Watch: Elizabeth Warren Hammers Republicans for Acting Like it’s 1914 with Women’s Rights

elizabeth-warren-senate-floorIt’s kind of funny, today I was visiting my mother when I brought up Senator Elizabeth Warren.  While my mom knows a little about politics, she’s not exactly someone I would say has an intricate knowledge of the political world.  She knows a few of the big names (Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Bush, Rick Perry, etc..), but she’s not always aware of some of the names those of us who follow politics more closely are well aware of.

I was actually telling her how Warren has quickly become one of my favorite people in politics.  While I know she isn’t perfect, she’s one of the few politicians who comes off as someone who genuinely believes in what she’s saying.  Whereas many other politicians seems to be unable to make a statement on any particular issue without first checking what the polling numbers (or bank accounts) tell them they should say.

A great example of what I like about Senator Warren is seen in recent comments where she hammered Republicans for their pathetically outdated approach to women’s rights.

While speaking on the Senate floor about the Hobby Lobby ruling, and Republican stances on women’s rights in general, Warren said, “I’ll be honest. I cannot believe we are even having a debate about whether employers can deny women access to birth control. Guys, this is 2014, not 1914. Most Americans thought this was settled long, long ago. But for some reason, Republicans keep dragging us back here over and over and over again.”

And that’s what this really breaks down to.  It’s not about Hobby Lobby or their “right” to deny women access to certain methods of birth control through their health insurance.  It’s about the continued attempts by conservatives to attack women’s rights.  It’s about opposing anything to do with sex – even though tens of millions of women take birth control for basic health reasons.

Which is what Warren was alluding to.  A society like 1914 where women didn’t even have the right to vote yet and were often treated like second class citizens.

It’s pathetic that it’s a century later and women are still having to fight for equal rights.

Luckily, history tells us that we’re going to win.  While ignorance might delay the inevitable, and even win a few battles along the way, when it’s all said and done – ignorance always loses.

And our own history tells us that when it comes to conservatives, they’re always on the wrong side of it.

Watch Senator Warren’s comments on the Senate floor below:


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • William Fite

    Yea you would like a liar to run for office. Haven’t we had enough lying with Obama? Your comment that you claim Warren hammered the republicans with just shows how much she will lie. Please give me a link where the Hobby Lobby decision denies women the right to birth control? Some other good whoppers is she is a minority because of her being an Indian and that she is not a part of the 1%.

    • strayaway

      “I’ll be honest. I cannot believe we are even having a debate about whether employers can deny women access to birth control.” -EW

      Elizabeth Warren is being honest this time; not speak with forked tongue. We know because she said so. Birth Control pills are available at Walmart and Walgreens for about $15/month. How dare Hobby Lobby prevent its employees from spending an hour of their pay (Average wage of Hobby Lobby employees is $15/hr..) on birth control pills.

      • Jillz

        So the government should stay out of your healthcare, but it’s perfectly ok for your boss to have a say? The point is not the availability of birth control, it’s that an EMPLOYER, for RELIGIOUS reasons, is interfering with their female employees’ ability to have them covered under their INSURANCE plan. In the Hobby Lobby decision, the Supreme Court basically said that religion trumps the law (for some anyway – I wonder what other religions would get the same consideration), which is in direct violation of the Constitution, isn’t it?

        The decision seemed pretty cut and dry to me since a separation of church and state is SUPPOSED to exist in the USA. I can understand an average citizen not fully understanding what that means; and I understand that the GOP is going out of its way these days to blur the distinction between church and state, but surely the Supreme Court should know the difference. All i can say is, wow. Just wow.

      • strayaway

        No, states have a right to involve themselves in health care since that power isn’t delegated to the Federal government. I’m even ok with states offering stand alone single payer plans if only the federal government would get out of the way. I just don’t see how Hobby Lobby can prevent its employees from spending $15/month, the cost of a restaurant dinner, choosing to purchase a package of birth control pills. You should be happy that Hobby Lobby is paying its average employee twice the minimum wage and much more than Walmart so they can afford to make such decisions. Hobby Lobby isn’t open on Sundays either should that offend your understanding of freedom of Religion. After all, what if the employee wanted to work on Sunday but didn’t have the same religious perspective?

      • Jillz

        The point is not the cost. The point is that a corporation (who, regardless of what the SCOTUS says, is NOT a person – people have blood and bones, not bricks and mortar) is trying to impose its ‘religious’ beliefs on others and is doing so by way of interfering with a law. We can argue semantics all we want, but the bottom line is that the law was not written with religious belief in mind – logical since there is so much religious diversity in the USA; but a company IS trying to establish laws based on religious belief. That is against the Constitution.

