In the last 4 years, Republicans have enacted more than 200 new state laws restricting abortion access. Last week, House Republicans passed a law declaring abortion illegal after 20 weeks, also requiring women to get medical attention and “counseling” for their most painful and private decision before being allowed abortion services, even in the case of rape or incest. This was a symbolic vote destined to be vetoed by President Obama. According to Gallup, abortion laws are low on the list of concerns for Americans who worry primarily about the economy and jobs. Yet Republicans can’t lay off the social issues. EPIC TIMES founder Jerry Doyle laments “This is the hill Republicans have chosen to die on in 2016.”
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 468 laws were proposed to restrict women in 2014. Laws to restrict men = zero. In our interview, I asked Jerry “Why doesn’t it occur to Republicans to propose a law to prevent men from getting vasectomies – or at least to require men to get counseling before they are allowed to perform a procedure that would potentially kills so many future Joes and Janes?” Abortions performed after 20 weeks currently account for only 1.4 percent of procedures done and typically involve the health of the mother or birth defects where the fetus could not survive. Yet if one were to measure Republican priorities by the amount of legislation they propose, this issue trumps all others and requires their prime focus.
Republicans insist they are intent on outreach to women, yet continually telegraph that women require men’s control. Respecting that feelings are heated on both sides of the debate, whether one is pro-life or pro-choice, until you accept that a woman has sovereignty over her own body and is capable of making a moral decision without government intervention, how can you say she is man’s equal? Further, how will this play with a diverse electorate, more single women and a society where the number of citizens identifying as Christians recently dropped by 8%?
Former Obama deputy Chief of Staff and 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina just advised UK Prime Minister Cameron’s successful re-election campaign, commenting that:
“Prime Minister Cameron won on a vision of a dynamic, competitive Britain as a land of future opportunity for working families. Miliband was promising them only a return to the past: 1970s-style rent control, re-nationalization of some services, and energy price controls were, bizarrely, the main policy initiatives highlighted by Labour.”
“The same thing will be true of future presidential contests in the United States. There are huge political differences between the UK and U.S., but there are some important common lessons. Especially when you’ve been losing in recent elections, you’ve got to be able to redefine and rebrand your party for the future. Tony Blair did that for Labour in the UK. Ronald Reagan did it for the Republicans in 1980. Bill Clinton did it for us in 1992. So far, during the 2016 cycle, Republican presidential candidates seem dedicated to defending old policies across the spectrum from going back to pre-crisis rules for Wall Street to attacking the science of climate change to constantly focusing on restricting women’s health care decisions.”
“If the message the GOP takes away from Cameron’s win is mainly about the renewed power of right, they will fail in 2016, I believe. The truth is that British politics is skewed much further left than ours. Cameron personally led the fight to legalize gay marriage, made addressing climate change a top priority, and defended generous British humanitarian aid worldwide even as he was attacked for it. During the campaign, his manifesto called for a dramatic expansion of child care for working families, new apprenticeships for young people and eliminating taxes on workers at the minimum wage. Much of his agenda aligns very well with the modern Democratic Party platform.”
Republicans seem hell bent to double down on social issues. Find out why, and why that will likely not work for them, in my blockbuster interview with Jerry Doyle:
*Photo of Speaker John Boehner, Epic Times
Anita Finlay is the bestselling author of Dirty Words on Clean Skin — exposing media bias in a society not as evolved as advertised. #1 on Amazon’s Women in Politics books for 16 weeks.
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