Category Archives: GOP War on Women

Bad News For Planned Parenthood In Texas

Remember a couple of days ago when Planned Parenthood of Texas was handed a favorable ruling saying that preventing them from receiving state funds was unconstitutional? Remember how Mad Kane said those rulings are usually overturned?

Well, it’s not quite that bad, but it’s bad enough. Here’s the word, from Melaney A. Linton, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, in an email:

The good news we received on Monday afternoon was short-lived.  Judge Lee Yeakel agreed with Planned Parenthood and stopped the state’s unconstitutional rule that excluded Planned Parenthood health centers from providing care to women enrolled in the WHP.

Then the bad news was delivered at the stroke of midnight when Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jerry Smith granted the state their request for an emergency hold on the injunction.  This “emergency” hold meant that the state’s unconstitutional rule could go into effect and Planned Parenthood health centers would be excluded from the WHP. 

Just when we thought the political games couldn’t get any worse for low-income Texas women, they did.

I wish I believed in a Hell for the bastards to rot in.

The Old Days, When Women’s Rights Were Not Under Full‑Scale Assault

Susan Heath, for NYT, tells of her own experience in 1978, in an op-ed titled No One Called Me a Slut. Yes, those were the days: women had constitutionally protected rights to manage their own bodies, rights that were legally safeguarded by a Supreme Court decision. Please read Ms. Heath’s op-ed; it is worth your time more than the usual personal story.

Today we have a GOP War on Women… too fucking bad if they don’t like my calling it what it is. Planned Parenthood, still the primary health care provider for many women, is being systematically defunded at the behest of the radical Right. Women are being rudely demeaned by Republican politicians… Virginia’s Speaker of the House William Howell, recently arguing with a woman, said in so many words that he would try to use simple words so she would understand him. Arizona’s new abortion law is the most extreme ever in America, but it is far from the only extreme one, and the battle continues in other states. The GOP War on Women is being fought primarily on the state level.

There is only one way to fight back: pitch the bastards out of office in 2012. Do it. If you always vote with an eye toward women’s rights, please enlist your friends of similar outlook in the effort to flush the crap that has accumulated in our legislatures. Now is the time.

(H/T Mustang Bobby.)

Arizona All But Illegalizes Abortion

How much do Arizona legislators hate women? From David Dayen, and indirectly from The Daily Beast, we get the answer… this much:

Yesterday we had a big national discussion about the choices women make in their lives. Ann Romney at one point said right-out, “We need to respect the choices that women make.”

At the end of yesterday, Arizona’s female Governor, Jan Brewer, signed a bill banning abortions after 18 weeks and creating a new definition of “pregnant.”

Despite its name, critics derided the Women’s Health and Safety Act that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law today as cruel, dangerous, and hostile to women—likely to deter many Arizona women from seeking an abortion, and to distress those who nonetheless go through with one.

Life starts earliest in Arizona, which now defines gestational age as beginning on the first day of a woman’s last period, rather than at fertilization. In practice, that means the state has banned abortions after about 18 weeks (20 weeks from the last menstruation) except in the case of medical emergencies. While that provision has been much discussed, abortions after that point account for only about 1 percent of the procedures currently performed.

The stipulation likely to be most widely felt is what experts are calling an effective shutdown of medication abortions. These nonsurgical abortions are usually performed within the first nine weeks of pregnancy, and account for between 17 and 20 percent of all abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-rights advocacy group. While women often take the pills at clinics and in their homes, the bill now mandates that a medical provider must have hospital privileges within 30 miles of where the procedure takes place. Many times clinics or homes are not within 30 miles of hospitals, and the distance prevents providers from other cities or even states from caring for women, says Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute. Another factor that could contribute to what Nash called a “shutdown” of medication abortions is that the law requires abortion pills to be administered using outdated protocols, confusing providers and obscuring proper use of the drugs.

There will be no sense of irony around this, that the national discussion around women’s choices came from the exact same party that promotes restricting women’s medical choices. Everyone will just keep having the stupid season discussion they were having.

Incidentally, the anti-abortion measures signed into law by Brewer yesterday include a mandatory ultrasound, a 24-hour waiting period, forced education in public schools around adoption and birth, forced advertising in abortion clinics about the dangers of “coercion,” parental notification and mandatory counseling. It’s the smorgasbord of abortion bills.

“[T]he stupid season” … more and more, that’s the right name for Republican election year politics in America. “[S]tupid” is also the right word for any federal judge who finds this law constitutional. It’s as if Gov. Brewer and the Arizona Legislature had never read Roe.

And women: if you vote for Republicans in this election, despite their consistent and premeditated efforts to scrap women’s rights, to turn women into second-class citizens… you are sssss… um, I mean… you are signing away the rights your mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers won for you in the face of extreme adversity. Just don’t do it… for your daughters’ sake.

AFTERTHOUGHT: I meant to include the following observation by David Dayen (same link as above):

It’s the new definition of gestational age, where a woman can now be considered pregnant by the state of Arizona before ever having sex, that threw me. This completely upends the justification of a “fetal pain” bill, because it draws the line before the arbitrary point accepted by anti-choicers of when the fetus can feel pain. …

If you need any more evidence that this is not about protecting fetuses but rather about punishing women for being women, there it is. The new definition of the beginning of pregnancy can literally label you as “pregnant” before you even had sex. (Hey, Mary Mother of God, there’s a state legislature treading on your territory…)

Gov. Walker (R-Wisconsin) Signs Repeal Of Equal Pay Law – UPDATED

Despite repeated requests, he didn’t seem to want to talk about it. But now, if you are a woman in Wisconsin, there is no longer a [ADDED: state] law requiring your employer to pay you at the same rate as a man for equal work. That’s right: in Wisconsin, employers may now legally discriminate in favor of men and against women in matters of salary.