        A store’s hours of operation doesn’t correlate with this discussion – it’s like comparing apples to oranges. Benefits (insurance) is part of remuneration; store hours aren’t. The government has mandated what must be included in every citizen’s insurance plan whether it comes through their employer or whether they pay for the coverage themselves. The Hobby Lobby decision used religion to impact a law and sets a horrific precedent going forward.

      • strayaway

        Au contraire. Hobby Lobby is closed on Sunday because its owners think Sunday is a holy day and the ten Commandments “has mandated’ not working on the Lord’s day. I agree with you that corporations are not people. I don’t even think that the 10th. Amendment allows the federal government to mandate health care details in “every citizen’s insurance plan”. That said, the Supreme Court rulings are the law of the land even if the Court claimed that 2 + 2 = 5. It doesn’t matter much what we think. It’s whatever the Supreme Court rules that becomes law.

      • Jillz

        “the Supreme Court rulings are the law of the land even if the Court claimed that 2 + 2 = 5. It doesn’t matter much what we think. It’s whatever the Supreme Court rules that becomes law.”

        Exactly. And in this case, in my opinion, they got it wrong. It will be interesting to see how it’s handled when a Muslim, or Jehovah’s Witness, or Pastafarian makes a similar challenge to the law based on the recent Supreme Court ruling.

        PS The owners’ reason for shutting down operations on Sundays isn’t really relevant – that decision affects them only as it speaks to profit (i.e. if the store is closed they are not making any profit). There is no negative or discriminatory impact on anyone else. It’s not the same as refusing to allow specific treatments to be included in group benefit plans because the end result of that has a discriminatory impact on affected employees (who are having someone else’s religious beliefs forced on them). It’s a subtle, but significant difference.

      • William Fite

        You claim not anyone is effected by the decision of Hobby Lobby being closed on Sundays. What about the employees that could work more hours and make more money. Isn’t that negative?

      • Jillz

        ^^ LOL Was that a real comment?

        It doesn’t make one iota of difference whether an employee WANTS to work on a Sunday – the business isn’t OPEN on Sunday! The company isn’t in business to provide work to employees – it’s in the business of sales and making money. I betcha if Hobby Lobby was struggling they would be opening on Sundays though 😉

        Again, it’s apples and oranges – hours of operation are completely under the control of the business owners, and rightly so. As you said, Hobby Lobby is a private company – the government isn’t going to force them to open the doors on Sunday. Employees, however, have some protections by the government. Therefore, if the business owners CHOOSE to hire employees, they are required to follow any enacted laws regarding those employees.

        On a personal level, I miss the days when almost all stores were closed on Sunday. Religious or not – we all deserve ONE day of rest!

      • MLR

        I bet you if the decision affected men’s healthcare we wouldn’t be having this conversation and Hobby Lobby would of lost. Bottom line, it’s a healthcare issue that affects only women and that’s why right-wing regressives don’t give a damn. But hopefully they will in 2014 and 2016.

      • William Fite

        You are taking one decision by the Supreme Court and confusing it with another decision. Two separate issues. This has nothing to do with it being a PUBLIC corporation but a PRIVATE closely held corporation. I would agree with you concerning a publicly owned corporation, but Hobby Lobby is different.

        Hobby Lobby is not and did not establish a law based on its religious beliefs. No company can make law. Only the president can sign bills into law.

      • Jillz

        No I’m not confusing the decisions. I did mis-speak in one of my posts though, so to clarify, I understand that companies do not make laws. I do also understand though, that currently, in the USA, many third parties (i.e. those outside of government) are influencing the government and therefore laws. The NRA and Koch brothers come to mind in particular, however Hobby Lobby, while not MAKING a law, has INFLUENCED a change in the law based on religious grounds. The fact that the case was even entertained by the court is astounding enough; the fact that the law WAS changed based on this challenge is beyond astounding.

      • Judy Richardson

        Yes it is.

      • William Fite

        You state, “The point is not the availability of birth control, it’s that an EMPLOYER, for RELIGIOUS reasons, is interfering with their female employees’ ability to have them covered under their INSURANCE plan.” No one is interfering with their being covered by their insurance. Can’t a person obtain their own insurance? Is the employer forcing you to work for them? Is the employer paying for a portion of their insurance?

