A pro-choice friend of mine has been busy posting articles and videos on the much-maligned "war on women" by the GOP. Usually, I find the stuff she posts pretty annoying (I'm sure she thinks the same thing about my pro-life posts), but I actually found this video pretty interesting. Basically, its a bunch of women quoting some prominent Republicans and their supporters. They end the video with a snappy,
"Women will out-vote men by 10 million.
You might want to keep that in mind.
Besides the first comment about aspirin (gross), and the Ann Coulter quote (seriously - ugh), I didn't really have a problem with any of quotes used as evidence that the Republican party is involved in a "war" against women. So, lets deal with the rest of these quotes, shall we?
"Forcing women to have an ultrasound before an abortion is justified because they already made the decision to be vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant." -Republican Lawmaker
Well, when people say stupid shit like this its no wonder pro-choicers went crazy and claimed that ultrasound laws are government-sanctioned rape. However, those who believe that this is the best reason that lawmakers can come up with in support of ultrasound legislation have clearly not done their research. There is no "negative" in requiring both that ultrasounds be done before an abortion, and that the mother should be allowed to see the ultrasound should she ask. It ensures both safety and informed consent. See my rant about informed consent here. See a pro-choicer's take on the rhetoric surrounding ultrasound legislation here (to quote a key paragraph: "I have considerable concerns about what calling these ultrasounds 'rape' and 'unnecessary' will mean for abortion patients and providers. The reality is that most abortion patients do receive an ultrasound to date their pregnancies [...] the transvaginal ultrasound is a useful and common tool that helps providers perform abortions safely and well."). See this article from the Ottawa Citizen about a women who had just undergone an abortion (another key quote: "Anna asked what the fetus looked like and could she see the ultrasound. She said, 'The technician told me she was not allowed to show me the images and I was unable to see the screen' [...] Bu that's exactly what Anna did want."). In my opinion, the main reason that pro-abortion leaders galvanize pro-choicers against this type of legislation is that the majority of mothers who view their unborn child in an ultrasound decide to keep their baby. Who cares about informed consent or safety when women are deciding to keep their children?
"The agenda of Planned Parenthood includes sexualizing young girls through the Girl Scouts." - Reb. Bob Morris
Well, the connection between Planned Parenthood and the Girl Scouts is pretty well-established. Whether they are sexualizing young girls or not really depends on your opinion of what constitutes appropriate sexual health. But this article from Secular Pro-Life is a great spring-board to do some research on the issue - you can go through the comments to find tonnes of links to more information, including the "Healthy, Happy, and Hot" PP brochure that has apparently been handed out at several GS events. Either way, from the controversy surrounding the PP and GS connection, its easy to see why Rep. Bob Morris said what he said.
"The vast majority of abortions are matters of lifestyle convenience." -VA State Del. Tod Gilbert
This one makes me laugh, because it is, quite frankly, very true. Just take a look at this table from the Guttmacher Institute on reasons why women seek abortions. Or you can read through this blog post which summarizes the stats. The most common reason women choose abortions (in both 1987 and 2004)? They aren't ready for a(nother) child. If that's not a matter of lifestyle convenience, I don't know what is.
"A woman impregnated through rape should accept that horribly-created gift, the gift of human life. Accept what God has given you and make the best of a bad situation." -Rick Santorum
Frankly, I'm sick of the "rape" card. It is incredibly hateful. It trivializes the experiences of all those who have been raped, and it hurts those children who were conceived and born through rape. To really put a face to the issue, go here and read about Rebecca Kiessling, an attorney and pro-life speaker who was conceived through rape. Here is a quick excerpt of what she has to say: "Please understand that whenever you identify yourself as being 'pro-choice,' or whenever you make that exception for rape, what that really translates into is you being able to stand before me, look me in the eye, and say to me, 'I think your mother should have been able to abort you' [...] 'If I had my way, you'd be dead right now.'" I doubt that the lady quoting Rick Santorum could walk up to Rebecca and say that to her face, and yet, by the insinuation that pro-lifers are at war against women because we believe that those conceived through rape are just as worthy of life and love as those conceived through consensual sex, that is exactly what she is saying.
"Why should the government force you to insure for contraceptives. Are they going to have us have to insure for toothpaste? I mean, this is ridiculous." -Rudy Giuliani
Yup, I agree. And the issue isn't insuring for contraceptives, its being forced to. If you want to read some Catholic's perspectives, go here, and especially go to the Patheos blog Bad Catholic. Marc is pretty hilarious and does a decent job demonstrating why religious institutions understand the contraceptive mandate to be a war against religious freedom and not a women's issue. You can start with his first post, and go from there.
"If we're going to pay for you to have contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want you to post the videos online, so we can all watch." -Rush Limbaugh
Ah, the infamous remarks from Rush Limbaugh, which I believe he has since apologized for. Good for him, and good for the media for pressuring him to apologize for saying such things. Woot! Looks like we're a culture that won't take mysoginist crap from anybody, right? Oh wait.
And to summarize the point of this passionate little video:
"The GOP must have a serious problem with women."
Well, two can play that game. Read over the last link I posted from Michelle Malkin. The point she makes, and something that should be obvious to anyone that does not have an agenda, is that the mainstream left has an equally bad, if not worse, track record in their treatment of women from the opposition. To quote, "Self-serving opponents argue that such attacks to not represent 'respectable,' 'mainstream' liberal opinion about their conservative female counterparts. But it was feminist godmother Gloria Steinem who called Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison a "female impersonator." It was NOW leader Patricia Ireland who commanded her flock to only vote for "authentic" female political candidates." ..." etc. Reading through the entire article, it becomes obvious that this so-called "war on women" is being fought on both sides of the US political spectrum. So is the issue really Republican vs. Democrat? Or is it a political culture that focuses only on snappy rhetoric, shallow scandals, and orchestrated controversy?
I think the answer is quite obvious.