Examiner.com, March 19, 2012 by Robert Sobel
One of the biggest topics lately in politics is the argument over birth control and abortion. Republican lawmakers in Washington, on the campaign trail and in local, cit and state governments, have waged a war on women and their right to choose. The conservative argument is always the same, they claim religious freedom against women’s rights.
Americans have heard the argument from both sides of the issues and the majority of the polls show that the Republicans are on the wrong side of the debate. A new Bloomberg National Poll
was released last week and 77% of those surveyed said that birth control shouldn’t even be in the political discussion. According to the poll, 62% say that birth control is woman’s health issue compared to only 33% who say it’s a matter of religious liberty.
As the American people are siding with women on these issues, Republican leaders have been trying to pass laws throughout the country stripping away the basic right’s of women and their bodies. In Virginia
, a law was being pushed through by state Republicans that would not only require women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion, but also a mandatory invasive transvaginal ultrasound. Due to negative feedback in the state and around the country, the bill was revised, eliminating the transvaginal ultrasound. Alabama has adopted similar legislation
and there has been just as loud of a backlash against it. In Pennsylvania, a bill called the “Women’s Right to Know Act” was put on the table and the Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has been criticised
for his support and the comments he has made. When asked about the ultrasound mandate, Gov. Corbett simply told women to just “close your eyes.”
While Republicans are clearly against a woman’s right to choose, it doesn’t make much sense for them to also be against birth control. Logic should dictate that Republicans would be all for contraception since it would ultimately reduce the number of abortions in the country. However, it doesn’t seem like logic fits when it comes to the topic of abortion and a woman’s right to choose. In Arizona, a controversial new bill
was passed by the Republican controlled House of Representatives. The bill states that if a woman receives birth control from a health care plan through their job, the employer could fire them if they can’t prove that they use it for reasons other than contraception. If the employer has a moral or religious opposition to birth control, they would legally be able to terminate the employment of the woman.
If abortion is kept legal and affordable to all women and birth control is made readily available, the number of abortions would drop. According to a report released by the AP and the Denver Post
, abortion rates are the highest in countries where abortion is illegal. Abortion rates are even lower in countries where better access to birth control is made. If lawmakers reduced the access to birth control and limit abortion availability, women across the country will be forced to give birth to a child they can’t take care of. Republicans are also trying to cut funds dealing with Medicaid, the WIC program, food stamps and welfare.
In Arizona, and many other states, Republicans are looking to take away all funding for Planned Parenthood
where many women rely on assistance and health care. Women who are forced to have a baby they can’t afford will turn to government assistant programs to try to take care of the child. If those government programs have been limited or cut completely, women and their children will be in dire need of help, which seems to go against the Christian beliefs of many conservative voters.
Republicans have stood loud and proud about their hatred for big government and always claim that the smaller the government is, the better the country will be. However, it’s very clear that Republicans don’t believe in small government at all, they just want to use it or limit it when it fits their ideology. Birth control is and should be handled as a woman’s health issue and abortion should be solely up to a woman and her ability to choose for herself. There could be a debate about very late term abortions, but women deciding to have an abortion in the early stages shouldn’t be an issue.
The war on women hasn’t been any louder than it is today. If Republicans want to win the election in November against President Obama and move back into the White House, then they need to change their tune on many things including women’s rights. Considering the hard right turn of the Republican party over the last few years, winning the key women’s vote is going to be a giant hurdle to overcome.