The War on Women: The Attacks Keep Coming
The war on women being waged by some Republicans just keeps raging. Here are just a few of the newest attacks.
In Congress, Republicans are delaying reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Why? Because Democrats have added language to make the law more applicable on Native American reservations (where it apparently can’t be applied to the non-Native spouse of a Native American woman because the tribal police don’t have appropriate jurisdiction), to provide more protections at shelters to battered homosexuals, and to make it easier for undocumented aliens to be protected from deportation if they come forward to report spousal abuse. Good reasons to object to reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, no? But leave it to Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council to offer the real explanation: He called the Violence Against Women Act “a slush fund for the feminist lobby”.
In Idaho, the state legislator who sponsored that state’s mandatory ultrasound bill responded to criticism that the bill did not include an exception for rape or interest. His explanation?
Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that's part of the counseling that goes on.
In Tennessee, a bill before the legislature would require the state to publish detailed information about doctors who perform abortions and about the women who had abortions. The data would not include the woman’s name, but would include “her age, race, county, marital status, education level, number of children, the location of the procedure and how many times she has been pregnant.” If I’m not mistaken, a similar law was passed in Oklahoma a few years ago … and stayed by a federal court. And think about this for a moment: Even if the report doesn’t include the woman’s identity, in a rural community won’t it be somewhat obvious? And what does a woman’s race have to do with anything?
The Governor of Pennsylvania, responding to criticism about that state’s new mandatory ultrasound law, told women seeking an abortion who are forced to undergo a potentially invasive and medically unnecessary ultrasound procedure: “You just have to close your eyes”.
In Alaska, a bill is pending that would mandate ultrasounds, forbid doctors from disclosing all of the various options available to pregnant women or give referrals for abortions, and require the pregnant woman to get permission for an abortion from the man who impregnated her.
And now a woman Republican in Arizona, seemingly in an effort to be sure that Arizona stays one step crazier than other states, has suggested that women seeking an abortion be required to view an actual abortion first.
But at least one Republican isn’t so keen on some of the positions that members of his party have taken. Earlier this week, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), spoke at a rally for equal rights:
“I think these are very precarious times for women, it seems. So many of your rights are under assault,” he told the crowd of mostly women. “I’ll tell you this: Contribute your money to people who speak out on your behalf, because the other side — my side — has a lot of it. And you need to send your own message. You need to remind people that you vote, you matter, and that they can’t succeed without your help.”
Hanna, a pro-choice Republican and co-sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment, acknowledged that women’s continuing fight for equality is meeting some resistance among his Republican colleagues. He urged women to become more politically active on their own behalf.
“This is a dogfight, it’s a fistfight, and you have all the cards,” he said. “I can only tell you to get out there and use them. Tell the other women, the other 51 percent of the population, to kick in a few of their bucks. Make it matter, get out there, get on TV, advertise, talk about this. The fact that you want [the ERA] is evidence that you deserve it and you need it.”
This shaping up to be a very interesting election, indeed.