Republican war on women

The true costs of anti-abortion movements

Proving the "women's health" excuse is a dangerous myth:

From 2000 to the end of 2010, Texas’s estimated maternal mortality rate hovered between 17.7 and 18.6 per 100,000 births. But after 2010, that rate had leaped to 33 deaths per 100,000, and in 2014 it was 35.8. Between 2010 and 2014, more than 600 women died for reasons related to their pregnancies. No other state saw a comparable increase.

In the wake of the report, reproductive health advocates are blaming the increase on Republican-led budget cuts that decimated the ranks of Texas’s reproductive healthcare clinics. In 2011, just as the spike began, the Texas state legislature cut $73.6m from the state’s family planning budget of $111.5m. The two-thirds cut forced more than 80 family planning clinics to shut down across the state.

It might seem obvious to say Texas is big, but you really can't grasp the size until you try to drive your car from one point to another. I live between the Triangle and the Triad here in NC, and I can drive to the beach and back, or Asheville and back, in about 7 hours. It doesn't work like that in Texas, where it takes 8-10 hours just to get somewhere. And now, many women must travel that distance just to go to a clinic, which also means paying for 1-2 nights in a hotel. And make no mistake, several Republicans in the NC Legislature are looking to Texas for guidance on how to make that happen here:

ACLU NC throws down gauntlet on abortion rights

Putting the gynoticians on notice:

Abortion has been targeted in every legislative session since the current leadership took over in Raleigh. The current majority at the legislature has denied women the ability to access health insurance that covers abortion through the Affordable Care Act exchange, attempted to corrupt the doctor/patient relationship through a ban on “sex selective” abortions, instituted a three-day waiting period for women seeking an abortion (the longest in the country), directed the Department of Health and Human Services to review and implement new laws regulating abortion clinics in the hopes of shutting them down and required doctors performing abortions after 16 weeks to submit women’s ultrasounds to DHHS for review.

Republican anti-abortion zealots exhibit the worst in political behavior: When you can't get what you want via overt legal means, you take a more devious route, strewing impediments in the way of women seeking to control their own bodies. Knowing they can't succeed in outright banning of abortion, they settle for a de facto abortion ban cloaked in "women's health" language. And the fact they take pride in such cowardly and specious behavior instead of hanging their heads in shame makes them even more despicable. But the Constitutional light is now illuminating this trickery:

Mark Meadows and the sexually-harassing skeleton in his closet

A tawdry tale of blackmail and misogyny:

The House Ethics Committee says it's giving itself until mid-August to make a decision on whether Meadows improperly paid his departed chief-of-staff after he left his job. The committee can punish House members who violate ethics rules.

The committee has considered the Meadows matter since March. A Meadows spokesman did not respond Wednesday to messages seeking comment.

He was too busy crossing his fingers and hoping this would just go away. And considering Republicans are in charge of the House and its Ethics Committee, it very well might go away. But the voters in Meadows' District, especially the female voters, should be demanding some answers about this stinking mess:

It's a TRAP: The GOP's devious war on womens' choice

PlannedParenthood2.jpg

The epitome of paternalistic prevarication:

Nonetheless, the narrative that abortion is a risky medical procedure frames abortion restrictions as a compassionate effort to improve women’s health and serves a larger strategic purpose.

TRAP laws are designed to force clinics to shutter. By requiring abortion providers to meet impossible standards, like widening their hallways, expanding their closets, installing new air filtration systems and applying for unnecessary licenses, clinics are left with no choice but to close. Last year, the N.C. General Assembly passed the “Women and Children’s Protection Act of 2015” even though there is no evidence that it protects anyone. What it does do is require doctors who perform abortions after 16 weeks of pregnancy to perform ultrasounds and supply the ultrasound images to state officials.

It's not only TRAP laws which use deception and misinformation to forward the anti-abortion movement, the education of pregnancy-prone young people is also fair game:

Oklahoma Legislators pass bill outlawing abortion

The Republican war on women escalates:

The Oklahoma Legislature has passed a bill that would make performing an abortion a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

With no discussion or debate, the Senate voted 33-12 Thursday for the bill by Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm.

This is what's at stake, people. If you know someone who doesn't vote, please smack them on the back of the head for me.

