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Is There A War On Women Or Is This Just Political Rhetoric?

According to Zerlina Maxwell at U.S. News & World Report, the war on women is real:

No matter what Reince Preibus says, the Republican “War on Women” is no fiction. Last week, Preibus likened the war on women to a fictional war on caterpillars. Nice try, but the Republican National Committee chairman might want to quickly review the legislative assault on women’s reproductive freedom on both the state and federal levels since the Republican wave of 2010.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, in 2011, states enacted 135 new reproductive healthcare laws. Personhood amendments, transvaginal ultrasounds, and attacks on contraception make 2012 sound more like 1912. Once you translate the terms for these bills into what they actually mean for lives of real women, the war on American women becomes much clearer.

Whatever your personal opinion of abortion, it is still the law of the land. Personhood amendments, which define life as beginning at the moment of conception, would criminalize all abortions, essentially forcing a woman to give birth against her will. Ultrasound bills, whether they are transvaginal or otherwise, are procedures that force women to endure state-mandated medical procedures simply for choosing a legal abortion. Attacks on contraception, namely the birth control pill, are the most egregious considering the significant number of women who rely on contraception throughout their reproductive years. This attack will certainly not be forgotten in the fall, since fights over a women’s right to control her reproduction in order to freely plan out her life is a fight that was won a generation ago.

Women are not an interest group. President Obama is right about that. The freedom to make choices about your reproductive health is essential to the economic and political freedom of women. Women have fought for generations for these rights and have suddenly seen attempts to strip them away. To add insult to injury, members of the Republican Party who ran in 2010 nationwide on job creation, improving the ailing economy, and cutting spending have focused like a laser on cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, which provides essential healthcare for low-income and uninsured women, voting against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, voting against equal pay for women, and even an ill-fated attempt to redefine rape. Republicans have attacked women’s rights on all fronts in 2012. Women, who have already begun moving to support President Obama in droves, will be able to fight back at the ballot box.


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