Monday, February 28, 2011

The War On Women

The New York Times has an editorial on the Republican war on women. It is on ongoing war, of course, waged at least since the Reagan administration, but most people don't see it or recognize it as a war on women. It is hidden in several different sections in our brains and sometimes it is hard to see the simple fact that, indeed, Republicans do have a very sour and violent approach to half of humanity.

Putting some of the information in one place helps, and that is what the editorial achieved, despite leaving out the myriad additional state-level projects aimed at this noble cause:
The budget bill pushed through the House last Saturday included the defunding of Planned Parenthood and myriad other cuts detrimental to women. It’s not likely to pass unchanged, but the urge to compromise may take a toll on these programs. And once the current skirmishing is over, House Republicans are likely to use any legislative vehicle at hand to continue the attack.
The egregious cuts in the House resolution include the elimination of support for Title X, the federal family planning program for low-income women that provides birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and testing for H.I.V. and other sexually transmitted diseases. In the absence of Title X’s preventive care, some women would die. The Guttmacher Institute, a leading authority on reproductive health, says a rise in unintended pregnancies would result in some 400,000 more abortions a year.
An amendment offered by Representative Mike Pence, Republican of Indiana, would bar any financing of Planned Parenthood. A recent sting operation by an anti-abortion group uncovered an errant employee, who was promptly fired. That hardly warrants taking aim at an irreplaceable network of clinics, which uses no federal dollars in providing needed abortion care. It serves one in five American women at some point in her lifetime.
The House resolution would slash support for international family planning and reproductive health care. And it would reimpose the odious global “gag” rule, which forbids giving federal money to any group that even talks about abortions. That rule badly hampered family planning groups working abroad to prevent infant and maternal deaths before President Obama lifted it.


Beyond the familiar terrain of abortion or even contraception, House Republicans would inflict harm on low-income women trying to have children or who are already mothers.
Their continuing resolution would cut by 10 percent the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, better known as WIC, which serves 9.6 million low-income women, new mothers, and infants each month, and has been linked in studies to higher birth weight and lower infant mortality.
The G.O.P. bill also slices $50 million from the block grant supporting programs providing prenatal health care to 2.5 million low-income women and health care to 31 million children annually. President Obama’s budget plan for next year calls for a much more modest cut.

Note that these attempts punish poor women for being pregnant in every possible way. First they insist on forced births, then they insist on cutting out all help after the child is born. How else can you interpret that than as hatred of women? Well, hatred of living children works, too.
Hat-tip to sm.