So far this year, Republican-controlled state legislatures across America have passed 40 new laws curtailing the right of women to terminate pregnancies — and the total since 2011 is 170 such restrictive laws.
A PBS NewsHour report said this GOP drive may “reignite the culture wars.” It said the snowballing effort has been “building at the state level for years, beginning when Republicans captured larger majorities in legislatures as part of the 2010 tea party wave that returned them to control of the House of Representatives.”
In Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed new laws that are expected to force two of the state’s four women’s clinics to close.
In North Carolina, the state Senate forbade insurers to cover termination of pregnancies.
In Texas, Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis became a nationwide hero when she staged a one-woman filibuster against a bill that would have crimped women’s right to choose and forced closure of most of the state’s women’s clinics.
In Ohio, Republican Gov. Gov. John Kasich signed a law expected to cut funding for Planned Parenthood — as Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry did previously.
In several states, Republican legislators try to shame girls into canceling abortions by forcing them to view pictures from ultrasound probes inserted into their vaginas. In both South Dakota and Iowa, GOP proposals would have changed the definition of justifiable homicide to allow murder of abortion doctors.
Obviously, a systematic “war on women” is proceeding on many fronts. Republicans — especially tea party hard-liners — attempt to block equal pay laws, obstruct day care help that lets mothers hold jobs, drive Planned Parenthood out of existence, curtail birth control programs, and similar crackdowns.
Several books have documented the campaign. In 1996, former GOP consultant Tanya Melich wrote The Republican War on Women. …
The Sacramento Bee points out that Republicans took control of 22 state legislative chambers in the 2010 election, so “no one should be surprised” that these GOP strongholds are trying to revoke “the fundamental right of the woman to choose whether to bear children.” After all, the paper said, “that is part of the Republican platform.”
No wonder American women have become a major segment in the Democratic Party’s base.