Our new Republican Congress keeps telling us that their number one priority is jobs, but their every action gives the lie to that claim. First, it was revisiting the Affordable Health Care Law. Now they are pursuing their true first priority - seeking to reverse every gain towards equality that women have made in the last hundred years. While Republicans say all the right things, offering empty platitudes about women's equality, their agenda is to legislate women into second-class citizenship. This is true not only at the national level but in state legislatures all across the country.
Republicans are seeking to reverse, through legislative action, the protections of the Equal Pay Act. They insist that the law is no longer needed because the pay gap has all but been eradicated. This is blatantly false, but when were these bozos ever guided by facts?
The big guns of this Republican war against women, though, are trained at women's health issues, specifically reproductive issues. For example, they are doing their best to shut down Planned Parenthood, which is a health care provider - sometimes the only health care provider available - for low income women and men, providing contraception, STD testing and treatment, and cancer screening. The Republicans' argument is that they want to limit abortions, but abortions are a very small part (about 3 percent) of the services that Planned Parenthood provides.
Republicans are also trying to decriminalize violence against women. They wanted, in their H.R.3 bill, to redefine rape. According to their "new rule," it wouldn't be rape unless it was "forcible rape." Statutory rape of a child or rape involving incest where perhaps no actual force was applied would no longer be considered rape and would not be grounds for a woman or a child to receive an abortion to remove the fruit of that act. The Republicans left themselves wide open on this point and they were ridiculed mercilessly as they should have been. Apparently, they have now retrenched and dropped that language from their bill. This does not mean, however, that they are giving up. These enemies of women's rights never give up. They keep pushing and pushing and they will continue to do that until they have managed to reverse every single gain that women have so painfully made.
So, these are the believers in "small government." They believe that government should not regulate commerce to make it more fair; it should not inspect food and drugs to make sure they are safe; it should not provide any social safety net at all. It should keep its hands off everything. Except women's bodies. When it comes to those, government should be as intrusive as all get out, going right into the medical examination room with her and monitoring her conversation with her doctor. The hypocrisy is truly mind-boggling.
UPDATE: Apparently the House GOPers have not changed the language in their H.R.3. And the war continues...