By Rachel Cannon |Copy Editor|
With the Republican presidential candidate all but decided, the race is heating up—but Mitt Romney is up against a huge demographic of female voters turned off by his party’s hostility towards females in what is being branded as a “War on Women.”
It began early last year, with the House GOP unanimously passing H.R. 3. Although this bill was known as the anti-abortion bill, it managed to offend even pro-life women with its redefinition of rape as “forcible.”
This new definition erased the trauma experienced by of millions of victims of same-sex, statutory, date rape and other types of rape under the new definition.
From there, the GOP continued to anger women by defunding Planned Parenthood in states across the country, depriving millions of American women of access to basic healthcare.
More recently, Virginia’s new law requiring transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions sent a ripple of rage throughout women voters on both sides of the aisle.
Even pro-life Conservative Meghan McCain was shocked by the law, which legislated legal rape by forcing doctors to penetrate women with the probes against their will. “I’m horrified by the bill as a woman. As a Republican woman, I’m horrified,” McCain said on “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
Fortunately, public reaction led legislators to rewrite that law to allow the patient to request an alternate form of ultrasound, but women have not forgotten the hostility Republican leaders have shown them.
Then there’s the birth control debate. Some media outlets and other voices insist that the debate over whether Catholic institutions must allow for birth control coverage in their health insurance plans is an issue of religious freedom.
But it’s clear that women are still getting the message: Republicans don’t care about women’s health. In fact, some are going beyond apathy and into downright animosity. On Feb. 29 obnoxious loudmouth Rush Limbaugh made headlines by slamming Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University student testifying on behalf of a friend who needed birth control for health reasons.
In his remarks he called her “a slut … a prostitute.” But he didn’t stop there. He went on to reveal that he thinks the pill is used like Viagra. “She’s having so much sex she can’t afford contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex,” said Limbaugh.
Naturally, women and men alike were shocked and incensed by his toxic language. Women waited for the Republican candidates to denounce Limbaugh, but they were disappointed. Maybe Romney and the rest of the GOP missed the lesson on women suffrage in history class.
That’s the only way to explain their apparent indifference toward the fact that in 2004, 53.5 percent of voters were women, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.
Clearly, the right can’t afford to keep treating us as second-class citizens. Hell hath no fury like a scorned female constituent.