published Sunday, March 11th, 2012

The GOP war on women

Conservative Republicans' war on women's rights and health care needs by no means begins or ends with the crude attack by Rush Limbaugh, whose verbal mauling of Sandra Fluke -- simply for advocating affordable access to birth control before a congressional panel -- stunned so many Americans. The GOP war is playing out far more broadly around the nation through attacks by Republican-controlled state governments on partial state funding for Planned Parenthood, and on Title X, the chief federal program for family planning.

Some Tennessee lawmakers, along with those in a dozen other state legislatures, seek a cutoff of funding to Planned Parenthood, which offers an array of women's' health care services. But it is Texas that has shown just how cruel and aggressive state governments can be against services to women when legislatures lose sight of reason, simple compassion and the wide need for general health care for women.

Texas' Republican-dominated Legislature has slashed funding to Planned Parenthood by two-thirds. That has led to the closing of more than a dozen vital clinics across the state, some run by Planned Parenthood, and some by independent clinics that were partially funded by Planned Parenthood.

The services they provided went mostly to low-income women who cannot afford health insurance, and who have few options. Those services included pap smears, screenings for breast and cervical cancer, screenings for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, counseling on infertility options, counseling on adolescent abstinence, and some contraceptive services. Notably, none of these clinics, not even those run by Planned Parenthood, provided abortion services.

In fact, Texas had already moved to bar clinics that receive state assistant from performing abortions. But that wasn't good enough. The Republican right-wingers' new law is designed to preclude any money, for any service, to Planned Parenthood.

Texas is not alone in its unjustified antipathy for Planned Parenthood and its neglect of low-income women with no affordable options. Wisconsin, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Indiana, among others, are also in the crusade against women's health care.

These and other states are now targeting Title X, which provides about $75 million of its $300 million budget to Planned Parenthood as a general provider for women's services. The rest of its budget goes to hospitals, clinics and state agencies which broadly attend to women's health needs, though no Title X funds may be used for abortion

There's no rational reason for the assaults on Title X or Planned Parenthood. Federal data shows that Title X funding helps prevent more than a million unintended pregnancies annually, not to mention the broader health benefits and savings for preventive care and disease and cancer screenings. And every dollar spent on family planning saves four times as much in spending on maternity and infant care.

Contraceptive services, moreover, have become an integral part of women's health care. As Sandra Fluke told the congressional panel the other week, for example, some women have polycystic ovarian syndrome, which commonly requires prescription birth control to stop cysts from growing on a woman's ovaries. Others need contraceptives to regulate erratic menstrual cycles. Many low-income women often can't afford the $3,000 annual cost of contraceptives without the aid of health insurance or publicly funded programs like Title X and Planned Parenthood.

The health care of millions of women is needlessly at stake. Yet the Republicans' presidential nominee front-runners, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, have both pledged to deny funding for Title X and organization's like Planned Parenthood -- along with their promises to dismantle health care reform and the broad care it would provide to all.

Informed voters beware: Most all of have us a daughter, sister, niece or spouse who may be uninsured, or whose health care insurance may soon be jeopardized by job loss, and this is the heartless nation Republicans pledge to bring us.

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joneses said...

This is another lie and only a fool would believe that Republicans have a war on women. Ask yourself, how it would benefit the Republicans to have a war on women? It would not and this article is another liberal lie trying to get women to vote for this pathetic president as many women have turned against this incompetent president. Name on piece of legislation the Republicans have presented that is against women? You can't.

March 11, 2012 at 7:26 a.m.

At least three states tried to require doctors to provide certain things to women that would require performing transvaginal ultrasounds before receiving an abortion. Kansas has passed a law that requires doctors to say falsehoods to women as part of the abortion procedure. The US Senate had an amendment to a transportation bill that would have let businesses declare they couldn't support ANY medical procedure they wanted as a matter of faith, and so not pay for it.

All laws were proposed by and supported by Republicans.

You are engaging in that war, because it appeals to your fanatical base. But certainly it will cost the Republicans in the end. But you're riding on a tiger, and it goes where it wants.

You may be fooled, but the rest of us are not. You're beholden to a vicious creature. Instead of denial of that truth, try repudiation of the strings that have bound you.

