Republicans decry the “war on women,” claiming there’s no such thing. It’s just a progressive meme concocted to seduce women into voting for Democrats. Right. So why is it that, in the first three days of the new legislative session, Republicans in Congress introduced five abortion restrictions that would limit women’s access to the procedure?
The House bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks got all the attention. But it was dropped like a hot potato after several Republican women objected to its provision that, to be exempted, rape victims must have reported the crime to police. The other bills introduced would—
- Bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for family planning
- Require all abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital
- Ban abortions performed on the basis of gender
- Allow hospitals, doctors, and nurses to refuse to provide or participate in abortion care for women, even in cases of emergency.
It seems Republican politicians would send women back to the Stone Age if they could. Certainly, we know they think rape is no big deal (see “Republican Rapisms to Remember”). In just the last three months alone, we’ve already had state Sen. Rick Brattin claim there’s such a thing as a “legitimate rape,” state Rep. Brian Green argue that unconscious rape is acceptable if your spouse is the victim, and state Rep. Brian Kurcaba say something beautiful can come from rape.
Now, in an effort to make Republicans look less radical on the issue, Senator Lindsey Graham wants to officially define rape. Speaking to the the National Research Council’s “ProLifeCon” group in January, Graham said, “We just need to find a way definitionally to not get us in a spot where we’re debating about what a legitimate rape is. That’s not the cause that we’re in.”
And there you have it. More Republican leaders who think rape can be “legitimate.”
Fortunately, there’s Emily’s List to give progressive women hope for defeating such men. Dedicated to getting pro-choice Democratic women elected to office, the organization celebrated its 30th anniversary at a gala on Tuesday. There, the group’s president, Stephanie Schriock, gave a speech in which she eviscerated Republican politicians.
“Make no mistake,” Schriock said, “this is your father’s Republican Party. This is the exact same trans-vaginal ultrasound, all white-guy committee chair, aspirin-between-your-knees Republican Party we have been fighting for 30 years. Shame on them. They are trying to fool women. And shame on us if we let them get away with it. They don’t support women. They don’t trust women. They don’t respect women. So don’t tell me that there is no war on women. And don’t bother asking for a truce. We didn’t start this fight, but mark my words. We are going to win it.”
Schriock also warned that electing a Republican president in 2016 would mean “the end of every right we have won through struggle and sacrifice.” Truer words could not have been spoken.
A lifelong communicator, I'm pretty sure I came out of the womb talking. But with no siblings to chat and play with, I learned to express myself in writing. My subsequent birth as a politics junkie came while I watched my father, a career Marine, sob uncontrollably over Kennedy's assassination. Intuitively, I knew the world would never be the same, and I should pay attention. So I did.
Now, some 50 years later, I find myself dumbfounded by the trajectory of American politics and the prevalence of ignorance, bigotry, hate, and violence. I started Two Cents of Sense, hoping to help change that trajectory and to promote progressives' conversation, knowledge sharing, and actions.