“What war on women?” Open your fucking ears

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I’m a man and she’s attractive so of course I’d love to be able to tell he what to do with her body. Not very nice though, is it?

More than once I’ve heard a conservative pundit in America ask, “what war on women?” as if it were some fallacy cooked up by liberals that was every bit as bogus as Fox News’ favourite: The War on Christmas. It’s a ridiculous question. If I was Ann Coulter, I’d call it ‘retarded.’ Assuming the best though, let’s say this question stems from ignorance rather than a hack desire to corrupt the news cycle. And in that spirit, let’s address (in brief, because the RNC’s hatred of women is too deep-rooted and incestuous to cover in one blog post) where the allegation comes from.

The big issue is of course, abortion, because despite the fact that this appeared to be settled in the 70s, whether or not a woman can do what she likes with her own body is still a matter for debate in The Land of the Free. The irony’s always amused me. “I don’t want no Government tellin’ me what to do”, goes the cry. Big Government is bad. Regulations are bad. Oversight is bad. Control is bad.

Unless of course you’re talking about the uterus. Fucking hypocrites.

What makes this debate all the more glaring are the horrific statements let loose by conservatives on the issue. Many, such as Mitt Romney (well, that’s the latest yours truly heard at the time of writing but who knows with this guy?) are opposed to abortion but allow for exceptions in cases of rape, incest or where the mother’s life is in jeopardy. Not my position, not one I like and not one I think I’ll ever be okay with but it’s understandable, I suppose. A smaller number of politicians are opposed to abortion, but don’t think it’s the Government’s place to tell women what to do with their bodies. That I can get along with.

The trouble is that there are a number (and that number is not small and that number is not unrepresentative) of people who are opposed to abortion all the time and DO feel it is the place of Government to tell women what they can and can’t do with their bodies, even in cases of rape. How do you justify such a position? Simple. Rape victims are asking for it, and they don’t get pregnant anyway. Even where rape has been acknowledged as a problem within this stance, the language is fucked. The No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act that passed through the House in May 2011 originally said that exceptions could be made in cases of “forcible rape.” Well what the shit does that mean? If a woman says no and the act proceeds then no foul, but if she gets beat up along the way then that counts?

Todd Akin has been a member of the US House of Representatives since 2001 but he’s probably more famous this year than he’s ever been in his life. All around the world people have heard him tell the tale of The Magic Vagina which can stop women getting pregnant in cases of “legitimate rape.” Again, I’m forced to wonder what that qualifier actually meant in the head of the wanker that came up with it, and again, I’m forced to point out that said wanker sits on the Science Committee. How is anyone okay with this?

The condemnation from all sides was quick. Liberals said it confirmed the backwards attitude of the Republican Party, conservatives rushed to shout out that this statement was not representative of the Party. It was unfair to judge them all by one idiotic statement. Fair enough. How about two idiotic statements? Two days ago Richard Mourdock said that pregnancy as a result of rape; well that was something God intended to happen. This is the man Republicans preferred to Richard Lugar, a former Navy Lieutenant j.g. who has been given 45 honorary doctorate degrees and has been beating Democrats in elections since 1976. 61% of voters said no to that and picked Mr Everything Happens For A Reason instead. Not that it’s relevant to this discussion, but to underline how fucked up the Republican Party is these days, Lugar was a pillar of bipartisan work in the Senate. When he agreed with the other side, he worked with them; when he didn’t, he debated. Mourdock says that bipartisanship is Democrats doing what Republicans tell them to. Dickhead.

Republicans are against abortion though. Make no mistake about that. Since 2011 Republicans around the US have thrown forth over 900 pieces of legislation seeking to restrict women’s rights concerning abortion. Say what you like about them, but at least they’re not slacking on the job. One of my favourite examples is the Heartbeat Bill concept, popular in Ohio, whereby if a heartbeat can be detected, no abortion can go ahead. In case you were wondering, heartbeats can regularly be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. This is a shite law and would never hold up on appeal but it’s the thought that counts. And it’s a Republican thought.

States such as Virginia have enacted forced transvaginal ultrasounds laws. In short, if you want an abortion, they have to stick a probe inside you first whether you consent or not and try and guilt trip you into changing your mind. Writer Megan Carpentier underwent the procedure and described it as, “…uncomfortable to the point of being painful, emotionally triggering… and something that no government should force its citizens to undergo…” It shouldn’t escape your notice that this procedure is disturbingly similar to some legal definitions of rape. Bob McDonnell, the Republican Governor of Virginia has used his power of veto to restrict state funding for abortions and earlier this year signed into law a Bill which requires that when women do have abortions, an ultrasound picture is taken and placed in their permanent file. Furthermore if the woman chose not to look at the image, she’d have to sign a statement that would also form part of her file. Why, exactly? Any medical reason for those to be in there? Well no, but here’s hoping her treating physician will see it and realise exactly what kind of murderous bitch she is.

Woe betide you if you’re a family planner yourself, particularly if you live in South Dakota or Iowa. Both States have considered laws that would make killing abortion providers legal. Seriously. It would be disingenuous not to state that (most of) this Bill’s supporters publically acknowledged this ‘mistake’ and dropped their support of the Bill. Trouble is, they dropped it because they could think of no way to fix the offending paragraph so it didn’t endorse killing. When that could be achieved with the adding of a few words, why not continue in your support unless that was the whole point; scaring off those who perform abortions.

What’s the relevance? This, and measures to force invasive procedures, lower recognised gestation terms, and force women to look at pictures of foetuses, and listen to heartbeats, and undergo counselling, and go through waiting periods, and be preached at by religious groups and any other number of preposterous activities are all designed to counteract the decision that was made forty years ago that says what a woman can do with her body isn’t up to me, and it isn’t up to Government because that just doesn’t sit right with some people.

So in addition to the above, they’ve introduced laws in Arizona that say that say doctors can get away without telling the mother about prenatal problems including possible birth defects that might encourage consideration of abortion. In Texas women are told that abortions lead to an increased risk of breast cancer. This isn’t up for debate; it’s a fucking lie. It’s not one you only hear in Texas though because it’s prevalent in other states such as Alaska, Mississippi, West Virginia and more besides because when someone just doesn’t agree with you, try a good cancer scare.

What war on women? The very real one, and one which isn’t restricted to abortion. The one that involves cutting funding for contraception provision which would make many abortions unnecessary in the first place. The one that involves cutting funding for sex education because women can’t be trusted to have sex unless they have a husband to do it responsibly with them. The one that’s okay with women making less money than men, that doesn’t trust them to be mothers if they sleep with women, that doesn’t want them working if they have children and calls them a slut and a prostitute if they disagree.

Political parties are about more than one, or even a handful of issues, particularly in America where the stranglehold Democrats and Republicans have on Government makes lack of choice a sorry fact of life. So I completely understand if you’re a pro-abortion Republican or a pro-life Democrat. Maybe you’re economically conservative but relatively liberal when it comes to societal issues.

There’s a hard truth though. There is a war on women being waged in America and if you support the Republican party, however indirectly, you’re helping the wrong side.

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One comment

  1. Zoe

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