        You ask, “In the Hobby Lobby decision, the Supreme Court basically said that religion trumps the law (for some anyway – I wonder what other religions would get the same consideration), which is in direct violation of the Constitution, isn’t it?” Answer is no. The government is forcing, by mandate a law that is against the person being able to exercise it’s freedom of religion.

      • clueless

        I guess your missing the point. Corporations are NOT people, even though the scotus says they are. If they truly were people then they should be held criminally accountable for things like the GM ignitions causing death and various other criminal activities. If a person knowingly neglects a problem that leads to a death they are charged with manslaughter or other criminal charges and face significant jail time. However, these corporate entities are usually shielded from such criminal prosecution. Making them NOT people but corporate entities and not subject to the same penalties that people are. In the hobby lobby case, they are stating not only that corporations are people but that corporations management has the right to impose their religious beliefs on employees that may or may not agree with such beliefs. And I sincerely doubt that we’d be sitting here having this conversation if it had been a “closely held” muslim company forcing their female employee’s to wear burkas. Sounds extreme but in essence it is the same thing. This decision is dangerous in many ways: it come dangerously close to setting a “standard” religion for the US that is forbidden by the constitution. It allows companies to discriminate based on religion (which could expand to gays, African Americans, women etc.) and it sets a precedent stating that for profit corporate religious beliefs trump constitutionally protected rights.

      • clueless

        Oh and freedom of religion is protected for people under the constitution. Up until this current version of the scotus for profit corporations were NOT allowed that type of “freedom of religion” or freedom to force their religion on their employees.

      • Jillz

        No one is forcing the owners of Hobby Lobby (who are people, and have religious beliefs) to take any kind of drug that they feel might cause an abortion, and no one is forcing them to have an abortion. The religious rights of no PERSON, therefore, are being violated by the government. It is the rights (religious or other) of female employees of the COMPANY Hobby Lobby that are being violated as they are not able to receive equal benefits (equal to female employees of other businesses who ARE complying with the law).

      • William Fite

        Please understand that benefits are not a right in any sense whatsoever. It never has been and never will be.

      • Jillz

        Actually, given that the ACA is an enacted law, I would say that health insurance benefits ARE a right now – an employment right. Therefore, if a business wants to hire employees they must understand prior that the cost of an employee now includes health insurance. (Prior to the ACA I would agree that benefits were not a right, but a means for an employer getting a competitive edge over other employers in attracting and keeping quality employees).

      • MLR

        Not every woman can use birth control pills. I used to get extremely nauseous and sick from the pill and the only method that worked for me was the IUD which is one of the methods Hobby Lobby opposes. Bottom line birth control is a healthcare issue and employers should not be seeking to legislate it based on religious beliefs. My granddaughter has cancer and birth control is prescribed to her by her doctor so she can’t just get any pill at Walgreens. Other women use birth control for ovarian cysts and while 15 an hour may sound like a lot, it’s really not when you have a family to take care of plus not all women get paid that much. Remember, min wage is 7.25 an hour. That’s the problem, contraception is a healthcare issue, not a religious issue. We continue down this path and we’re not going to like what we reap from our miserable sowing.

    • Sunnysmom

      They shouldn’t have the right to line-item veto which types of birth control drugs their employees get based on their interpretation of Jesus du jour. THAT is the truth. I don’t care that it was just 4 drugs they object to, it’s wrong for women, it’s wrong for America.

    • ed meadows

      I get so weary reading comments by people with such low intellects they should not be allowed space on reasonable websites. William, I’m sure Sean Hannity has a site where your stupid comments are welcome. Why don’t you go there?

  • Linda Doucett

    Thank You Elizabeth. The best Politician in America. A change is in the air. Many people are fed up with corrupt politicians and corporate mouthpieces.

  • MLR

    Unfortunately conservative women are just as regressive as conservative men. Wasn’t it Ann Coulter who said that a fantasy of hers was for women to not be able to vote? I mean, who in their right mind believes their own gender should have less rights?? I tell you what, men would never fantasize about taking their own rights way. That’s why they have the “bros before hoes” motto. And Sarah Palin, the men in her own base do nothing but disrespect her because all I hear is what they’d like to do to her in bed. Not once do they ever mention how “smart” or “intellectual” she is because obviously she’s only “good for one thing” in their mind. If men could get pregnant, life wouldn’t “start at conception” and believe me, there would be no protesters allowed at clinics because one constitutionally protected right should not trump another constitutionally protected right. But obviously in the case of women it does. What I find most comical is that conservative women don’t even realize when they’re being disrespected. It’s sad, pathetic and hard to watch.