The Republican War on Women is largely justified on the moral and religious prohibition against abortion. Abortion per se has generally been considered a morally and socially undesirable act because it consists of terminating an unborn human life; in this respect, Republicans and Democrats are generally in agreement.
The two parties disagree, however, about when and for what reason abortion may be a justifiable act. This is a disagreement not in principal so much as degree, but these differences are not the reason the Democrats claim the Republicans are waging a war on women. There are two reasons the Republicans want to deny health care to women other than abortion: (1) money; and (2) religious fanaticism.
First, under the guise of denying funding for abortion, the Republicans are also denying funding for a wide range of basic health care for women, such as mammogram screenings, and birth control (which is sometimes used to treat other conditions besides the control of pregnancies). The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” would cause insurers to refuse to cover abortion services in any way because to do otherwise would result in their insurance being rejected by employers, but in addition to abortion services, insurers would cut a wide array of other non-abortion services, leaving millions of women with no reproductive health care at all. The Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) guarantees access to these services.
Make no bones about it: this is just an another issue about money. Women make up over half the workforce in America, and if the Republicans can turn women into second class citizens, and pay them 1/3rd less, and deny them full health care, employers can cut their labor costs drastically. This law also discriminates against men who do the same work because if fair pay is repealed by the Republicans, by law women would be forced to accept less pay and less health insurance, and thus be far cheaper to hire.
Money is the reason Republicans almost unanimously opposed the “Lilly “Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.” Republicans painted this as “payback” for union support during the election, but equal pay isn’t a “payback,” it’s a civil rights issue. In fact, the Act amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Republican opposition to equal pay is a conscious choice by Republicans to make women into second class citizens in America, and it boils down to money.
Second, the Tea Party religious extremists want to force women to live under a religious law which they dictate, and they want to codify this into Federal law. If the Republicans gain power in 2012, this is exactly what they will do. The Republicans are also proposing laws restricting birth control in states where they are in power. If Republicans are for “smaller government,” why are they reaching into your bedroom?
Republicans not only want to reduce women’s access to abortion care, they’re actually trying to redefine rape. “A Republican state legislator in Georgia doesn’t like the term rape ‘victim.’ In fact, he has introduced a bill mandating that state criminal codes refer to these people as, simply, ‘accusers’…” writes Amanda Terkel in the Huffington Post. But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain “victims.”
Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids. With the pretense of stopping abortion, Utah’s legislators are willing to cut almost all services to poor families. Utah is dominated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) whose members almost overwhelmingly vote Republican. The Mormon Church teaches that the poor and needy, especially women and children, are to be helped and nurtured, and to this end, the Church has created a welfare system larger than most third-world countries. Yet members of the Church still vote Republican against the very interest of their own Church. This is a difficult paradox to understand. Apparently, their professed belief in Mormon doctrine ends as they walk out the church door on Sunday.
Other fronts on the War On Women:
- Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids’ preschool program. Why? No need, they said. Women should really be home with the kids, not out working. What, you say? This contradicts what I just said above? Maybe, but that’s because in this case, they want to cut spending to give millionaires and billionaires more tax cuts. Do you see? It’s all about money, just as I said before.
- And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same program, Head Start, by $1 billion. That means over 200,000 kids could lose their spots in preschool.
- Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women, and Republicans are taking aim at them too. A spending bill would cut funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.
- Congress just voted for a Republican amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers, one of the most trusted providers of basic health care and family planning in our country.
- And if that wasn’t enough, Republicans are pushing to eliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program. (For humans. But Republican Dan Burton has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You just can’t make this stuff up.)
In Congress, Republicans have a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life. Under EMTALA, a 1986 law requiring hospitals to provide emergency services to stabilize a patient, regardless of his/her ability to pay, if a woman comes to an hospital emergency room, and requires an abortion to save her life, the hospital must perform the procedure, or stabilize her and transport her to a facility that can perform the procedure. Under a change proposed by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), a fanatic anti-abortionist, the hospital could choose, without fear of prosecution, not to treat the woman, and also not to transport her, thus allowing her to die.
The war on women is so vast that no one can say it is only a fabrication on the part of the Democrats. Taken all together, these attempts to deny women’s rights demonstrate a fundamental belief all religious extremists hold, that women are inferior to men. In the Republican Party, this religious extremist view almost certainly emanates from the Tea Party whose fundamental basis is religious intolerance and extremist views. What they cannot achieve by teaching their intolerance and extremism, they now want to achieve by legislation. The Tea Party is a Christian Taliban.
In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. Extreme religious anti-abortion rhetoric has already been the cause of at least 8 murders of abortion doctors in the US. The South Dakota law is a radical departure from the laws of civilized countries in that it encourages individuals to commit murder with the guarantee that they will not be prosecuted. Legalizing murder is unthinkable, but in their War On Women, the Republicans are willing to do the unthinkable!
The idea of legalizing murder is now a Republican principal. Seriously, what kind of monster would legalize murder? Apparently, Republicans!