Call it the “War on Women” or the consistent assault on women’s healthcare, Republicans across the country have been drastically overhauling existing reproductive and women’s health laws. Often cast as pro-life initiatives, new laws do more to endanger women’s live than to protect the so-called “pre-born.”
It began in Virginia in 2011 with House Bill 1, a “personhood” bill that define life beginning at conception. Not only would the bill have banned abortion, it would also have banned the birth control pill, which sometimes prevents birth by stopping the implantation of a fertilized egg.
Certainly Virginia isn’t the only place we can look to see assaults on women’s healthcare. The Ohio House passed a “heartbeat” bill, or H.B. 125. Not only would the bill ban abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected, but it also makes no exceptions for rape, incest or life-threatening circumstances.
Ohio and Virginia were not alone. Republicans have been pushing anti-abortion and anti-contraception bills all around the nation. Arizona Pennsylvania, Kansas, Mississippi and Texas all made national headlines with their own bills.
In my own state, Gov. Jan Brewer recently signed a bill that would eliminate Arizona’s funding for Planned Parenthood. Although touted as an antiabortion measure, this really about basic health care for women. The AZ Republican party has defunded a group that has served one in six women in this country.
Abortions are a mere 3% of Planned Parenthood services; mammograms, PAP tests, contraceptive medicines, family planning and the like are the mainstays of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood provides life saving and family planning services for some 3 million women each year. So what Gov Brewer has accomplished with her pen is endangering the health of women across Arizona.
The idea that Republicans support limited government is a farce; they are intruding deeply into the fate and state of women ‘s health, restricting affordable birth control and enforcing invasive ultrasounds. That’s not small government politics.
Now Catholic schools have joined the “let’s limit women’s access to healthcare” bandwagon. They want to be able to deny women who attend their colleges access to birth control.
I’ve been looking and looking for the answer, but there doesn’t seem to be a similar discussion about whether or not to provide viagra.