federal government and work it out so we can have our share — our fair share not more — of money for Medicaid to help low-income women have their health care services…I think Planned Parenthood does mammograms, they do so much of the health care — the preventive health care and they’re doing that, we need to provide those services, absolutely.”
During a Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski became the third female Senate Republican to contradict her male colleagues, calling Republican efforts against contraception an “attack on women” despite Republican males claiming that there is no war on women.
￼￼￼“It makes no sense to make this attack on women,” Murkowski stated. “If you don’t feel this is an attack, you need to go home and talk to your wife and your daughters.”
The “Truth” about the War on Women
In a desperate opinion piece called “The truth about the war on women” Gretchen Hamel tries to make the argument that this entire war on women was just the result of Obama taking advantage of a gaffe.
It’s because he’s simply trying to take advantage of the Republican message gaffe that started earlier this year. The president is a political opportunist, and when the Republicans fumbled the Religious Freedom issue involving health care and started talking about contraception, the White House and Obama campaign saw an opportunity to exploit. This is why all of a sudden the president has picked up the mantle of women’s rights.
Then she tries to say that it is about raising taxes.
But underneath the flattery were policy platitudes on traditional “women’s issues.” Specifically, he talked about health care and inequality as if all women supported more intervention into the economy via higher taxes and more government spending. Wrong, Mr. President. Sure, some women support this agenda, but many, many do not.
Then she goes on to even attack the administration’s policy on equal pay for women.
Regarding economic inequality, the president proposed new legislation to close the gap on women earning 77 cents on every dollar a man earns. This issue can’t simply be changed by a law or more regulation; it has to be changed by the culture, a culture that values a woman’s opinions, decisions and leadership as much as a man’s.
In a word, pathetic. In another word, ineffective. The ‘War on Women” represents more a threat to the GOP than Bush. If this is the best Fox News can do, this ‘Fake Issue’ could make the GOP a fringe party.
A Quick Guide to the War on Women
What is the GOP ‘War on Women’? The ‘War on Women’ is an unprecedented legislative and Bully Pulpit attempt by the Republican Party to roll-back women’s rights on a variety of issues. The effort began in earnest after the 2008 mid-term elections. Almost immediately after taking office, state legislatures across the nation and the congress began passing laws restricting access to essential woman’s health services and requiring unnecessary and invasive medical procedures.
The ‘War on Women’ has also included aggressive attacks by leading GOP personalities in an attempt to disuade other women to stand up for their rights.
#1 – 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.
#2 – 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.
#3 – 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.”
#4 – 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.
#5 – 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.
#6 – 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.
#7 – 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.