A Few Words About The Republican War on Women

I know Republicans who are saying that there is no War on Women. They say that the anti-woman things being said and the legislation proposed by various Republicans are not reflective of their personal beliefs or that of the Republican Party. They say that they don’t agree with everything Republicans say but Obama has got to go. And they say that I’m exaggerating when I call all of this anti-woman stuff a ‘War on Women’.

Let’s take a look at a few things and see what conclusions we can draw from them.

We’ll start with the obvious one. A 30-year-old Georgetown student talks to the House of Representatives about the need for insurance companies to provide contraception to women. Republican, Rush Limbaugh responds by saying, “What does it say about the college co-ed Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? Makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex,”

The next day he said, “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I’ll tell you what it is: We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

Now many will and have said that Rush is a ‘shock jock’ and he been saying these kind of things for many years. When he’s not making fun of college students, he’s shaking around making fun of Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s Disease. This is true, but he’s still respected by the Republican Party and when there was an uproar about his latest comments, it didn’t come from the Republicans.

Attacking pundits for saying stupid things is fairly easy. Especially someone like Rush. So let’s move on to others.

Rick Santorum is a Republican running for President of the United States. He isn’t a pundit. He’s not some lone nut. He is someone who as of this writing has had hundreds of thousands of Republicans vote for him in the 2012 primaries.

When asked about women who become pregnant due to rape, Rick Santorum said, “I believe and I think that the right approach is to accept this horribly created, in the sense of rape, but nevertheless, in a very broken way, a gift of human life, and accept what God is giving to you.”

This same man believes that you should never have sex out of wedlock and also doesn’t believe in contraception of any sort.

Much like Rush, Rick Santorum is an incredibly easy target because he says horrible things all the time. Unlike Rush, he is running for the highest office in the land. Rick Santorum is coming in first or second in just about every primary we’ve had so far. It wouldn’t be outlandish to call him the second most popular member of the Republican Party.

Let’s look at the only guy in the Republican Party who is currently beating Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney hasn’t been nearly as vocal about his anti-woman views but he does have them. When asked about his thoughts on Planned Parenthood he said he would, “Get rid of it.”  Later, when he was questioned further, he clarified by saying, “Planned Parenthood is a private organization. What I want to get rid of is the federal funding of Planned Parenthood,”

He’s not the only Republican who feels this way. They will all say that it’s because Planned Parenthood is one of the few places a pregnant woman can have an abortion. What they won’t say is that abortion covers just under 3% of what Planned Parenthood does. The vast majority of Planned Parenthood’s work involves preventative care such as cancer screenings for women. Planned Parenthood is often the only place a woman can go for such things. This is why cancer charities are also donors to Planned Parenthood. It’s not a abortion factory. It’s a women’s health facility.

I won’t spend too much time on Presidential Candidate Ron Paul because he’s more a Libertarian than a Republican, but he’s as against a woman’s right to choose as any of the rest of them. His vile Ames Straw poll speech proved that much.

Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich has been just as loud about his anti-choice views. On top of that he left his first wife while she was dying of cancer. He left his second wife to marry his mistress. Gingrich makes it abundantly clear how not important women are to him.

Okay, so we’ve covered the only four Republicans left in the Presidential Race. Not one of them has good things to say about women. Not one of them will defend a woman’s right to choose. And before you argue that a woman’s right to have an abortion isn’t a woman’s health issue, let’s get something straight. Regardless of the legality of abortions, pregnant women will still have them. We know this because it was true before abortion was legalized. And in those days many women died during the procedures because they weren’t done correctly. If you’re going to claim to be ‘pro-life’, you can’t ignore the health of the woman without being a hypocrite.

Of course the vitriol hasn’t been confined to the presidential race.

Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman introduced Senate Bill 507 that says among other things: “Section 2. 48.982 (2) (g) 4. of the statutes is amended to read:

48.982 (2) (g) 4. Disseminate information about the problems of and methods of preventing child abuse and neglect to the public and to organizations concerned with those problems. In disseminating that information, the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.”

In other words if a pregnant women has a kid and she isn’t married, she is causing a ‘contributing factor to child abuse and neglect’. Single parents have it rough enough without Republicans like Grothman claiming their very existence is a contributing factor to child abuse. This could also be seen as encouraging a woman to stay with an abusive man. I mean as long as he’s not hurting the child, according to Grothman it wouldn’t be a contributing factor to child abuse as long as they were married.

Wisconsin isn’t the only state attacking women and their freedom. In Alabama, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia Republicans have introduced bills that would force women who want to have abortions to have a transvaginal ultrasound. Now transvaginal is a word so rarely used that my spellcheck is telling me it isn’t a word. What that means inserting a device inside a woman’s vagina. What ‘forced’ means is against her will. In any  other setting, if you put something in a woman’s vagina that she didn’t want there, they would call that rape.

In Arizona, Republican Senator Terri Proud said, “”Personally I’d like to make a law that mandates a woman watch an abortion being performed prior to having a ‘surgical procedure.’”  That’s right. She wants you to watch an abortion before you have an abortion. Just like she watches cows get slaughtered every time she eats a burger.

In Tennessee Republican Rep. Matt Hill has introduced a bill that would make public the age, race, county, marital status, education level, number of children, the location of the procedure and how many times she has been pregnant of every woman who has an abortion. But don’t worry. They won’t release any names. That way you can have fun trying to hunt down who had an abortion.

Last week in San Diego, 50-year-old Michael Kobulnicky was arrested for the kidnapping and rape of a 53-year-old woman. Up until recently he was a spokesman for the San Diego branch of the Tea Party.

In Texas, firebombs were set off in the office of Wendy Davis, a prominent female Democrat Senator.

When we add this all up, we have a famous radio personality, all four Republican Presidential Candidates, Republican Senators and representatives in at least eleven states, and a Tea Party leader all doing or saying things against women. If these views do not accurately represent the people of the Republican Party, I have two questions.

  1. Why do so many people in the Republican Party vote for them?
  2. And exactly how many people do I have to list before you realize this is what the Republican Party is now?

You can make any argument you like, but what it comes down to is that a vote for the Republican Party at this point is a vote against women and women’s rights. If you can’t see that, it’s because you’re not paying attention or you just don’t want to see it.

I am outraged by this behavior. I can’t imagine any rational thinking man or woman looking at all of this and not being equally outraged. When I make arguments like this, I’m often accused of not having an open mind. This usually bothers me because I consider myself a very open minded individual. But then I remember that my open mind draws the line at bigotry and discrimination. When it comes to bigotry and discrimination, I am intolerant and closed minded. And I’m proud of that fact because as an American, I believe bigotry and discrimination is a terrible thing and it’s not something I want to endorse or encourage in this country.

There are a lot of reasons I’m voting for Obama in November. But the number one reason is that I love women and believe in their equality and the Republican Party doesn’t. Even if I agreed with every other thing Romney and the others want to do (and I don’t), I cannot step on the rights of women in the pursuit of the economy,  jobs, national defense, or anything else and still be proud to call myself a man.