Women: the GOP don’t consider you one of them. Part II

Despite the recent ‘let’s extend recess’ action of Congress (do your job, Eric Cantor!) there’s work to be done. The prior post in this series discussed why middle class voters should not consider voting for the Republican party; this post will focus on what is referred to as ‘women’s issues’ even though these issues also impact men. Interested members of the voting public will review candidates’ work history, performance and the long-term goals of the party to which each candidate is aligned — and that brings me to the “War on Women”.

Anyone who thinks there’s no war on women hasn’t been paying attention. The war is old news and, if that war is won by the GOP, it promises to have a long-lasting impact that moves women backwards. As is the case when casting a vote for a presidential candidate, state and local elections have become more crucial than ever — and it’s often on the local levels of government that the battle lines are drawn.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 916 bills focusing on and adversely affecting women’s reproductive freedom have been introduced since the GOP took over. With all of the other issues facing this nation, the very idea that congress has wasted taxpayer time and money with attempts to strip away women’s right to make decisions about their own healthcare and reproduction is incredible. If you’re a woman (or a man who actually likes women and considers them your equal) and you think the women of the GOP have your best interests at heart, consider this: Having a uterus doesn’t mean they support your right to do with yours as you see fit. Oh, and being pro-birth is most certainly not the same as being pro-life; protecting embryos while doing all you can to eliminate support systems for children in need is hypocritical.

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But what about birth control? Mitt Romney has stated that he wants to reduce the nation’s debt levels. That makes sense but what does that have to do with birth control? He has mentioned that if elected he will “eliminate Title X family-planning programs benefiting abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.” The problem with that is Planned Parenthood provides far more services than just pregnancy termination; birth control and preventative screenings for cancer and other diseases are a significant part of what the organisation does.

Separation of church and state hasn’t entered the GOP’s orbit. As a whole the party made clear that it is against the Obama administration’s policy to ensure that all women have access to contraception, even when those women are employed by organisations with a religious affiliation. Mitt Romney supports the Blunt amendment to allow all secular employers to deny coverage of any medical treatment or services to which they object for any moral reason. So, your employers have a say in your birth control…shouldn’t you?

But this isn’t solely about reproductive rights. Do we need to remind you about GOP candidates attempting to redefine what “legitimate rape” is? New Mexico’s Republican governor, Susana Martinez, said “…unless a woman who conceived and  gave birth to a child as a result of rape can prove she was ‘forcibly raped’ she will be denied assistance for childcare needed for work or education.”

What about the Violence Against Women Act? Congress will not return to work until November 13th so the fact that, as mentioned by House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Xavier Becerra (D-CA), “Every day in America, a woman dies of domestic violence” will have to sit on the back burner until the GOP is ready to do its job.

And then there’s that Lilly Ledbetter equal pay issue…

At this point, should we expect anything else from the GOP?

So, women, when you go and place your vote, remember these things:

  • Which party is attempting to force the victims of “legitimate rape” to carry the fetus to term or face prison?
  • Which party supports visitation rights for rapists?
  • Which party is attempting to do away with birth control and fought against women’s wellness care?

Still not sure?