Saturday, March 26, 2016

Republican War on Women: Florida Eliminates Funding; Oklahoma Seeks to Eliminate Doctors

This is the forty-second in a series of articles on the subjects 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 Florida Front

In August of last year, Florida reported on the results of an investigation into Planned Parenthood, and concluded that the organization had not and was not breaking any laws.

On Friday, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) signed a new law that cuts state funding to all clinics that perform abortions.  State funding of abortion services are already prohibited by law in the state, but Republican leadership decided that wasn't good enough.

 what eye thynk:  Under this new law--obviously aimed at Planned Parenthood despite the results of the state's own investigation--all state funding is eliminated, even for preventative health services, if the clinic also performs abortions.  So poor women in Florida will lose access to birth control, (because who would want to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, right?), breast exams, pap smears, STD tests and wellness programs.  But, hey, if a few more poor women die for lack of access to health care, that's a price Florida's Republican leadership is willing to pay as long as they get to show PP who is boss.

The Oklahoma Front

When Governor Rick Scott hears about this, he is going to be asking, "Damn!  Why didn't WE think of that?"  Because, you see, Oklahoma State Senator Joseph Silk (R) has found a way to abolish abortion completely, 100 percent, in his state.  

Under SB1118, any doctor who performs an abortion--for any reason--could be found guilty of first degree murder.  

Pretty slick, huh?  But not as slick as Mr. Silk himself.  You see, he added that first degree murder thing AFTER the bill had passed out of the Health and Human Services Committee. Maybe he thought no one would notice?

As it turns out, Republican leadership in the Senate is not at all happy with Mr. Silk's sneaky move, and has, so far, refused to present the bill to the full Senate.  Mr. Silk seems surprised that his little addition has not earned him party accolades.  "Are you really pro-life if you can actually come out and oppose this bill for no reason?"

Somewhere, there must be a Republican gnome living under a bridge and laughing his wart-covered, misogynist behind off as he pulls the strings of these conservative lawmakers.  No birth control? Check.  Unwanted pregnancies?  Check.  No money for lazy families with kids they either don't want or can't afford?  Check.  Women dying from lack of preventative healthcare? Check.  Now, what can I do to top all that?  Hmmm...  Oh, yes!  Doctors behind bars.  Yes! Yes! YES!  PERFECT!  

In a sane world, SB1118 would be impossible to imagine; at the very least it would be viewed as bad satire.  Unfortunately, sanity and common sense are in scare supply in today's conservative circles, where "more" is never enough, and where one party has moved so far to the right it seems lost in a Margaret Atwood fever dream.   

The Republican War on Women is "fiction?"


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