I hardly know what to say. In the second decade of the 21st century, such a move is dumbfounding, or maybe one could leave out the “founding” part. I hope the feuding Democrats running for Governor (presuming Walker is recalled) quickly resolve their differences, because the rights of women (at least) in Wisconsin depend on ridding the government of this bastard.

UPDATE: this is not exactly a correct statement: please read the comment by upyernoz. But Walker’s strategery [sic] is still puzzling.

Poll: Hostility To Contraceptives Costing GOP Support Of Women

According to TPM, a USA Today/Gallup poll now shows President Obama leading among women in the “top dozen battleground states” by 18 points, quite a jump from a 2-point Romney lead a month ago. Obama’s lead among all voters in these states is 9 points, 51 percent to 42 percent. The reason, as both parties admit, is the GOP effort to make contraception less readily available. Can you spell “DAMN FOOLS”, children?

Time for the GOP to double down again. Let’s see: they’ve long since done abortion; they’ve already done contraception; they’ve attempted to destroy the nation’s primary supplier of women’s health care. What’s left? requiring women to wear more modest clothing? requiring women to cover their hair? requiring women to be accompanied by a male family member when they leave home? Forbidding women to drive a car?

Go for it, GOPers. Drive your party to the edge of that cliff and then gun the engine. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving party… and I say that as one who doesn’t even like your presidential opponent.

Women married to Republicans, please ask yourself: is it Lysistrata time yet?

The GOP: Shaming And Blaming Single Mothers Of Wisconsin

Katha Pollitt of The Nation has the sorry, sordid story of a bill, Wisconsin Senate Bill 507 by a Wisconsin GOP state senator, Glenn Grothman, and a state representative, Don Pridemore, which

… directs the state to prepare educational materials that blame “nonmarital parenthood” for child abuse and neglect and “emphasize the role of fathers in the primary prevention” of same.

That’s right: according to the Wisconsin GOP, single mothers are to blame for child abuse and neglect, while single fathers are blameless.

Like fucking Hell they are!

The only thing wrong with this bill is that it gets the causality backwards: child abuse and spousal abuse, overwhelmingly by men, are the cause, not the consequence, of single motherhood. Don’t believe me? can’t tell from your own observations over the years? Look up the statistics; I’ll be damned if I’ll do your homework for you.

The only way to slow the momentum of the GOP War on Women is for women themselves to come out on Election Day in overwhelming numbers and kick the bastards out of office. Once that is done, there is some possibility of dealing sanely with the matter of child abuse and spousal abuse. Until that is done, bills like this will come up again and again, every year… and one year, they may be passed into law. Let’s put a stop to it right now, while we can.

ASIDE: Pollitt presents one woman’s letter to State Rep. Pridemore. It’s worth reading.

MoveOn Ad: ‘The GOP War On Women’

This is hard-hitting:

It’s about time we put a (metaphorical) sharp stick in the eye of the GOP. This is a good start.

GOP War On Women Continues: VAWA

The GOP is balking at Democratic attempts to extend the coverage of the Violence Against Women Act, one of the most effective laws on the books since 1994 and since renewed twice without controversy, to same-sex partners and undocumented immigrants.

The GOP is far out of bounds on this one. A law with consequences as grave as this one (hmm… a law of gravity?) should cover all persons within America’s borders, no matter how they’re here and no matter what their sexual orientation. Violence is violence: violence does not suddenly become an acceptable means of dispute resolution just because one or both of the parties are LGBT or undocumented.

Democrats have 59 signatories of the new version of the law in the Senate, including six Republicans. Considering the Republican war on women recently, the wars on abortion, contraception and affordable women’s health care through, say, Planned Parenthood, one would expect the GOP to think twice about risking non‑renewal of this broadly successful law that has, in fact, reduced violence against women… deaths by 35%, nonfatal acts by 53%. But apparently today’s GOP lives to astonish us all, and it seems prepared to put up a fight.

As for American women: why would you vote for a party that loathes you so much that it would risk infringement of your human rights?

UPDATE: as if that weren’t enough, the GOP seems prepared to double down on its opposition to requirements that insurers cover contraceptives, despite polls that clearly show Americans see the matter, not as a religious rights issue, but as a women’s health issue. This surely will also get Republicans in trouble with their “clients,” the insurance industry, which by and large likes contraceptives because they reduce long-run medical costs. With the GOP, if it’s not “open mouth, insert foot,” it’s “open butthole, insert head.”

The Problem

(H/T ellroon for the link.)

Mitt Rmoney (sic[k]) Joins War On Women, Threatens To ‘Get Rid of Planned Parenthood’

The Republican War on Women leads candidates to say some astonishing things. Mitt says he’s going to “get rid of Planned Parenthood”:

Republican women: the good news is that you don’t have to beat him senseless to prevent his wanton act. All you have to do is vote against him in November… and tell all your friends to do the same.