March 11, 2012 at 11:20 a.m.
tipper said...

Naming one piece of decent legislation that the Republicans have passed on anything is difficult, let alone about women. It's not about legislation, it's about rhetoric. Face it, the Republican Party is now Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, and other right-wing gun-slingers. When you vote Republican in primaries or the general election, those are the people you want to run your country. Those are the base of the Republican Party to which more responsible, right-thinking Republicans must serve on their hands and knees. Most of the people who remain silent on our political system I'm sure can't believe how far our potential leaders have fallen.

March 11, 2012 at 12:35 p.m.
joneses said...

Rhetoric? James Carville destroyed the reputation of all the women Bill Clinton sexually abused and you accuse the Republicans of negative rhetoric against women? You are just another pathetic hypocrite like happywithbeinganidiot.

Rush, Shawn and Glen have never ran for any office so how do you think they run the country? I am sure Rush, Shawn and Glen appreciate the power you give them. What I find amazing as everytime a liberal radio show starts it quickly fails because no one wants to listen to you pathetic liberals lies. The dummycrat's leaders are Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Jerremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, George Soros, Bill "wheres monica" Clinton, and this pathetic puppet fool you call a president and other anti American socialist. You must be very proud of these race and hate baiters. You are correct the Republicans have not passed any legislation because the dummycrats have controlled the majority of the house, senate and white house for the last three years. That is why we are in this mess of high unemployment, low economic growth, and 16 trillion dollars of debt. You are just another liberal liar.

March 12, 2012 at 1:13 a.m.

Laughable, simply laughable! As a woman I cannot believe the crudeness and vulgarity unleashed by liberals in the media and in politics on women who do not go along with a liberal agenda or vote for Democrats.

Rush Limbaugh's criticism of Sandra Fluke, who is nothing more than a tool, is absolutely nothing compared to what Bill Maher has said over and over, and has never apologized.

My gosh, what hypocracy! The treatment of women who do not believe in a"progressive" agenda by Democrats is simply disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.

Sandra Fluke is a fraud and the behavior of Gloria Alred in her defense is simply embarrassing. To call for Rush Limbaugh to be prosecuted for what he said while letting Bill Maher escape without criticism sums it all up. Hypocrites and frauds!

March 12, 2012 at 8:26 a.m.
joneses said...

blondeandveryintelligent,

Please do not refer to these pathetic, disgusting, liberals as "progressives". They are hypocritical, pathetic, disgusting, socialist liberals and do not believe in progressing anything and I am being nice. These liberals are trying to change their name to "progressive" because they have branded through their socialist agenda the name "liberal" as the pathetic thing it is. Please do not honor them by calling them "progressives". They should be called "depressives" because all hatred and divisiveness is designed to keep people in a depressed state of mind where they hate anyone or anything that has more than they.

March 12, 2012 at 8:58 a.m.
Jack_Dennis said...

Tipper: Face it, the Democrat Party is now Ed Schultz, Bill Maher, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Nancy Pelosi, and Al Sharpton. The base of the Party.

March 12, 2012 at 9:05 a.m.

The regressives tactic of trying to make this a war on women is malicious and disgusting. This is more about the progressives war on religion, morality and America. This is about continuing the destruction of the U.S. economy through ever expanding welfare and expanding control of the federal govt. This "old lady" student is a plant by the administration.

March 12, 2012 at 10:07 a.m.

Ah, it's funny how conservatives when trying to protest their actions blame the "progressives" for making an issue of it.

They can't defend themselves, but they sure can attack others.

Calling Sandra Fluke an "old lady" for attending graduate school at 30?

My word. What next, calling some of the forty-year old men attending school now "gramps" ?

You're not even correct about what she wanted, which was for the insurance she paid for, using whatever means that might be, to cover an essential health care need instead of subjecting her and other women to discrimination based upon it. Her position does not depend on any government welfare, but applies regardless of how you pay for your health care.

Is this so hard to fathom?

March 12, 2012 at 11:02 a.m.

Yeah, that explains why he bombed the Vatican, doesn't it?

Do you believe every tenet of the Catholic Church should be followed then, is that what you're telling us? Or do you mean something else? Can you articulate what?

