Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Republican War on Women - The National Front

This is the sixth in a series of articles on the subject of women, abortion rights and the Republican Party. 

Republicans continue to say they don’t have to change their core principles, they only have to change the language they use to get their message out.  One perception they want to alter is the idea that they are running a “war on women”.  Looking at the news over the past few years, I’d say the Republican Party has a long way to go on this subject.

  • Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky): “Talk about a manufactured issue.  There is no issue.” 
  • RNC Chairman Reince Priebus:  “It’s a fiction.”
The War in Washington D.C.
the facts:  The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a new abortion bill this week.  The bill, proposed by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Arizona), would ban abortions after 20 weeks. 
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision says that abortion is legal up to 24 weeks, but Republicans insist on pushing the envelope.  
Mr. Franks' bill will be put to a vote in the full House with an exception added for rape or incest.  Mr. Franks objected to this exception being added because, as he said, "The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low."
Thank you for your expert opinion, Mr. Franks.  I'm sure the medical community is indebted to you.  
The bill does add one additional roadblock for a woman who becomes pregnant as the result of a rape by requiring her to prove that she has reported the rape before she can exercise her constitutional right to obtain a perfectly legal abortion.  
Putting extra layers between a woman who has been raped and her rights under the U.S. Constitution...is this an example of how the Republican Party intends to make itself more palatable to female voters?
Another provision remains intact--a woman found to be carrying a "medically futile" fetus, one in which the fetus has no chance of survival outside the womb--will require the woman to carry the pregnancy to full term, knowing that the baby will die at birth.
This is unbelievably cruel.  I cannot imagine the suffering of a woman forced to carry a fetus for 9 months, feeling its movements, hearing its heartbeat, knowing that it will die within hours of birth.  What possible purpose can a provision like this serve other than to bolster some Washington politician's claim to being pro-life?
In order to appear to be pro-female, Mr. Franks will not be introducing his own bill to the House.  Instead, the introduction of the bill will be made by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee).  
And this is supposed to make us feel all warm and fuzzy?  How stupid do these Representatives think we are?  And shame on Ms. Blackburn for allowing herself to be party to this attempted deception.
In all fairness, I have to point out that not all Republican Representatives are pleased that this bill will be going forward.  Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pennsylvania) said: "I discouraged our leadership from bringing this to a vote on the floor.  Clearly the economy is on everyone's minds...confidence in the institution of government is eroding and now we're going to have a debate on rape on abortion.  The stupidity is simply staggering."
Mr. Dent is correct.  But wasting time on issues that have no chance of moving beyond the House, (38 votes and counting to repeal the ACA), and votes like this one on abortion limits that are clearly unconstitutional, (similar state bans have already been blocked by district federal courts), have become the Republican Party's coin of the realm.
Republicans seem to be completely unaware that while they're wasting time on their new abortion bill, we women will be watching and wondering when they'll be doing something to help the economy that will support the children they insist we carry, when they'll begin to look at ways to improve the education of our children and when they'll examine protections for the environment those children will inherit.
Oh, and Mr. Franks, we'll also be wondering why you think our uteri are the most important issue facing the U.S. today. 

The Republican War on Women is "fiction"?


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