Boehner: War On Women “entirely created by my colleagues. Give Me A Break.”
April 27, 2012
Boehner: War On Women "entirely created by my colleagues...Give Me A Break. Let’s Review the Facts.” Yes, Let’s.
“Now, we’re going to have a fight about women’s health. Give me a break,” Boehner said to applause. “This the latest plank in the so-called “war on women,” entirely created by my colleagues across the aisle for political gain. Let’s review the facts.”
What’s more offensive: The Republican Party’s overwhelming efforts to undermine women’s health and take away women’s freedom – or that Boehner and company are completely oblivious to the fact that what they have done and are trying to do has outraged and negatively impacted women across the country? That kind of Republican macho talk ought to do wonders towards closing the 16 point gender gap in the Presidential polls.
“Let’s review the facts,” says Boehner. Yes, let's. Let’s take a look at some of the extreme, anti-women things the GOP have been up to just in the last year…
Watering Down the Violence Against Women Act
- Think Progress, Apr 26, 2012: “GOP Tries To Water Down Violence Against Women Act, Expresses Willingness To Tolerate Some Domestic Abuse”
- Think Progress, 4/26/12: The Senate just passed the third reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Though Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) were attempting to water down the bill through amendments, they ultimately failed and the bill passed in its original form. The politicization of domestic violence isn’t over yet, though– the bill now moves onto the House of Representatives, where it’s already been emotionally debated. Republicans have already said that they will try to mirror the watered down language of the Senate amendment that did not pass.
Republicans Simply Do Not Agree That Women Deserve Equal Pay for Equal Work: GOP Opposed the Anti-gender-based-wage-discrimination Law The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act from the Beginning, Still Think it’s a “Nuisance”
- Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: a total of 7 Republicans in the House and the Senate voted for it. 209 Republicans voted against equal pay for women in 2009. [http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2012/04/war-on-women-is-about-more-than-lady.html; Washington Post, April 24, 2008: “Senate Republicans Block Pay Disparity Measure”]
- “We’ll get back to you on that” - Romney campaign, April 11, 2012, on simple question whether or not Romney supports the Lilly Ledbetter Act.
- Think Progress, 4/16/2012: “Romney Refuses To Say Whether He Would Sign Lilly Ledbetter Pay Equity Law”
- Huffington Post, April 11, 2012: “Mitt Romney's Women Surrogates Voted Against Pay Equity Enforcement, Blasted Feminism”
- Huffington Post, 04/ 6/2012 “Scott Walker Quietly Repeals Wisconsin Equal Pay Law”
- Huffington Post, 04/13/2012: GOP Senate Candidate in MI “Pete Hoekstra On Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: 'That Thing Is A Nuisance'”
Defunding, “Getting Rid Of,” Leading Women’s Reproductive Health Service Provider
- Think Progress, March 14, 2012: “Romney: ‘We’re Going To Get Rid Of’ Planned Parenthood”
- Daily Kos, FRI FEB 18, 2011: “House votes to defund Planned Parenthood, Title X”
- Just to Note: Planned Parenthood provides nearly 770,000 Pap tests and nearly 750,000 breast exams each year, critical services in detecting cancer. Planned Parenthood provides more than four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Planned Parenthood affiliates provide educational programs to more than1.1 million young people and adults each year.
Remember That “GOP Bill Requir[ing] Vaginal Probes Before Abortions”?
- Associated Press, Feb. 22, 2012: GOP Bill Would Require Vaginal Probes Before Abortions
- Celebrated potential Romney VP pick Bob McDonnell was for the mandatory invasive transvaginal probe bill before he was against it:
Slate, Feb. 22, 2012: “Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Backs off the Invasive Ultrasound Law:” Defenders of Virginia’s proposed ultrasound law, which would require some women to get penetrated by a transvaginal ultrasound before being allowed to have an abortion, say that they support the bill because it’s merely giving women more information about their bodies. As Dahlia Lithwick pointed out late last week in Slate piece about the law, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said on a radio show, “I think it gives full information...To be able to have that information before making what most people would say is a very important, serious, life-changing decision, I think is appropriate.”
After Enormous Backlash Against the Mandatory Transvaginal Probe Bill, McConnell “Compromised” By Joining 6 Other Republican Governors in Signing Into Law a Bill That Still Requires a Mandatory Ultrasound – As If That Made It Acceptable
- Huffington Post, 3/7/2012: “Bob McDonnell, Virginia Governor, Signs Mandatory Ultrasound Bill Into Law:” VA Gov. Bob McDonnell signed a controversial mandatory ultrasound bill into law Wednesday afternoon, making Virginia the seventh state to require women to have an ultrasound procedure before they can legally have an abortion. A previous version of the bill would have forced women to undergo an invasive, likely painful transvaginal ultrasound procedure if she was too early into the pregnancy for a more typical transabdominal one to detect fetal age. After that bill sparked widespread protests, McDonnell and House Republicans worked together to write a new bill that would allow women to opt out of the more invasive procedure in favor of an external one.
