There is no “War on Women” Republicans would assert.It’s actually a push to recognize that rapists have rights too. In the case of a sperm donor, he sells his sperm, and thereby forfeits any parental rights to any offspring resulting from the sale. However in the case of a rapist, he didn’t forfeit his rights by committing an atrocious crime against a woman, or at least that’s what some Republican law makers would say.
Paul Ryan is the commander of this campaign. Everyone has heard about his proposed “Personhood Law.” That proposed law contains a provision that would allow a rapist to sue his victim in order to stop her from having an abortion. Specifically H.R. 23 provides that human life begins with fertilization. Section 2(2) provides that every state has the “authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.” Thus, if a woman is raped in a state that does not have abortion clinics, that state has authority, under Paul Ryan’s bill to prevent the woman from traveling to another state to have an abortion.
The author of this bill is not some obscure, right wing, impotent Republican. This is Paul Ryan, the recent Vice Presidential running mate of Mitt Romney, the man elected by the Republican Party to become President if anything should happen to Romney. Paul Ryan was Mitt’s best choice for a running mate, and the person he felt could best lead the country if he should become incapacitated. To suggest that there was not, and still is not, a “war on women” is ludicrous.
Consider these quotes from Republicans about rape:
Todd Akin claimed that if the rape of a woman is “if the rape of a woman is “a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Richard Mourdock claimed that a child resulting from a rape is a gift from God. He said:
“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God,”
“And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
Republican Representative from Wisconsin, Roger Rivard, said
“some girls rape easy,”
A Republican lawmaker in New Mexico introduced a bill just last week that would require rape victims to carry a pregnancy to term is it was the result of rape, as the baby is evidence of the sexual assault. Under Cathrynn Brown’s bill a rape victim who terminated her pregnancy would be guilty of the third-degree felony of “tampering with evidence.”
Thirty Republican legislators opposed Al Franken’s anti-rape bill.
Clayton Williams said of rape “If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.” While Clayton Williams was a candidate for Governor of Texas years ago, as recently as 2008 he was involved in fund raising for John McCain.
Chuck Winder, a Senator from Idaho, said, while debating the mandatory sonogram bill:
“I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that’s part of the counseling that goes on.”
Ken Buck, a Republican candidate from Colorado, refused to prosecute a man who admitted having intercourse with a woman who repeatedly told him “NO”. Ken said the jury could simply conclude that the victim had “buyer’s remorse.”
Rick Santorum, the husband of the woman who lived with an abortion doctor, above the clinic, said that a pregnancy resulting from rape is a “gift” of human life, and that the victim should just “accept what God has given you” and the victims should simply “make the best of a bad situation.”
Sharon Angle, the Republican candidate for Senate in Nevada, suggested that rape victims should make “lemonade” if they should get pregnant as a result of rape.
The Republican “War on Women” is real. It’s painful. It’s outrageous. As shown above, there is no doubt that this attitude about women and rape is not a view held by just one or two radical right wing “nuts.” It is a popular view and one some feel so strongly about that they are the authors of proposed legislation to transform these misogynistic attitudes into law. Not only is this attitude towards women unforgivable, but it’s stupid. Women are the largest segment of the voting population, women live longer than men, and women turn out to vote at higher rates than their male counterparts.
The Senate race in Missouri is the best evidence of the effect of these attitudes by Republicans. Claire McCaskill was viewed as the Democratic incumbent most in danger of losing her seat. Senator McCaskill supports a woman’s right to choose. Her opponent Akin is the candidate who suggested that a woman who was “legitimately” raped could “shut that whole thing down.” Akin lost. McCaskill is still the Senator from Missouri. McCaskill’s victory over Akin is particularly revealing as a majority of voters from Missouri voted for McCain in 2008. In the 2012 election Mitt Romney carried Missouri over President Obama by nearly a 10 point margin. As long as Republicans continue to wage war on women, Republicans will continue to lose that war, and elections.