The chairman of the Republican National Convention Reince Priebus recently compared women to caterpillars when he was confronted by Al Hunt on Bloomberg TV that polls show a huge margin among women for Democrats. Mr. Priebus Responded by saying:
“Well, for one thing, if the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars, and mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we have problems with caterpillars. The fact of the matter is it’s a fiction and this started a war against the Vatican that this president pursued. He still hasn’t answered Archbishop Dolan’s issues with Obama world and Obamacare, so I think that’s the first issue.”
Obviously, the RNC chairman doesn’t have a clue. Across America, in several states controlled by Republicans as far as legislative bodies and governor seats, the GOP had passed over 1,100 anti-abortion laws just in 2011, according to the Guttmacher Institute. It would seem that Republicans took their overwhelming win in 2010 as a go-ahead to push their conservative agenda, even if that’s not what they campaigned on.
This year Republicans have started an attack on contraception which a large majority of women – Republican, Democrats and independent, married and single, black, white and Hispanic – use contraception for family planning and to keep from having unwanted births. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo) recently introduced a bill in the Senate to give employers the right to refuse to pay for health care insurance that covers contraception or anything they have a problem with morally. Fortunately it barely failed when put to a vote by 51 to 48.
The Arizona Senate also introduced a bill to allow employers to refuse to pay for health care insurance that covers contraception for religious reasons. That bill also failed by 13 to 17.
One of the most significant moves by Republicans is their attack on Planned Parenthood. The House of Representatives which is controlled by Republicans, passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood of not only $75 million for family planning but also cut $317 million for the Title X budget which provides funds to cover medical cost for low-income people, such as “birth control, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, breast and cervical cancer testing, prenatal care, sex education and vasectomies for men.” Close to 4.7 million people depend on Title X for much-needed health services.
I’m personally puzzled by Republicans. Surely they must know that women are going to come out in numbers to vote against them this November. Now maybe they have some kind of a plan but if they’re counting on women forgetting about all these attacks on their health care and their rights when November rolls around, they may find themselves short government seats in state houses and in Congress. The GOP already have a good chance of not gaining the White House back as President Obama sees this as an opportunity to expand on his support for women’s rights. He did after all put too women on the U.S. Supreme Court which were also the only two seats on that court that have opened up in his first term.
Women are not accepting this idea that it’s not about women but about religion instead. Women depend on many of these health services through Planned Parenthood and a majority of them also feel it should be them and their doctors that decide what is best for them, not a bunch of lawmakers who seem to want women to get back into the kitchen, stay barefooted and pregnant and so that they can serve their men.
This is the 21st Century and just as gay people are not going to go back into the closet because Republicans don’t believe they should have the same rights as heterosexuals, a lot of women are not going back into the kitchen and become stay-at-home moms because Republicans thinks that’s where they belong.
We Democrats keep pinching ourselves at the stupidity of the Republican Party pushing an agenda against health services for women, contraception along with their usual attack on abortion. We can’t wait until November gets here because it’s getting to look more and more like this election is going to be one of the Democrat’s finest moments.