This week in the War on Women: Who’s ready to go on offense?

Posted on March 17, 2012

Daily Kos, March 17, 2012 by Kaili Joy Gray

Raise your hand if you’re sick and tired of Republicans waging war on women.

Ah. I see there are a lot of you with your hands raised, including Republican women:

“We all agreed that this seemed like a throwback to 40 years ago,” said Ms. Russell, 57, a retired teacher from Iowa City who describes herself as an evangelical Christian and “old school” Republican of the moderate mold. […]“I didn’t realize I had a strong viewpoint on this until these conversations,” Ms. Russell said. As for the Republican presidential candidates, she added: “If they’re going to decide on women’s reproductive issues, I’m not going to vote for any of them. Women’s reproduction is our own business.” […]

And in what appears to be an abrupt shift, some Republican-leaning women like Ms. Russell said they might switch sides and vote for Mr. Obama — if they turn out to vote at all. […]

Deborah R. Stevens, a self-described “dyed in the wool” Republican, said she felt hopeless.

“I’m looking for a candidate that will be honest, that will come out and say, ‘Yes, I support women, I want you advanced and not trampled upon,’ ” said Ms. Stevens, 63, who lives near Myrtle Beach, S.C.

When even Republican women—and Republican evangelical women, at that—are sick of being attacked by their own party, you know the Republicans are in trouble. Which is why they’re now trying to claim, with an assist from Rush Limbaugh, that they don’t want this war; it’s those darned Democrats who tricked them into it by laying a trap Republicans are too stupid to avoid.Too bad for them no one’s buying it. And if Republicans don’t figure out just how angry women are about their war, they’re going to find themselves in big trouble come election day. Because—oh my god, shocking!—there are a lot of women in this country. And they vote. And they don’t want to vote for more war on their rights.

As we’ve discussed in this series before, it’s one thing to fight back against bad legislation, but it isn’t enough. We must go on offense and fight for good legislation that protects and expands women’s rights. As Meteor Blades wrote earlier this week:

Every fight requires defense and offense. This fight goes to the very heart of freedom for women. The enemies of that freedom have been hammering away at it for decades. And, as we have seen, they are succeeding in state after state. Not everywhere, but they don’t quit when they lose. They find another path to victory. We can’t let that keep happening. We can’t let people who say this is a distraction we should ignore set the agenda. Stopping the enemies of reproductive freedom will not be accomplished by ignoring them. And meeting women’s reproductive health needs cannot be done simply by defending against the attacks on it.

So it’s offense time. It’s time to fight for the kind of legislation we want to see, the kind of legislation that will make women’s lives better. It’s time for us to take the fight to them—at the federal level and state by state. The anti-woman forces in this country aren’t the only ones who can organize to pass legislation that affects women; we can do it too. And we should. Women—Republican women, evangelical women, Catholic women—aren’t willing to sacrifice their basic rights just because some cranky, vagina-fearing Republican men think they should. Even “dyed in the wool” Republican women like Deborah R. Stevens believe it’s time for politicians to say, “Yes, I support women, I want you advanced and not trampled upon.”So let’s turn that belief, and the collective anger at the Republicans’ war on our rights, into law.

They’ve had us on defense long enough. Time to take the fight to them.

This week’s good, bad and ugly below the fold.

  • Sandra Fluke speaks for me.
  • About that mancession:

    It doesn’t take long to go back to when we were still in the grips of mancession mania: women’s unemployment rate was “only” 7.6, while men’s was close to 10. Now those levels are completely equal: for the past two months, both men and women have experienced a 7.7 percent unemployment rate. Thus the mancession officially ended. Yet this is only good news for men: women have seen a slight rise overall in their unemployment rate since the recovery began in 2009, while men have seen a decline of 2.2 percentage points. It makes sense that men would see a faster decline in unemployment, given that they saw a sharp rise during the recession, but it’s not a good sign for women to be sliding backward.

  • Who would Jesus slut-shame?
  • Introducing the first adto tie Republicans and their War on Women to Rush Limbaugh:More of this please.
  • Dubya’s defenders are now forming their own little advocacy group to protect religious liberty attack women’s health care. As Hunter wrote:

    Hooray! I really, really wanted to hear people like Mary Matalin and Ed Gillespie moralize to us all about their deep religious convictions and how government should never do things that religious folks might have objections to. That all-consuming desire is second only to my even deeper, more all-consuming desire that they shut their damn lying-ass gobs already, but we all know that second one isn’t going to happen. So cheap moralizing about other people’s sex lives it is!

  • The sore loser legislators in Mississippi aren’t giving up on their dreams of outlawing abortion:

    Earlier Tuesday, the Mississippi House passed House Bill 1390, which would require all abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Right now, Mississippi has one abortion clinic in Jackson. It does not have a local doctor on staff, instead relying on abortion providers who fly in. Abortion-rights advocates say it’s unclear whether they would be able to find a doctor with the credentials required by this new law. If they can’t, and this bill becomes law, Mississippi’s one abortion clinic would close.

  • Did you know that anti-choice terrorists are just like civil rights Freedom Riders? Yeah, me neither.
  • Oh, terrific. Now we’re exporting anti-choice terrorism abroad.
  • Memo to Congress: Planned Parenthood is a lot more popular than you are.
  • The Guttmacher Institute released a devastating new report on the increasing number of states with laws hostile to women’s reproductive health:

    Although a core of states in the Northeast and on the West Coast remained consistently supportive of abortion rights between 2000 and 2011, a substantial number of other states shifted from having only a moderate number of abortion restrictions to becoming overtly hostile. […] In 2000, the country was almost evenly divided, with nearly a third of American women of reproductive age living in states solidly hostile to abortion rights, slightly more than a third in states supportive of abortion rights and close to a third in middle-ground states. By 2011, however, more than half of women of reproductive age lived in hostile states. This growth came largely at the expense of the states in the middle, and the women who live in them; in 2011, only one in 10 American women of reproductive age lived in a middle-ground state.

  • Mother Mags wrote about the latest crazy to come out of Arizona: Use birth control, get fired.
  • Republican Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania demonstrates his compassion for the women he wants to force, by law, to have an ultrasound before they can have an abortion:

    When asked about women having to watch the ultrasound, Corbett said, “I don’t know how you make anybody watch, OK. Because you just have to close your eyes. But as long as it’s on exterior not interior.”

  • Irin Carmon has a great article about the history of the contraception battle.
  • Read Angie in WA State’s compelling argument for why 2012 could and should be the Year of the Woman.
  • Surprise, surprise. The Catholic bishops were behind the push to get the Susan G. Komen foundation to cut its funding to Planned Parenthood. That’s especially despicable, considering that this week, the bishops were applauding themselves for their devotion to women’s health care.
  • Via stcroix cheeseheadFollow, Wisconsin Republicans have some swell advice for women who are beaten by their husbands:

    Representative Don Pridemore told TODAY’S TMJ4 he thinks even in abusive relationships, there are other options than divorce.”If they can refind those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help,” said Representative Don Pridemore.

    Um, yeah. That’s the problem. If only those battered women would just focus on the good stuff, and ignore all that getting-the-shit-beaten-out-of-them stuff, everything would be hunky dory!

  • As digby says … Actually, just go read the whole thing right now.

Now go forth, sluts, and raise hell.

Posted in: Fighting back