March 12, 2012 at 1:28 p.m.

Obama is a grotesque hypocrite and a liar. One time I actually thought he was a reasonable person. Boy, was I fooled. He attacks Rush Limbaugh for what he said, but is mute when it comes to Maher. I guess he can eplain to his daughters why Rush's statement is crude and Maher's is not? I guess Maher's One Million dollar contribution bought his silence.

March 12, 2012 at 1:52 p.m.

Obama can't. The donation Maher made was to the SuperPac that supports Obama, which he is banned by law form co-ordination with.

Why are you suggesting Obama break the law? Do you want to encourage him to engage in a crime, which your own candidates have already admitted it would be?

That's entrapment.

Not that you've actually made a good case about Bill Maher's remarks, just vaguely referred to them. Can you be specific about what he said that you find objectionable and why?

People have been quite specific about why what Rush Limbaugh did was wrong, but you expect us to take your accusations without substance to them?

Is there a reason for that?

Also, did you know that Maher has said Limbaugh was fine with his words, so that means if you are condemning Maher, then you have to condemn Limbaugh or be a hypocrite yourself. Fine, do it. Condemn Limbaugh for calling Sandra Fluke a prostitute and a slut, and for completely and utterly misrepresenting her position.

You don't even have to worry about the law telling you that you can't, you don't have a SuperPAC.

March 12, 2012 at 2:10 p.m.

Nope. Mitt Romney already said that it is illegal to even make a suggestion as to how the PAC. That's coordination, and criminal.

Now if it's illegal for Mitt Romney to criticize a SuperPAC that supports him, it's illegal for anybody else.

Why are you trying to entrap the President?

March 12, 2012 at 2:34 p.m.

Limbaugh should not have called her a slut. He should have risen above that. Maher approving of Limbaugh does not make it ok. Regarding the million dollars, that's not point and you know it. Boy you liberals on here really hate when a woman is not a liberal. I can feel you just itching to tear into me. Creepy.

Entrap the President? That's a tyical liberal way of getting away from the subject.

March 12, 2012 at 3:50 p.m.

Yeah, you're not trying to get away from the subject by complaining about Obama. Right. I'm not fooled by your own dancing. I know your point, it's "Well, I can't answer your criticism of me, so I'll try to deflect it by tarring somebody else" and you're not hiding it.

But really, Limbaugh should not have called her a slut? That's a faint criticism. Can't you express more strongly than just saying he should have risen above it? How about saying that Limbaugh should have accurately reported on the concerns she expressed and not engaged in a brutal tirade of sexual slurs that only served to show his disdain for women?

Can't you do something better than a half-hearted "Those are not the words I would have chosen" ?

Or would you let Obama get away with that? No, you wouldn't. You'd leap all over him, just like you expect us to do.

But your own, well, your own, you say he should have have called her a slut. That's faint criticism.

March 12, 2012 at 3:56 p.m.
shifarobe said...

Blondie, the truth hurts.!! They do hate conservative women! This is what Happy and other libertards on here want to say to you:

You f&%#@+g c@t, why don't you shut the f#k up! You better do what we want or I'll r@#*e you like a w$#@e. Don't argue with me, b&%$h

See they LOVE what Bill Maher said. They LOVE it!

March 12, 2012 at 4:04 p.m.

Like the law matters to Ogolfer.. I hear he completely ignored a subpoena from a court in Georgia. He is also telling the justice department to ignore immigration laws so his illegal voters can stay in the country. Politicians are above the law or haven't you heard?

March 12, 2012 at 4:08 p.m.
shifarobe said...

"OGOLFER" Great one, FPSE! I love that one and "ibama"

That crud does think he's above the law. He thinks he can win Texas by getting illegals to vote for him. Ain't gonna happen.

March 12, 2012 at 4:27 p.m.

JonRoss: No, Limbaugh very explicitly said he is a reporter of the truth. He's never wrong. That's why he never apologizes.

http://img.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_011609/content/01125100.guest.html

http://mediamatters.org/research/200502180006

If you are claiming that because he is an entertainer, he has no obligation to be factual or accurate, then I think you're asking too much. Rush Limbaugh certainly does not represent his show as a purely fictional enterprise that should be dismissed as nothing more than a work of entertainment, but as a forum for how he believes the country should be. As such, don't you think he should base his opinions on facts, not fantasies?