- “Extreme Blunt Amendment Could Put At Risk Preventive Care For Over 20M Women – Including Access To Contraception, Mammograms And Prenatal Screenings” [Democrats.Senate.Gov, Feb. 28, 2012]
- AUDIO: Romney: "Of course I support the Blunt amendment”
“Rape-Redefining Abortion Bill”
- Talking points memo, FEBRUARY 1, 2011: “Radio Silence On Rape-Redefining Abortion Bill From The Right:” A quick refresher: The House law, also known as H.R. 3, is designed to make permanent some existing bans on federal funding for abortion…But the widest criticism of the bill comes in its exemptions for rape — provisions that would allow federal money or private insurance to be used to cover an abortion. H.R. 3 says those provisions would kick in only in cases of forcible rape, a distinction from other forms rape of that is largely undefined but seems to suggest that a rape that doesn’t include violence wouldn’t count. The bill would also limit the incest exemption to women under the age of 18 — meaning a victim of incest who was legally allowed to vote wouldn’t have her abortion covered by Medicaid and would likely have more limited access to private insurance than she does today.
Romney, Republicans In Congress Will Repeal ObamaCare and Let Insurance Companies Continue Treating Being a Woman as a “Pre-Existing” Condition, Continue to Deny women Coverage If They’ve had a C-section, Breast or Cervical cancer, or Received Medical Treatment for Domestic or Sexual Violence
- National Women’s Law Center: Repeal Would Allow Unfair Insurance Practices: The new health care law includes important protections against discriminatory insurance practices. Repealing the law would end these protections and return women to the days when they were treated as a pre-existing condition. Repeal would allow insurance companies to:
- Deny women coverage if they’ve had a C-section, breast or cervical cancer, or received medical treatment for domestic or sexual violence.
- Charge individual women and small employers with a predominately-female workforce more for coverage.
- Place a dollar limit on covered services, meaning plan benefits could run out just when you need them the most.
- Drop coverage when an enrollee gets sick.
GOP U.S. House, State Legislatures Run Amok
- NARAL Pro-Choice America: In 2011, anti-choice lawmakers in Congress and state legislatures across the country attacked women's health and took every opportunity to restrict further the right to choose. In Congress, the anti-choice leadership of the House of Representatives declared blocking women's access to legal abortion care a "top priority." The House took eight votes on choice - the highest number since 2000. While most of these ultimately failed to advance, anti-choice lawmakers were able to reinstate the D.C. abortion ban by forcing it into in the FY'11 budget deal. Consequently, the city was forced abruptly to drop coverage for abortion services from its health programs. At least 28 D.C. Medicaid enrollees scheduled to receive abortion care just days after the budget was struck suddenly were left on their own to scramble for funds.
Total anti-choice measures enacted in 2011:
- 26 states enacted 69 anti-choice measures in 2011.
- Arizona, Florida, and Kansas enacted the most antichoice legislation in 2011, with five measures each.
- Since 1995, states have enacted 713 anti-choice measures.
- The U.S. House of Representatives held more choice-related votes in 2011 than in any year since 2000.
- The House voted to defund Planned Parenthood and eliminate the Title X family-planning program. And Mitt Romney has vowed to do both of these things should he ever reach the White House.
- Anti-choice lawmakers pushed the Blunt amendment, which could have allowed employers and corporations to block their employees from getting insurance coverage of birth control. Every Republican senator but one voted for this measure--and Gov. Romney voiced his support for it.
- They held a House committee hearing with an all-male panel attacking birth control.
- At the state level, these politicians enacted twice as many anti-choice laws in 2011 as they did in the previous year.
- And I guess we imagined it when you said the "rape-audits" bill, which manipulates the tax code to advance anti-choice policies and could spur the IRS to audit rape and incest survivors who choose abortion care, was one of your "highest legislative priorities"?
- Speaker Boehner, you can't deny a War on Women that you started.
Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Wednesday April 11, 2012: “Bro-Choice: Al Madrigal reports on location from Oklahoma, where a proposed amendment to its "personhood" bill would effectively outlaw male masturbation.”
Jeremy J. Funk
Communications Director, Americans United for Change
On twitter: @jeremyjfunk