Thursday, July 31, 2014

Real "War on Women" vs. GOP Play on Words Stunt "War for Women"

"War for Women, War for Women, War for Women..."
(There is no War on Women, Understand That???)

War on Women
(What war GOP says - ha ha ha ha ha ha)

This update is taken from here.

1. Blocking Access to Contraception:  GOP leaders have puzzling ideas about why women choose to use contraception. Instead of seeing birth control as a medication that helps women protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections, avoid pregnancies they don’t want and can’t afford, and make their own long-term life decisions, Republicans view contraception as a license to have crazy amounts of sex and abuse federal finances to kill unborn children.

(Because God forbid that anyone would want to have sex without the explicit purpose of having a child).

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee caused a mini-firestorm back in January when he first tried to flip the GOP “war on women” rhetoric on its head. At the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting, he told the audience, “If Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, so be it.”

Rush Limbaugh memorably called health activist Sandra Fluke a “slut” for advocating for contraception coverage. But this misguided, profoundly misogynistic thinking about birth control has real consequences.

The most recent example is the Supreme Court’s devastating ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, which struck down the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act, allowing employers to claim religious exemptions for providing certain contraceptives for their female employees.

Senate Republicans blocked a bill aimed at restoring free contraception for women who get their health insurance from companies with religious objections. Because in a perfect GOP world, employers should be able to regulate female sexuality and access to health care according to their own moral grounds.

2. Demolishing Women’s Right to Choose:  If Republicans hate contraception, don’t even get them started on abortion. But really — don’t. Conservatives (particularly middle-aged male ones) have made more sexist, anti-scientific and plain offensive statements on this topic than any other.

There was the outrageous comment by Missouri Republican senate candidate Todd Akin about how victims of “legitimate rape” very rarely get pregnant and Maine representative Lawrence Lockman’s repugnant suggestion that if abortion is legal, rape should be too. The president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group that hosts boot camps on how politicians should discuss abortion, recently advised Republican leaders to keep their public remarks on the subject as brief as possible. As she told officials at the spring RNC meeting, “Two sentences is really the goal. Then stop talking.” 

Beyond the gaffes and complete disregard for women’s federally-mandated right to decide whether or not they want to bear and raise a child, GOP lawmakers have waged a state-by-state war to eliminate women’s access to the procedure.

From imposing unfeasibly strict regulations on abortion clinics to requiring women to have an ultrasound before they have an abortion, Republican officials have repeatedly made it clear that their beliefs about abortion are more important than those of the women affected by such legislation. In case their tendency to privilege the right of the fetus over that of the woman carrying it wasn’t clear enough, the 2012 GOP party platform has a passage that reads, “We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.”

3. Voting Against Equal Pay for Women:  It is the height of irony that the new package proposed by McMorris Rodgers et. al. includes a bill that prevents retaliation against employees who inquire about equal pay. This has been a core part of the Democratic economic agenda since at least last year, when House Democrats unveiled their own agenda called “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds.”

Republicans have consistently voted against fair pay measures, most recently in April when they blocked Democrat’s third attempt in recent years to pass wage equality legislation. The Paycheck Fairness Act would have made it illegal for employers to retaliate against workers who talk about their salaries with their coworkers and required the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect pay information from employers.

Conveniently ignoring the persistent wage gap (women earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn), conservative lawmakers have long argued that such a bill is irrelevant since gender-based discrimination is already illegal. Back in April, Representative Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas) went so far as to say that this type of legislation is “condescending” towards women. Yet now, it seems, they are changing their tune and adopting a cornerstone of the Democratic economic agenda as their own.

4. Compounding the Burden on Working Moms:  Several other key parts of the bill package are direct rip-offs of Democratic legislation and focus on issues that the GOP has long seen fit to ignore. These include tax credits for childcare and a bill that allows employees to trade overtime pay for paid family leave and sick leave. House Democrats have already proposed these ideas (though they recommended mandatory sick and family leave), as well as paid maternity leave and a wealth of other legislation aimed at accommodating working mothers. Republican leadership has not brought those bills to the floor for a vote.

For a party that is supposedly so interested in family values, the GOP has demonstrated an appalling lack of concern for the difficulties faced by working moms. From eliminating Head Start funding to cutting federal funding for childcare programs, Republicans have repeatedly asserted that women’s access to employment is superseded by family responsibilities.

Always good to review this topic.

Updated (February 18, 2014) from here: Dangerous GOP legislation - Women of America: Are you paying attention??? Title of the fine article review:  10 Dangerous Anti-Abortion Bills that Are Already Gaining Traction this Year.

Update (MSNBC - a 4-minute segment) follows:

Update (January 22, 2014): War on women, and yes, it is a long and on-going war is heating up again. Introduction from the story at Media Matters: If you are a woman, you no longer have the same rights you had 41 years ago.

ABOUT THE STORY: Guess which party heads leads on this “war” (and yes it is a war – deep, focused and intense) on Women?  HINT: The party label does not begin with the letter D.

This past January 22 (anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade) (here is summary at Oyez). The USSC ruled that women have a constitutional right to choose to have an abortion.

But in the intervening decades, that right has largely disappeared, a process helped by media outlets that have misinformed on these safe and legal health procedures. Thanks to Supreme Court rulings that came after Roe, states are now free to regulate and restrict abortion so long as new laws do not impose an "undue burden" on a woman's right to choose (my emphasis).  But state legislatures are currently testing what qualifies as an undue burden, and in 2013 alone 70 different anti-choice restrictions were adopted in 22 states across the U.S. (my emphasis).

In fact, according to the Guttmacher Institute, more abortion restrictions have been enacted in the past three years than in the entire previous decade.  The GOP and those states with the new and more harsh restrictions are on the wrong side of this issue, the wrong side of history, and wrong side of women, let's hope that remains clear this November.

Original Post: 

The above chart and story are from here re: women, poverty, and income inequality.

It makes reference to the annual Shriver report, first issued in 2009 (seen here).

The 2014 report came out recently and it has generated a lot of media coverage. That report is here and it paints a bleak picture of more and more women on the "brink."

A list of half-dozen tidbits:

1.  See 2013 poverty guidelines from FamiliesUSA here.  
2.  From the clip: 2/3 of all minimum wage earners are women (most have families).  
3.  More Stats: 100 million Americans at or near the poverty line; 70% are women; that equates to 42 million women.
6.  Still another GOP view:  The GOP’s War on the War on Poverty

Another good source on this subject comes from the annual Maria Schriver report on Women in America report, which just came out. The findings are bleak. Supplemental link if the downloaded copy is not available when you read this post can be found here from Center for American Progress.

This is a subject worth exploring. Hunger in America should not be an option for anyone and especially for children.

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