When Republicans talk about women’s rights, I’m always amazed at their absurdity and ignorance. Where in the GOP platform is there anything that remotely seems “pro-women”? Sure, they claim many of their anti-abortion measures are about protecting women’s health (such as those passed here in Texas that set ridiculously stringent standards that abortion clinics must meet in order to stay open), but anyone with even the slightest bit of common senses recognizes that these laws are nothing more than loopholes that they’re trying to exploit to eventually ban abortions everywhere possible. Since Republicans can’t outright ban abortions, they’re simply trying to make it nearly impossible for a woman to get one.
This is also the party that opposed equal pay for women in the workplace and voted against the Violence Against Women Act in 2012. In fact, I’m willing to be that if I went out and asked 100 Republican voters to name a piece of legislation that their party supports that’s pro-women, they couldn’t do it.
It always makes me laugh whenever there’s a debate raging in Congress about women’s rights and all I see from the Republican side are men talking about the reproductive rights of women. As if John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham are the best “experts” to discuss legislation pertaining to the rights women should have over their own bodies.
Graham recently gave a speech where he basically exposed just how little his own party actually cares about women. While talking about this bill that Republicans are trying to get passed (though it would clearly be vetoed by the president), Graham’s focus wasn’t on women’s rights – but on how concerned he was that this bill might once again turn into an argument over “legitimate rape.”
“I’m going to do more than bring my bill up. I’m going to need your help to find a way out of this definitional problem of rape,” Graham said.
He also went on to tip-toe around the issue, continually emphasizing his worry that the idiocy of quite a few members of his party might be exposed as they try to define what is or isn’t a “legitimate” sexual assault.
The truth is, they’re not concerned with women’s rights, they’re simply worried about the perception of their party as this debate moves forward. Graham knows that there are quite a few Republicans in Congress who don’t believe that a woman should have the right to an abortion even in the cases of sexual assault, incest or the mother’s life being in jeopardy. And he knows that debate can quickly turn into members of his party trying to define what is or isn’t sexual assault as they push for provisions banning any exceptions on abortions.
In fact, they’ve already had to pull a measure in this bill that would have required women who were sexually assaulted to go to the police before having an abortion after several female members of the GOP staged a revolt against party leadership. Just think about that for a moment. There was a decent amount of support within the GOP for a provision in this bill that would have forced any woman who was the victim of a sexual assault to go to the police before exercising her Constitutional right to an abortion. You want to talk about “government overreach,” that’s some of the biggest government invasion of privacy you will ever witness, and it took a small revolt from GOP women for it to be taken out of the bill.
But it says enough about the GOP that someone like Sen. Graham has to even make comments such as these. It’s ridiculous that there are enough members of his party who care so little about women’s health that the debate over what is or isn’t “legitimate” sexual assault might end up being a focal point as this bill is debated in the Senate.
And, in my opinion, that exposes just how little the GOP really cares about women’s rights. It also shows that for many within the Republican party, this bill has nothing to do with protecting women and everything to do with trying to control them.
Watch Graham’s comments below via Right Wing Watch: