Life will get a lot tougher for women if the Republican Party gets its way. The party seems to want to drag women and their health back to the dark ages. I’m personally so disgusted with the troglodytes in the Republican Party that I can hardly believe it. They’ve ticked me off in the past, but they’re so far overboard now that I think they’re trying to drag us back to the 13th century.
This is the same Republican Party that proclaims itself the party of small government. Government is bad, according to them, and has too much power over citizens’ (and corporations, because corporations are people) lives. So government must be made smaller so that it intrudes less than it currently does. Regulate less! Obama is bad! (No matter what he does.) This is simply Republicans playing Machiavellian games in the name of religion, damn whoever gets hurt.
Here’s how Republicans are waging war on women in the past few weeks (they’re also waging war on gays, but that’s another story and another post):
- The current conflagration pretty much started — this time — with the Susan G. Komen Foundation flap over Planned Parenthood.
- Republicans promptly went ballistic over the whole contraception coverage requirement issue. They said (and continue to say) that it goes too far, that religious organizations should be exempted. Of course, this is a fallacious argument; the Obama Administration isn’t requiring that churches pay for contraception, only their health care arms. (I’m explaining this badly. But the point remains.) They’re going all in and gearing up for a huge fight to deny women contraceptive coverage, coverage that insurance companies want to provide. (Insurance companies do nothing out of the goodness of their heart. They’re doing it because it’s cheaper than paying for pregnancy and childbirth.) This is about religion for the Republicans. Mitch McConnell admitted as much.
- Rick Santorum’s main financial backer suggested that birth control is actually quite cheap, that “gals” could achieve that by putting an aspirin between their knees.
- The Virginia House of Delegates passed a law requiring women who want to have an abortion to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound before those women are allowed to have their abortion. Forcing something into a woman without her consent — even if she has to sign a consent form to have the ultrasound — is rape. State-sanctioned rape.
- Republicans on the House Oversight Committee held a hearing today on birth control. Not one woman was allowed to testify, despite showing up for the hearing. Nearly all Democratic women on the panel walked out in protest.
- Not one Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to renew the Violence Against Women Act, originally passed in 1994. This kind of law should pass easily. But it may not even be able to break a certain Republican filibuster.
- Oklahoma’s senate passed a personhood act, which states that life begins at conception. This would effectively ban all abortions.
(All this, and I didn’t even mention Rick Santorum and that Fox News commentator whose name escapes at the moment me talking about women serving on the front lines in the military. Santorum talked about women’s feelings — and men’s feelings that they will have to protect those women. The Fox News commentator said that women should expect to be raped. No, that’s only if they go to Virginia and need an abortion.)
Polls show that women — including Catholic women — use birth control. They want the choice, and they want insurance to pay for it. I — and about half of Americans — think that a woman should have the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy without onerous requirements imposed by the government. I don’t want an abortion, but I also would not restrict another woman’s right to make that choice. Who am I to choose for her? Who are conservatives to impose what they want on everyone else?
This is an all-out Republican war on women. There’s no other way to read this. None. It’s about nothing other than religion. We’re supposed to live in a free country. We have freedom of religion, which also means freedom from religion. That means that no group is supposed to be allowed to impose its religion on another group. Imposing religion on the rest of the country seems to be what Republicans are trying to do. If people like Rick Santorum get their way, we’ll be living in a fundamentalist Christian theocracy.
What I don’t get is that the conservatives’ war on women and women’s health is not only bad policy, it’s really bad politics. I mean, think this through. The population is a little more than 50% female. How does alienating a large percentage of women further Republican electoral goals in the future? They might win today, but women are not stupid and will remember this.
It’s way past time for women, and people who love women, to stand up and call a halt to this. It’s time to vote the Republicans persecuting women out of office. If there aren’t acceptable alternative candidates, it’s time to run for office instead. Women need to stand up and be counted. It’s time to call a halt to this disgusting misogyny of which conservatives are guilty.