Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston





Friday, April 27, 2012


Conservatives rankle at the phrase "war on women," but what other description would fit the unremitting assault on women's rights that GOP legislatures in GOP controlled states have proposed; and in many cases, enacted into law?

The Guttmacher Institute has documented 916 measures related to reproductive health and rights in the 49 legislatures that have convened their regular sessions. (Louisiana’s legislature will not convene until late April.) By the end of March, seven states had enacted 15 new laws on these issues, including provisions that:

•expand the pre-abortion waiting period requirement in South Dakota to make it more onerous than that in any other state, by extending the time from 24 hours to 72 hours and requiring women to obtain counseling from a crisis pregnancy center in the interim;

•expand the abortion counseling requirement in South Dakota to mandate that counseling be provided in-person by the physician who will perform the abortion and that counseling include information published after 1972 on all the risk factors related to abortion complications, even if the data are scientifically flawed;

•require the health departments in Utah and Virginia to develop new regulations governing abortion clinics; •revise the Utah abortion refusal clause to allow any hospital employee to refuse to “participate in any way” in an abortion;

•limit abortion coverage in all private health plans in Utah, including plans that will be offered in the state’s health exchange; and

•revise the Mississippi sex education law to require all school districts to provide abstinence-only sex education while permitting discussion of contraception only with prior approval from the state.

So far this year, legislators in 13 states have introduced 22 bills seeking to mandate that a woman obtain an ultrasound procedure before having an abortion. Bills in seven states (AL, IN, KY, MT, OH, RI and TX) are very similar to a law enacted last year in Oklahoma that requires a woman to undergo an ultrasound procedure, view the image and receive a verbal description of the fetus (see Requirements for Ultrasound). Of these, proposals in Kentucky and Texas have been approved by a chamber of the legislature.

Bills in four other states (AZ, FL, MI, VA) as well as an additional measure in Texas would require the woman to have an ultrasound but then be given the option to view the image or hear the description. The bill in Texas has been approved by one house. (On April 2, the Arizona governor signed measures that require a provider to perform an ultrasound on a woman seeking an abortion and to offer her the option to view the ultrasound image, listen to a detailed description of it and to get a picture of the image.). Finally, bills in Arkansas and Connecticut would require provision of an ultrasound but would not mandate that the woman be given the option to view the image or hear a description.

Moreover, the legislative proposals in Kentucky and Texas blurred the line between two previously separate issues: requiring an ultrasound prior to an abortion and imposing a waiting period on a woman seeking an abortion (see Requirements for Ultrasound).

Although the 2010 Oklahoma law had a waiting period, it required that only two hours elapse between the ultrasound and the abortion. The measure that was approved by the Senate in Kentucky would have required 24 hours between the two procedures; the House adjourned for the year before considering the measure. Two measures in Texas include waiting periods: one would mandate a 24-hour wait and the other would require that between 24 and 72 hours elapse; each of the bills has been passed by one house of the legislature, and conferees are working to resolve the differences between the two measures.

This doesn't cover the disgusting attack on Sandra Fluke by the GOP's most respected and adored radio shock jock, Rush Limbaugh, when he labeled her a "slut" and "prostitute" for advocating for contraceptive coverage by insurance companies.

It's laughable for the GOP to complain about the labeling--"war on women" when it is that party's determination to make a legal medical procedure more and more difficult for women, and for the presumptive nominee, Willard Romney, to say that one of the first things he would do as president is withdraw all government funding from Planned Parenthood, an organization that serves the health needs of poor women who are under insured or who have no insurance at all.

If the GOP hates being labeled as the political party carrying out a war on women, they should stop proposing and passing laws that make women's lives more difficult, and, in particular, poor and disadvantaged women more miserable.


Jerry Critter said...

The GOP wants to regulate people, not businesses.

Rational Nation USA said...

It's about control. Different people have different beliefs of right and wrong. By far too much is driven by religious belief and dogma.

Here's my take, the progressives should keep out of our pocketbook/purses and the social conservatives should keep out of our bedrooms/reproductive issues.

Fair enough?

Shaw Kenawe said...

You can't run a country without funds, and those funds have to come from taxes.

You CAN run a country, though, without a government getting involved in bedrooms and reproductive issues.

Rational Nation USA said...

And we can all go broke if we allow the federal government to continue to misuse the funds it take from us all at "gunpoint."

Yes Shaw taxes are necessary to "run" a country. What constitutes appropriate use of our tax dollars is where we differ.

Taxes can be used to run a nation into the ground as well Shaw. Please don't give the usual knee jerk liberal response on what you "presume" I mean. Think it through.

Jerry Critter said...

I agree RN. Let's get the government out of our wallets and purses. Let's cut the individual tax rate to zero. Let's collect all,our taxes from businesses and corporations. They already collect most of our taxes anyway. Great idea RN. I gotta hand it to you. You have out done yourself!

Rational Nation USA said...

LMAO! Jerry, it is you who have outdone yourself.

Actually I have no problem with what I currently pay in taxes. I do believe the tax code, rife with loopholes, idiotic deductions and exemptions, and ridiculously high corporate taxes needs to be simplified and revised.

As in get rid of the subsidies and special considerations for businesses, go to a flat tax, exempt those making less than 25,000 single and 50,000 couple from paying federal taxes.

Of course most liberal must have their "progressive" tax scheme.

Infidel753 said...

