Thursday, October 25, 2012

*What* War On Women?



Politicususa.com, in a very lengthy and informative essay, "Proof of The GOP War On Women," offers a multitude of proofs for us to use in the next debate with Conservative sheeplets who insist that the Big Tent of the Republican Party has room for women.  The Big Tent is more like a circus tent, and Politicususa has the goods on the GOP in "...a surreal list of legislation that proves the war onwomen is very real."

"As Joan Walsh writes on AlterNet,

“'Democrats didn’t make the GOP presidential field back “personhood” laws that would criminalize some forms of birth control. They didn’t force the newly elected House GOP to make defunding Planned Parenthood their first legislative goal. And they didn’t propose the Blunt Amendment that would have allowed employers to withhold health insurance coverage not only for contraception, but for any treatment they disapproved of…'”

"Despite an electorate that is overwhelmingly pro-choice, there is no doubt that the GOP’s first goal is to deprive women of their reproductive rights and to frame that argument not as one of health but religion. It is in fact so important an issue to the GOP that out of some 40,000 laws of all types enacted in 2011, as RMuse wrote hererecently, “there were nearly 1,000 bills in state legislatures to restrict a woman’s right to legal abortion services” (up from 950 in 2010). Alternet lists the 10 worst states in which to be a woman. The lone piece of good news was the unexpected sanity of Mississippi voters. Interestingly, the GOP is now trying to co-opt the War on Women for their own, accusing liberals of waging war on “pro-choice” women, or declaring that Obama is waging a war on women and that the Obama White House has been a hostile work environment. This is while Congress, already in 2012, has taken no less than eight votes against women – in just three months. It is frightening to think what the final toll might be by December 31.

"A recent report from the Guttmacher Institute details the extent of 2011′s war on Women’s Reproductive Rights. The report states,

"By almost any measure, issues related to reproductive health and rights at the state level received unprecedented attention in 2011. In the 50 states combined, legislators introduced more than 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions, a sharp increase from the 950 introduced in 2010. By year’s end, 135 of these provisions had been enacted in 36 states, an increase from the 89 enacted in 2010 and the 77 enacted in 2009. (Note: This analysis refers to reproductive health and rights-related “provisions,” rather than bills or laws, since bills introduced and eventually enacted in the states contain multiple relevant provisions.)

"Fully 68% of these new provisions—92 in 24 states—-restrict access to abortion services, a striking increase from last year, when 26% of new provisions restricted abortion. The 92 new abortion restrictions enacted in 2011 shattered the previous record of 34 adopted in 2005.

"Abortion restrictions took many forms: bans (6 states), waiting periods (3 states), ultrasound 5 states), insurance coverage (3 states joined the existing 5 with such restrictions), clinic regulations (4 states), medication abortion (7 states)."


Here are a small fraction of the laws Conservatives introduced and passed.  Read 'em and weep:

"Republicans in the House proposed a bill (HR 1179) called “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011.” The bill, introduced by Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb), allows health care providers and pharmacists to deny birth control to women if it conflicts with their religious or moral convictions. The Senate is expected to vote on its version of HR 1179 during the week of February 27 where it is known as S. 1467, whose primary sponsor is Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and has become an amendment to Transportation Authorization Bill S. 1813. The Blunt Amendment was defeated in the Senate on a narrow vote of 51 to 48 on March 1, 2012.

"In Texas, Rep. George Lavender, R-Texarkana, has proposed a bill (House Bill 2988) that would prevent any abortion except in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother.


"In Georgia, a bill, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (SB 209) sponsored by Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, would close all abortion clinics in the state and require abortions to be performed in hospitals. This bill was tabledby the rules committee on March 11, 2011.

"The U.S. House of Representatives passed (by a 234-182 vote) an amendment sponsored by Virginia Foxx (R-NC) prohibiting teaching hospitals from receiving federal funding if they teach doctors how to perform abortions. Unfortunately, as a result of this legislation new physicians will not receive the training needed to save women’s lives. As Correntewire.com puts it, “234 members of the House voted to ban the teaching of medical procedures that are vital in saving the lives of women who have miscarried, or have complications that endanger their health, or who aren’t even pregnant.”

"In Ohio, Janet Porter’s “Heartbeat Bill” criminalizing abortion and which was backed by Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, passed the Ohio State House on June 28, 2011. “It prohibits abortions after only about six weeks, a time when many women do not yet even know they are pregnant,” said Armond Budish, leader of the Democratic caucus in the House. The bill is currently being held up in the Senate. See the latest update on Porter’s antics at Right Wing Watch.
"Also in Ohio, The state budget, approved June 28, 2011 by the Senate, bars state hospitals from performing abortions."

