This past year has seen a variety of misinformed comments about rape, criticisms or limitations of reproductive rights, and attacks on individual women like Sandra Fluke. http://www.wearewoman.us/p/reasons-to-march-on-washington.html
For instance, the pro-life forces have been working to restrict or end access to a woman's right to an abortion. Texas ended funding of Planned Parenthood, an organization which is recognized as one that "delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide." 1 Defunding Planned Parenthood directly affects poor women's access to affordable health care.
Here's a commercial that highlights the fears of liberal women concerning this war on women 3:
Also, former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has a stance on abortion in which there are no exceptions, not even in cases of rape, incest, or the health of the mother. http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/01/23/409242/santorum-to-rape-victims-make-the-best-out-of-a-bad-situation/?mobile=nc
Also, Republican Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin has claimed that a woman's body knows the difference between a "legitimate rape" and consenual sex and can shut down any chance of a baby conceived by a rape from occurring. Apparently, this is a believe that some men still believe: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/a-canard-that-will-not-die-legitimate-rape-doesnt-cause-pregnancy/261303/
Also, the Republicans opposed the Paycheck Fairness Act which its proponents say is supposed to be equal pay for equal work but its opponents say that the PFA is the "kind of labor regulation will likely hamper the job market for women of all political stripes – unless, of course, if they are trial lawyers -- by expanding the definition of “wage discrimination,” making it easier to file class-action lawsuits, and opening businesses up to greater litigation and uncertainty." 2 Fox News reports that 74% of women find that there is discrimination in the workplace, yet they don't think that there should be some kind of government regulation about this issue. In fact, they don't think workplace discrimination is a "burning issue" with women. 2
Democrats have characterized these restrictions as a "war on women" while Republicans say that this is nothing but a myth. For instance, Mary Kate Cary in the U.S. News and World Report has summarized the following five myths that have been tossed around in the past year:
1. If you are pro-life, you are anti-woman;
2. Republican men believe that they should control women's bodies (see cartoon above);
3. Republicans are trying to take away women's contraception (birth control);
4. Republicans don't support "equal pay for equal work" laws;
5. Any cuts that Republicans call for in Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare will automatically hurt women.
Cary summarizes her points by saying "I and most women I know want to be empowered to pursue our own opportunities and... live our lives free of too much bureaucracy. We want to leave our children free of debt and deficits, with a smarter, smaller government." She doesn't buy this "war on women" concept and thinks it's the Democrats who are trying to change the issues during a very close election year to attract more women voters.
So, what do you make of these comments and quotes about a war on women? Things to think about:
1. Is there an actual war on women or has the press latched onto something that is sensational? Why?
2. What do you think of these comments by Republican law makers?
3. Ask a woman in your life and ask her what is the most important issue to her. Does this issue match up with what the Democrats are criticizing the Republicans over?
Your response is due Thursday, Oct. 18 by class time. 250 words minimum.
Sources: 1. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/who-we-are-4648.htm Planned Parenthood.
2. Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/06/05/war-on-women-backfires-on-democrats/#ixzz29Ua4oUx6
3. http://stopthewaronwomen.com/whats_at_stake Top 10 shocking things from the war on women and their news sources.