In January 2011, when the new Republican-controlled House took over, I warned of the coming War on Women.
And oh how the war came. And oh how we fought back. Hard. We defeated some of their worst attempted legislation, and in the 2012 election, we managed to shrink their wretched rape caucus and send some of the worst offenders packing. And when Mitt Romney vowed to get rid of Planned Parenthood, we got rid of him.
But it's not over, and Republicans in Congress are vowing once again to devote themselves to restricting our rights—from blocking renewal of the Violence Against Women Act to defunding our health care to codifying their ridiculous belief that fertilized eggs deserve greater rights and protections than, you know, the women who carry them.
Rep. Paul Ryan is once again co-sponsoring the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which would recognize fertilized eggs as people. The personhood movement is extremely unpopular and has yet to garner a single victory in any of the states where it has appeared on a ballot, but that didn't stop House Republicans, including Ryan, from supporting it, and now they're going to try again.
And of course it wouldn't be a Republican-controlled House without the same old tired attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. As I wrote earlier this week:
By now, the myriad reasons this is just plain dumb are well known. Like how thanks to the despicable Hyde Amendment, Planned Parenthood is prevented from using any of its government funding for abortion care. Like how abortion comprises a mere 3 percent of its services anyway, which means, for those who have trouble counting, 97 percent of its services have nothing to do with abortion. Like how Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest—and in many areas, only—health care provider for low-income women. Like how we have a very long list of serious problems to fix in this country, and figuring out how to further screw over women shouldn't be one of them.In Texas, we are already witnessing the consequences of Gov. Rick "Oops" Perry's exclusion of Planned Parenthood from the state's Women's Health Program, and it's exactly what we knew would happen. Low-income women are scrambling to find health care providers who qualify under the state's new guidelines and are accepting new patients. The new regulations have been in effect for less than two weeks, but so far, it isn't looking good for those 130,000 low-income women who are been sacrificed at the screw-Planned-Parenthood altar.
Just imagine me how much worse it would be for women across the country if Republicans succeeded in defunding Planned Parenthood at the national level.
Yeah. That bad.
So here we go again. To your battle stations, ladies and friends of ladies. Because the war isn't over yet.
This week's good, bad and ugly below the fold.
- At least the governor of Mississippi is honest about his intentions:
Republican Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says that there is one abortion clinic in the state and “of course” his goal is to “shut it down.”
- You know, Mike Huckabee, when I want your opinion on the War on Women, I'll—actually, you know what? I'll never want your opinion.
- If you're not reading everything by Irin Carmon, you're really missing out. But you should definitely not miss this fascinating read about rape in the age of social media.
- This is why we can't have nice things:
Two D.C.-based Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts competitors, Matthew Maldonado, 26, and Nicholas Shultz, 21, have been arrested for viciously raping one of their female teammates on New Year's Eve.
The woman felt too drunk to drive home after the three of them were partying at a club so, according to court documents, she left with her friends because they told her they would get her to a colleague's house where she could sleep safely. She did everything a well-behaved lady is supposed to do when out on the town: Designated driver? Check! Didn't walk home alone? Check! It feels trite to say, "you really can't trust anyone," but just wait until you hear the rest of the story.
- About that mancession:
For the first time in more than six years, the unemployment rate for adult women (those over age 20), seasonally adjusted, has surpassed that for adult men.
- Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert made a "joke" about Nancy Pelosi having a facelift because he's an asshole. In related news, water is still wet.
- David Nir over at Daily Kos Elections has yet more evidence that Republicans have learned absolutely nothing about how to woo the lady voters:
This is fun. Last week, when I saw that 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley—who's been considering a rematch practically since the moment he lost—said in a new interview "I would have had the best chance of winning if I had a woman as a running mate," I knew things weren't going to end well. For one, that kind of naked "I know how to get women's votes! I'll tap a woman as my no. 2!" calculation not only doesn't work but is just as apt to backfire (see Sarah Palin). But more cutting, I figured, would be the response of Mark Boughton, Foley's actual LG nominee. Foley did make sure to call Boughton an "excellent" candidate, but that didn't seem to appease him:
- And in women-candidates-to-watch news:
- Democratic ex-Rep. Betty Sutton says she is "seriously considering" a run for Ohio governor.
- In the wake of West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller's retirement, Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant says she hasn't "ruled anything out."
- Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley would only say "no comment" when asked if she's run for Massachusetts governor.
- National Democrats are trying to recruit DNC Committeewoman Erin Bilbray-Kohn to run against GOP Rep. Joe Heck in Nevada's 3rd Congressional District
- And finally, is it time to retire booth babes at conventions yet? It should be.
Now go forth, sluts, and raise hell.