Why Do Republicans Hate Women?

A friend’s 15 year old daughter asked this question the other night at a dinner party.  It might seem odd to many of you, but her concerns were valid.  Note, I don’t think Republicans (for the most part) actually hate women.  I think they are trying to balance our national deficit and they are trying to cut anything that they can find.  Still, when you look at what they are cutting, which feeds their own agenda, it makes you understand why this teenage girl would have these questions.  Here are five topics that came up over the evening and some of the real proposals being made within our government right now.

myfivebest -1Pushing To Defund Planned Parenthood
This past week, the Republican-controlled House voted to end all funding to Planned Parenthood for any purpose.  The bill still has to go to the Senate, but if passed there, will jeopardize the millions of women in this country that use this service to prevent cancer, learn about reproductive health, and basic health care.  Before you start thinking that the Republicans are just following their Pro-Life stance, Planned Parenthood federal funding money already forbids any use for abortions.  The federal monies to Planned Parenthood instead goes to help some women without insurance with birth control (including students in college), education on HIV, HIV testing, life-saving cancer screenings,   education on use of condoms and STD education. Cutting any funding for HIV and cancer testing (such as cervical and breast cancer) undoubtedly will cost lives for women and deny basic health care access.  Instead of decreasing funding to the war and the contractors who benefit from the war, the GOP has chosen to assault and war against women.  It is estimated that 3 million women go to 800 Planned Parenthood centers across America. Ninety-seven percent seek services for annual exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, contraceptives, and health education.  Women need to take a stand against the draconian attack on Planned Parenthood.  You can find out more information on their web site at www.plannedparenthood.org.

myfivebest - 2Redefining Rape
Welcome to the Hyde Amendment.  In January of 2011, the GOP decided to redefine what rape actually is.  It is all part of their “No Federal Funding For Abortions” campaign.  According to their plans, rape is only considered a crime if the victim can prove that they were “forcibly raped”.  Date rape drugs, date rape (in general), statutory rape or incest where pregnancy was the result was not eligible for the victim to obtain an abortion.  The bill was proposed by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.).  As you can imagine, public outcry was harsh.  The bill was co-sponsored by 173 (mostly Republican) representative and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has dubbed this a top priority in the new Congress. This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible. For example: If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion.  Left-wing groups like MoveOn.org and Emily’s List have fought back against this proposal.  By the end of January, House Republicans were pressured into removing the definition of “forcible rape”, but their intentions are already known.

myfivebest - 3Allow Women To Die Rather Than Perform A Life Saving Abortion
When the plans for “forcible rape” failed due to public outcry, the Republicans came back less than a week later with a new plan.  This time around, the new language would allow hospitals to let a pregnant woman die rather than perform the abortion that would save her life!  The bill, known currently as H.R. 358 or the “Protect Life Act,” would amend the 2010 health care reform law that would modify the way Obamacare deals with abortion coverage.  The sponsor of H.R. 358, Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) is a vocal member of the House’s anti-abortion wing. A member of the bipartisan Pro-Life Caucus and a co-sponsor of H.R 3 — the bill that added “forcible rape” to the the topics being discussed on Capitol Hill.  Currently, all hospitals in America that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding are bound by a 1986 law known as EMTALA to provide emergency care to all comers, regardless of their ability to pay or other factors. Hospitals do not have to provide free care to everyone that arrives at their doorstep under EMTALA — but they do have to stabilize them and provide them with emergency care without factoring in their ability to pay for it or not. If a hospital can’t provide the care a patient needs, it is required to transfer that patient to a hospital that can, and the receiving hospital is required to accept that patient.  Pitts’ new bill would free hospitals from any abortion requirement under EMTALA, meaning that medical providers who aren’t willing to terminate pregnancies wouldn’t have to — nor would they have to facilitate a transfer.  They don’t have to do anything at all!  Which means the woman, if in a health crisis, will die, should she need an abortion.

myfivebest - 4Cut Funding For The Elderly Poor – Two Thirds Of Whom Are Women
This proposed budget cut doesn’t just apply to women, but the majority of people being affected will be women.  It takes aim at eliminating the funding towards Medicaid.  Medicaid is taxpayer-funded health insurance for people who are poor or who have disabilities. The federal government mandates what services states must provide to those people. It also gives state governments money to help pay for those services—two or three dollars for every dollar of state funding—and allows the states to choose “optional” services to provide.  Before you get all self-righteous on the “freeloading people” that accept Medicaid, there are some things you should know about it.  It is really for the people who need help.  You can only make a pre-determined amount of income during a month while you are on Medicaid.  Sure, the medicine is free, but if they tell you that you can only make $750/month and your retirement and pension come to $1500, they take the other $750.  This best helps the elderly and the very poor.  There aren’t too many people driving around in their Mercedes collecting on Medicare.  Medicaid, which is provided mainly for women can be the death knell to many people across the nation if it is cut.

myfivebest - 5South Dakota Wants To Make It Legal To KILL Abortion Doctors
Some stuff you just can’t make up.  A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171, has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state’s GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon.  The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, a committed foe of abortion rights, alters the state’s legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person “while resisting an attempt to harm” that person’s unborn child or the unborn child of that person’s spouse, partner, parent, or child. If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman’s father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion—even if she wanted one.  The original version of the bill did not include the language regarding the “unborn child”; it was pitched as a simple clarification of South Dakota’s justifiable homicide law.