The Dirty Little Secret in our country, of course, is that these pieces of legislation are obviously illegal - laws contrary to Roe v. Wade, BUT if they are challenged in front of the five extremist Conservatives in the Supreme Court, women's rights to choose are DOA.

More tawdry legislative masterpieces from our Conservative capos:

Legalizing the Murder of Abortion Doctors!

"South Dakota flirted with a law to make the murder of an abortion doctor legal as self-defense
"When South Dakota was forced to drop the idea of murdering abortion doctors,Nebraska and Iowa picked up the idea
"See also HB 3308 Life Defense Act of 2012 above, which has implications in this regard.

Abstinence Education

"A total of 37 states mandate abstinence education while contraception falls increasingly under attack by Republican legislatures.

"According to the Guttmacher Report, “Mississippi, which had long mandated abstinence education, adopted provisions that make it more difficult for a school district to include other subjects, such as contraception, in order to offer a more comprehensive curriculum. A district will now need to get specific permission to do so from the state department of education.”
"According to the Guttmacher Report, “A new requirement enacted in North Dakota mandates that the health education provided in the state include information on the benefits of abstinence “until and within marriage.
"Utah, unsurprisingly, has opted for abstinence-only sex ed, which really is kind of the antithesis of sex-ed, isn’t it? But that is precisely what the state legislature has done – it has voted that the birds and the bees are X-rated and have no role in schools. If HB 363, sponsored by Rep. Bill Wright, is signed into law, schools won’t be able to teach children about contraception. It is unknown if Gov. Gary Herbert will sign the bill.
"The Taliban has taken over Tennessee. From ThinkProgress: “Senatepassed SB 3310 (HB 3621), a bill to update the state’s abstinence-based sex education curriculum to define holding hands and kissing as ‘gateway sexual activities.’ Just one senator voted against the legislation; 28 voted in favor.” This is Tennessee’s answer to increased Teenage pregnancy: not promotion of contraception; just don’t hold hands. Welcome to Afghanistan, Tennessee. The law takes effect July 1, 2012, otherwise and henceforth and forever known as Talibanesseee Day.


Personhood Laws” and Fetal Rights and Mandatory Ultrasounds

"In 2011 the trend in anti-abortion legislation was passage of laws that would give fertilized eggs the rights of “personhood” – in other words, fertilized eggs would have the same rights as you or me – a blatant ploy to attack women’s reproductive rights. Florida, Montana and Ohio will have “personhood” on the ballot in 2012 andaccording to CNN “efforts in at least five other states are in the planning stages.” Mississippi has just rejected one such extremist measure and Colorado and South Dakota have also rejected them. Robin Marty at RH Reality Check examines 20-week bans and points to the flaw at the heart of this type of legislation. In 2012, mandatory ultrasounds have become the rage. However, Republican legislatorsseem to be realizing that voters aren’t exactly jumping on the bandwagon.
"In Iowa a pregnant woman was arrested for falling down a flight of stairs. Yes, for falling down a flight of stairs. You see, following a fight on the phone with her husband, Christine Taylor fell down a flight of. Like any responsible pregnant woman would, she went to the hospital to check on the fetus – and was arrested thanks to one of the many state laws that grant fetuses rights separate from the mother. Iowa has a “feticide” law that pertains to the second trimester and beyond, and since Taylor confessed that she had contemplated abortion but had chosen to have the baby, the nurse and doctor at the hospital decided to phone the police and accuse her of trying to terminate her pregnancy illegally. She was fortunate not to be charged with a crime – for falling down the stairs

"On February 11, 2011, the North Dakota House of Representatives passed House Bill 1450; a bill which seeking to define a fertilized egg as a human being. As Planned Parenthood reports, “HB 1450 is backed by a national activist group,Personhood USA, working to make North Dakota the epicenter of a heated national debate.”
"The Oklahoma House of Representatives voted 94 to 2 to a ban on abortion’s later than 20 weeks of gestation similar to Nebraska’s in what it called the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” Bill 1888 was signed into law in April 2011 by Republican governor Mary Fallin, who signed every anti-abortion bill that came to her desk in 2011. Oklahoma became the third state “to restrict abortions on the basis of fetal pain” (joining Kansas and Nebraska) reported the Oklahoman at the time.

"In California, conservatives are peddling the “California Human Rights Amendment“. It is okay to condemn people after they’re born but you must let them be born first. This latest personhood gimmick claims the “inherent human rights, dignity and worth of all human beings from the beginning of their biological development as human beings” but its real goal is to make abortion illegal – even in cases of rape or incest (“regardless of the means by which they were procreated”), or fetal anomaly. In other words, taking away women’s reproductive rights is a promotion of human rights.

War on Birth Control/Contraception

"Republicans have tried to define contraception not as a health but as a religious issue, claiming that the availability of contraception is a violation of their religious beliefs.

