August 4 2014

Salon: Four Reasons the GOP is Anti-Woman

Charlotte Hays

An article up at Salon purports to expose “four reasons GOP’s new ‘war for women’ is a ridiculous joke.”  It supposedly addresses the new package of bills from GOP lawmakers that is addressed to women’s needs.

The article, by Allegra Kirkland, originally appeared on AlterNet, however, is nothing more than a rehash of clichés from the original “war on women” rhetoric that has so far proved so vital for the Democratic Party.

Kirkland begins with that old chestnut: the Republican Party is against women using contraception. The package of laws unveiled by GOP lawmakers doesn’t deal with contraception, but Kirkland does:

GOP leaders have puzzling ideas about why women choose to use contraception. Instead of seeing birth control as a medication that helps women protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections, avoid pregnancies they don’t want and can’t afford, and make their own long-term life decisions, Republicans view contraception as a license to have crazy amounts of sex and abuse federal finances to kill unborn children. (Because God forbid that anyone would want to have sex without the explicit purpose of having a kid.)

Good heavens. The only time the Republican Party gives a hoot about contraception is when a particular ObamaCare mandate on contraception comes in conflict with religious liberty of a very small subset of employers—you know, like when Sandra Fluke wanted to force the Jesuits of Georgetown to pay for coverage of contraception without a co-pay. In these rare instances, when an employer regards paying for contraception or abortion-producing drugs as a violation of religious beliefs, the GOP supports finding a way to make contraception available without forcing this small number of employers to do something they regard as morally wrong. That Kirkland starts with contraception and a mischaracterization of the GOP as a party with strong ideas about contraception indicates that Democrats still believe lying about the GOP and contraception is the most potent weapon in their arsenal.

“If Republicans hate contraception, don’t even get them started on abortion. But really—don’t. Conservatives (particularly middle-aged male ones) have made more sexist, anti-scientific and plain offensive statements on this topic than any other,” Kirkland writes. She is of course talking about Todd Akin, whom she introduces in the next sentence, and whose comments on rape brought condemnation from across the spectrum in the GOP.  IWF has never taken a stand on abortion, so I’ll go lightly on this, only saying that Mr. Akin, the gift that keeps on giving for Democrats, is not typical of Republicans.

Kirkland trots out the discredited 77-centsgender wage gap and tries to portray Republicans as against equal pay for women. Like contraception, this sounds good but just isn’t true. It is true that the GOP has not favored window-dressing legislation such as the “Paycheck Fairness Act,” which will not promote fairness or actually help women (unless they are tort lawyers or Democratic candidates for office) and will lead to unintended consequencesthat harm women, such as more women losing jobs.  

Kirkland also claims that some of the provisions in the GOP package are rip-offs from Democratic ideas such as paid sick leave but are not mandatory in the GOP package.  “Mandatory” is just about the favorite word in the Democratic Party’s lexicon and if there is room for an employer to determine if doing something would cause his business to fail with the subsequent  loss of jobs, that is just not mandatory enough.

I don’t need four reasons to tell you why Kirkland’s article is all wet—I only need one: it is the same old same old attempt to hang onto women voters, even if it means lying to them about the GOP. What else is new?

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