Or are you just going to excuse him as an entertainer? In that case, why do so many look up to him and follow what he says? Why does he call himself a journalist? Why did he say he's never said he was an entertainer?

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/02/07/journalist_fails_to_recognize_sarcasm_in_remark_about_journalists

"I, by the way, have never called myself an entertainer. They do."

Is he entertaining us by denying he's an entertainer?

And I still have no idea what Maher said. Sorry, but I don't watch him, and I have no commitment to anything he says since I know nothing about it. Your vague allegations are not enough for me to go on.

FlyingPurpleSheepleEater: That your complaint references that frivolous Georgia lawsuit is once again showing that you're adhering to the Birther side of things, not to the honest reality.

The more you do that, the less credit you have. Why don't you disown them? Do you think Orly Taitz is a good example of behavior?

Why don't you?

March 12, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.

I am adhering to the legal side of the law. You or I could never ignore a subpoena no matter how frivolous. Thanks for proving my point. There really aren't two sets of laws, there are just those who have regard for the law and those who do not.

March 12, 2012 at 5:25 p.m.

He didn't ignore it. His lawyer stated quite clearly that it was a frivolous action, and that would be all the President would be saying, since giving it consideration would be validating the point.

So, actually, thanks for proving my point, you'd rather cling to your desperate association with a horribly misguided action than admit it was an incredible travesty of law.

The people who have no regard for the law are the ones like you who are blinding yourself to the abuse of the courts.

If you had a real sense of obligation to the law, you'd stand up against Orly Taitz. What do you do instead? Try to use her to attack the President, as if he were at fault for not wanting to waste his time with her.

March 12, 2012 at 5:32 p.m.
Walden said...

My God, the editors on the left side of this paper are some kind of stupid. I don't think that the White House even believes this BS about a war on women. Please, Austin or Hasden, or whoever writes this stuff, please come up with an independent thought and write something meaningful for a change. Your habit of being a parrott for the NY Times is getting very old.

March 12, 2012 at 5:38 p.m.

He did ignore it. He never showed up when summoned. Once again, neither of us would be allowed to remain free if we did the same. I have no association with the action. You won't find my name on any of the court documents or pleadings. Calling me names like desperate and misguided doesn't support your completely wrongheaded position. The fact is, he and his attorney were summoned to court and neither one showed up.

March 12, 2012 at 5:41 p.m.

Walden, Such constructive criticism offered. What's that, attacking the messenger? Apparently it's ok when it's done AGAINST the left-wing side.

FlyingPurpleSheepleEater, nope, he filed a motion to quash it. That's not ignoring it. That's declaring that you consider it invalid, and refusing to accept it. In this case, the judge declined to quash it, Obama's lawyer said "We decline to answer further" and the judge said, "Ok, but I can't dismiss the action until a hearing is conducted" which...means Orly Taitz lost to an empty chair. I guess she couldn't prove anything to the satisfaction of the court. If you think that isn't something that happens regularly in the law, more fool you. You can find examples of judges throwing out actions all the time. The real abuse is that it wasn't thrown out sooner, not that the President declines to waste his time fighting it.

And you are associating with it, you are citing it, and not making even the slightest indication that you disagree with the action.

Do you? Can you directly say that you consider Orly Taitz frivolous actions to be an offense upon the courts, an abuse of the judicial process?

Or are you going to blame me for pointing out what you're using as your example?

March 12, 2012 at 5:41 p.m.

So quick to recognize your own tactics and try to deflect attention from the real points of the discussion. My points stand as is. Ogolfer and politicians in general have very little respect for the law and seem to believe they are above it. Going as far as ignoring legal court summons. This whole Sandra Fluke drama was all political play acting.

March 12, 2012 at 5:45 p.m.

FlyingPurpleSheepleEater, seems to me you can't recognize your own tactics...or honestly own up to them. Are the pots in your kitchen cast iron?

But you know who has little respect for the law? YOU. Because you won't speak out against the real person abusing it. The person filing numerous frivolous complaints. Her name is Orly Taitz. You could say she's in the wrong, that she should not be allowed to abuse the courts.