"The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives is attacking the Department of Health and Human Services new guidelines that require insurance companies to cover contraceptive services free of charge. Committee Chairman Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) claims the new rules do not protect religious groups who object to contraception. He claims the government is taking, “coercive actions to force people to abandon their religious principles.” As part of the Republican War on Women, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) has introduced a bill, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011, which would allow providers to throw women under the bus on religious grounds.

"In Utah, 45 Republicans voted for state Rep. Bill Wright’s (R) HB363 which, asRaw Story reports, “would effectively ban comprehensive education about human sexuality, forcing schools to teach abstinence or nothing at all.” Eleven Republicans and 17 Democrats opposed the bill, in defense of which Wright stated, “We’ve been culturally watered down to think we have to teach about sex, about having sex and how to get away with it, which is intellectually dishonest. Why don’t we just be honest with them upfront that sex outside marriage is devastating?”

Taxing Abortions

"The newest rage, direct from 13th Century Kansas, seeks to squeeze profit from abortions by taxing them.
"In Kansas, H.B. 2598 would levy a sales tax of 6.5% on all abortion procedures, reports RawStory: “”Why not slap a $100, $200, $300 tax on an abortion?” Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, the largest anti-abortion advocacy group in Kansas, asked Raw Story on Friday. “I’m completely against most forms of taxation, but abortion is such an abhorrent procedure, I would like to see it wiped out with a $2,000 or $3,000 tax on every abortion that happens in Kansas.” HB 2598, punitive in nature like all GOP anti-choice legislation, would give doctors immunity from malpractice, do away with tax credits, and like Indiana’s law, force doctors to lie to patients about non-existent risks of breast cancer. It would also force women to listen to the heartbeat of the fetus before undergoing an abortion. RawStory underscores the financial burdeon created by this monstrous (68 page) bill, saying that it “could also make late term abortions to save the life of a mother, which can run up to $20,000, wholly cost prohibitive, even for middle class women.” This would effectively make this bill a “kill the mother” bill, a theme that runs through much of the GOP’s anti-choice legislation. Rick Perry crony Governor Brownback plans to sign the bill into law if passed.

The War on Human Fetuses in Food

Yes, you read that correctly. And no, there are no human fetuses in food. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have laws against them being there – if you’re a Republican, that is. The Associated Press reports that Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey, infamous for authoring failed bills, has proposed a bill “that would ban the use of aborted human fetuses in food, despite conceding that he’s unaware of any company using such a practice,” and even Republican Sen. Brian Crain, a self-professed “pro-lifer” and the chairman of the Senate Human Services Committee says, “I’d hate to think we’re going to spend our time coming up with possibilities of things we need to stop.” The FDA, of course, says it is “not aware of this particular concern.” Ridiculous as it sounds, the bill does also outlaw stem cell research.


The War On The Girl Scouts

"From Indiana: While not taking the form of actual legislation, the actions of Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne), who became opposed to the idea of honoring the Girl Scouts because of something he read on the Internet, were hateful. He refused to honor the Girl Scouts because, he as he told fellow lawmakers, they 'promote homosexual lifestyles' and study 'feminists, lesbians, or Communists' as role models while ignoring those with a religious background.” And on the basis of some very poor research he warned against 'extend[ing] legitimacy to a radicalized organization.' Raw Story reports [5.1.12] that 'An Indiana lawmaker has only received a single donation in the months since he accused the Girl Scouts of becoming a"radicalized organization" that promotes the ‘homosexual lifestyle.'

And finally:

The War on Divorce

"From Wisconsin comes Rep. Don Pridemore is co-sponsor of Senator Glenn Grothman’s (R-West Bend) bill (SB 507) that would list 'nonmarital parenthood' as a cause of abuse. The bill states 'In promoting those campaigns and materials, the [Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board] shall emphasize “nonmarital parenthood” as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.' The bill is bad enough – TodaysTMJ4 tells us that 'Senator Grothman claims there’s an epidemic of single parenthood, and he’s pointing a finger at women for it.'  But what’s worse is Pridemore’s defense of it; he says that women in abusive relationships – the reason so many of them are single parents in the first place – ought to just take a beating and stay married: ‘If they can refind those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help,’"

(As we said on the top of this post, there's more...please go to Politicususa's site for more at http://www.politicususa.com/proof-war-women-2.  It may be a good idea to print their list for ammunition for family gatherings where your unfortunate relatives that have fallen victim to Conservative propaganda can finally see the proof - that Conservatives want women to be subservient, barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen.)

The War On Women is a major part of Conservatism's war on the poor and the middle class.  Their attempts to enact extremist laws against the People should be considered a criminal act.


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"I’ll tell you how to beat the gambling in Las Vegas. When you get off the airplane, walk
right into the propeller."

Henny Youngman


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