Gun-loving anti-abortion zealot resigns from NC Legislature

A dash of good news in an otherwise depressing news cycle:

Republican N.C. Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer, who championed gun and social legislation during two terms in the state House, resigned Friday, citing business responsibilities. Republican Scott Stone, who won the GOP primary to replace her, said he wants to fill out her term.

Before being elected in 2012, Schaffer worked in Washington as counsel for government affairs with the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal group also founded by (Pat) Robertson. It specializes in constitutional law and promotes traditional values.

I was going to say, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out," but I've been trying to refine my approach to commentary, so I won't say that.

Wake County Commissioners tackle pay inequality for women

Hopefully other county governments are watching:

Members of the Wake County Board of Commissioners on Monday said they want to find a way that the government and community can help ensure that women achieve the same academic and professional success as their male counterparts. Their comments came after hearing a report that the income gap in Wake County is worse than the national average.

Wake women on average earn 69 percent of what men make, according to Jackie Terry Hughes, an attorney who helped author the report presented to commissioners. Nationally, women earn 79 percent of what men make.

Just a historical note: The Equal Rights Amendment was originally crafted back in 1923, but it finally made its way out of Congress in 1972. It fell just three states short of ratification (35 ratified, needed 38), and of course North Carolina was one of the holdouts. Opponents who didn't want people to see their misogynistic underwear have always claimed the ERA was not necessary, that society would solve the problem by itself without Constitutional force. But here we are in 2016, and the pay gap is still there, forcing women to struggle when their male counterparts don't have to. Or don't have to struggle as desperately. And if they dare to have children outside of the patriarchal formula, their struggles are made epic:

Advocates for womens' choice eyeing Supreme Court case

The struggle continues:

Legislators in this state in recent years have tried to enact the two provisions that are the legal issues in the Texas case: requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and requiring abortion clinics to meet the same building standards as same-day surgery centers.

Neither of those provisions survived in bills that became law in North Carolina, although a string of controversial new requirements limiting access to abortions have been enacted.

This may seem more like a "technical" issue than one of rights gained/lost, and that's exactly what the ant-abortion movement is counting on. The real-world impact of Texas' law caused the closure of over half of the geographically huge state's clinics, and it would have a similar effect here in NC. And the purely deceptive tactics of the anti-abortion zealots needs an airing, too:

Rampant sexual harassment in Mark Meadows' staff office

And he knew all about it:

According to a report in the Huffington Post on Monday, Meadows was told by multiple women about his chief of staff’s behavior in March. The report says Meadows barred West from his D.C. office but reassigned him to an office in the 11th congressional district, and continued paying him; West has since been released with a “sizable severance.”

The report says that payments made to West after the complaints were filed—a full of rate of $38,750 for the period of April 1 through June 30, and continued payment through August 15—could have violated House Ethics rules. The Foundation of Accountability and Civic Trust has asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate West’s severance payment.

Gee, thanks. Send him back home so he can harass a whole new set of women, all the while drawing a six-figure salary from taxpayers. Many of whom are also women, by the way, which adds one more layer of WTF to this story. And once all the threads from this debacle get unraveled, Meadows himself may be the subject of ridicule:

Scared little children pass bill attacking Planned Parenthood

Because they can't tell fiction from reality:

The bill’s sponsor, Wake County Republican Sen. Chad Barefoot, said the bill was prompted by hidden-camera videos suggesting that Planned Parenthood was selling body parts from abortions.

“The videos are utterly gruesome and callous, and their contents represent a dark and depraved part of our culture,” Barefoot said. “We shouldn’t turn a blind eye. A marketplace for the sale of the remains of unborn children is growing in this country.”

Here's a little science for you, Chad: The development of a vaccine for Rubella (German Measles) was discovered using fetal tissue from an abortion, and that vaccine has since prevented about 5,000 unwanted spontaneous abortions per year since then. And there's treatment for Parkinson's, Ebola, Cancer, and AIDs resulting from fetal tissue research, as well. But possibly the most disheartening result of this bill is the fact only 3 Democrats voted against it. When you let fear of political ramifications overcome science and common sense, that too sends a message.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Republican war on women