Getting back to the actual topic of the post, it's very clear that the Republicans are now the party of massive, gross, disgusting attacks on personal freedom and independence. Not even many fascist or communist regimes have imposed this kind of, not only comprehensive interference with the most intimate personal decisions, but even actual physical invasiveness into the most intimate parts of individuals' anatomy. The Republicans are now the totalitarian party of the US.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Not even many fascist or communist regimes have imposed this kind of, not only comprehensive interference with the most intimate personal decisions, but even actual physical invasiveness into the most intimate parts of individuals' anatomy." --Infidel753

Not only that, Infidel, but the GOP in the various GOP-run states are actually rivaling the extremist Muslims in certain Muslim countries in their desire to keep women under their religious-book control, as well as imposing their idea of morality--[Tennessee appears to be the craziest with their "do not say gay" law proposal and their anti-evolution proposed legislation.

These are the states, BTW, that have a real problem with the level of education in their general population--is there a correlation there?

I've never believed the conservatives' pious pronouncements about the sanctity of human life, especially when I witness the GOP's attempts at denying human rights to children of illegal immigrants--children who are not responsible for the fact that their parents came here illegally.

Making poor women and children more miserable than they already are seems to be a GOP goal.

But increasing billionaires' tax rates a few percentage points is considered unAmerican.

Nice values they've got their.

Rational Nation USA said...

Well I agree with your basic premise. Social conservatives are indeed a group misguided.

The Republican party post Reagan has become a party even he would shun.

Infidel753 said...

the GOP in the various GOP-run states are actually rivaling the extremist Muslims in certain Muslim countries

Yep. A theocrat is a theocrat. Christian Right or Islamist, they're brothers under the skin. Your comment immediately made me think of the practice of Egyptian police subjecting women protesters whom they arrest to degrading "virginity examinations" -- an obvious effort to discourage disapproved behavior by means of humiliation. I doubt they got the idea from the Virginia Republicans' forced-untrasound law or vice-versa. They didn't need to. They think with the same brain.

Rational Nation USA said...

Yup, collectivism in any form is dangerous indeed.

Infidel753 said...

You're trying to change the subject again. Religion and especially authoritarian religion in any form is dangerous, whether "collectivist" or not. Religious ideologists are all over the map on economics, from communistic (in the old sense) to laissez-faire dogmatism. That's not what matters. They are still dangerous for the reasons Shaw pointed out.

Jerry Critter said...

Yes, Reagan would shun the current GOP, just as they would shun him. Maybe Reagan would return to the Democratic Party.

Rational Nation USA said...

He might were he here today. I won't. I will likely never belong to a party again. Unless it is the libertarian party.

Tim said...

RN- I don't remember anyone holding a gun to my head when I mailed my $750 to the IRS. I suggest you move to Somalia, now there's a taxophobic's paradise. No garbage pick up, police, and heck, no defense budget to pay for either! You get to keep all that you earn. That is, if the warlords don't kill you first and just take it.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Tim, the biggest chunk of tax money goes to the DoD. I read recently we have 5,000 nuclear warheads. 5,000.

Now when the GOP starts talking about reducing the DoD budget and cutting billions from it, I'll believe their talk about taxes.

Right now the only taxes they believe in are the taxes on the middle class and poor.

Rational Nation USA said...

Shaw, frankly all you do is pigeonhole all conservatives and libertarians that disagree with you.

I have said numerous times that our interventionist foreign policy is outdated and wrong headed.

But of course it is more palatable for you to conveniently forget these facts that are in print on my as site as well as numerous others.

I have tired of being lumped in with the republican party. A party I gave up on twelve years ago, even though I foolishly voted the lesser of two evils. No longer.

I have as of today given up on the idea of finding any common ground with progressives. It is impossible.

Thank you and Good day.

Shaw Kenawe said...

RN, you are the one who got all hot and bothered by a simple fact:

That all incumbents promote the successes they achieved in office.

I wrote nothing about foreign policy.

That is all that I discussed in my comment. That's not pigeon-holeing anything.

Go back and read my comments.

You either misread what I wrote or don't want to hear what I have to say. That's your choice. You've come here many times and denigrated either my post or someone else's comment.

It's too bad you can't stand the heat and have kicked me out of your kitchen.

Rational Nation USA said...

No heat from you Shaw. And it is your choice not mine to stay out of my kitchen.

I'm not hot and bothered. Just tired of the bullshit.

Continued success on your blogging endeavors.

Anonymous said...

"Well I agree with your basic premise. Social conservatives are indeed a group misguided.

The Republican party post Reagan has become a party even he would shun."

You say that like Reagan wasn't a coward who sold weapons to the same terrorists who held Americans hostage, and then lied about it on TV. No, Reagan would fit perfectly with the cowards and cretins of the party.

And fiscal conservatives are just as misguided, in their constant calls for austerity. Spain has a 25% unemployment rate, because they embraced austerity measures. So fiscal conservatives also are misguided.

James M. Martin said...

They had some Repub surrogate on TV this morning saying that the war on women thing was obviously phony because, hey, all the Repubs were happily married, and *their* wives aren't complaining. No matter that this about like saying every woman in Stepford actually enjoys being pregnant and in the kitchen is what is making them happy, this is high in the running for the Most Ingenuous Remark of 2012. John Boehner is attacking the Dems for "dreaming it up." Unh-uh. The GOPS filed legislation all over the country designed to control the lives of women by regulating their natural bodily functions. Would a man stand by and let a woman do that to him? We would not be having these debates if men could get pregnant.