You never will. You think she's doing the right thing. After all, what's abusing the court by filing fraudulent statements worth when it's against that bad guy who you hate.

No need for facts. No need for honesty. No need for self-respect.

That's a terrible message to send, do you not even realize that's what you're saying when you don't speak out against Orly Taitz, but instead use her actions as your examples of reasons to attack President Obama?

March 12, 2012 at 5:53 p.m.
chatt_man said...

Happy, here's the answer to the question you've been asking. I think you'll agree after reading and watching this, that Rush's comments are pretty mild in comparison. The first two are clips you can watch, and the third, you need to read the paragraph above the picture of Rush and Bill. Just a hint, the c-word has four letters total.

nhttp://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/09/24/bill-maher-sarah-palin-would-f-k-rick-perry-if-he-was-black

www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2OUJ8ZUTiI

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/08/critics-of-rush-limbaugh-ignore-bill-maher-matt-taibbi-misogyny.html

March 12, 2012 at 6:02 p.m.

Well, thank you Chatt_man, at least you're giving me the courtesy of some links to your reasons. I would prefer a more direct expression, or at least a less biased source, but I'll take what I can get. So what is being claimed is that Bill Maher is a vulgar and crass person who uses profanities in abundance as part of his performance?

Then I'm glad I don't make a habit of listening to him. Actually, he's not somebody I would choose to listen to at all, and I pity anybody who does bother with him, and suggest they avoid him.

Now can you say the same about Rush Limbaugh, that Rush Limbaugh did wrong, without trying to excuse it by saying "But But Bill Maher is worse!" as if that makes it acceptable?

Or are we stuck with "not the words I would choose" as Mitt Romney offered?

March 12, 2012 at 6:16 p.m.

Thank you for telling me what I think HWNB. Can I get your number and call you about what I might like for dinner? I have trouble deciding that sometimes and would love to know what I am thinking at least when it comes to dinner. /sarcasm

Nice try deflecting the discussion from Obama's willful lawlessness. The validity of the hearing was not the point and your deflection of the discussion to that shows the weakness of your position.

March 12, 2012 at 6:19 p.m.

The validity of the hearing is the point you're trying to avoid. That's demonstrated by your own attempt to blame me for pointing out that you must be supporting it, since you're citing it as representative of Obama's misconduct without even a single word of disapproval for abusing the court system.

Besides, you're trying to distract us from this war on women with scurrilous attacks on Obama. So why not blame yourself? Why not admit your own position is weak? Or did you forget what this opinion was about, namely the GOP's war on women? Or can you defend the GOP laws that require doctors to lie to pregnant women or conduct transvaginal ultrasounds?

Or the other criticisms posted in the opinion?

Nope, you just have your attempts to blame others.

Also, you want a serving of honesty and integrity for dinner. This is in contrast to your regular diet of lies and deceptions.

March 12, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.

I know that Rush Limbaugh did blame the liberals for making him descend to their levels, but I must disagree with his claims, as I believe he freely chose his own words and conduct without being provoked or manipulated.

And I'm as concerned about the utter falsehood of his representations about what she said as I am about the tone of his words. If he had said everything he did in the politest of language, it would still have the problem of being untrue.

March 12, 2012 at 7:24 p.m.

That's you, if you noticed, I was replying to FPSE. Or are you saying you are posting under multiple identities?

March 12, 2012 at 7:40 p.m.
shifarobe said...

All over this freakin' world women are truly treated like dog crap, and what do the women in this country do, they bitch about not being able to afford enough protection to keep up with all the banging they want. Pathetic, loser, feminist trash. BOOOO HOOOOO HOOOO. Rush doesn't have to apologize for anything. He's right on the mark.

March 12, 2012 at 7:51 p.m.
aae1049 said...

More women graduate from 4-year universities, earn graduate degrees than men, and are the deciding factor on how household money is spent. As a general rule, I am more intelligent that the majority of men, so I do not feel victim to any male notions of taking benefits away. The GOP is not after women, if they are we will out lobby them. They will never get a bill passed.

March 12, 2012 at 8:12 p.m.
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