The GOP War on Women has, evidently, called for a reprise. We now have a metaphorical encore of anti-choice and anti-woman bills hollering in our ears from the Great Lakes State. This all may seem like small potatoes compared to the national tragedy in Connecticut and the world ending tomorrow, but it’s the only realm I understand.
I would like to address the lawmakers in Michigan who have shown themselves to be the forerunners in the popular rekindling of the GOP War on Women – I have a few thoughts for you. First of all, if you ever want to enjoy female company again, you will promptly pump your lawmaking breaks and two, you are doing yourselves and your negative stereotypes no favors.
What first caught my attention was this article I discovered on my Google Reader – Michigan is considering a bill that, as of January 2013, would offer a tax credit for any woman who is at least twelve weeks pregnant. The fetal tax credit, otherwise known as HB 5684 and HB 5685, is evidently meant to relieve some of the financial burden that new mothers have due to newly acquired medical expenses and the like. I definitely saw it, however, as a reward for being pregnant. A reward for not aborting the fetus. Even if you cannot see it this way, keep in mind that Michigan lawmakers did this after having cut tax credits for actual children. Ergo, a very clear message is being sent: that unborn children have more value to the GOP than actual children. This goes to support the theory regarding how the pro-life movement stands less for protecting children and more for regulating sex. I’m almost impressed with how forthcoming Michigan Republicans are with this sentiment.
However, it doesn’t end there – the Republicans of Michigan are attempting to quickly pass several strict abortion bills before 2013 (when the Democrats gain five seats in the house). Some of them targeted finances and nearly prohibited all insurance coverage for abortion services. Furthermore, HB 5711, the bill that got Representatives Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum barred from speaking by the house leadership for saying the word “vagina,” is back on the floor. Evidently, the bill is fifty pages long and among other things requires that: abortions are banned after 20 weeks (even in cases of rape and incest), that there is a coercion clause mandating that clinics would have to determine if the female is coerced or is the victim of domestic abuse before the abortion procedure, that capital is limited causing access for rural women to be limited (potentially causing a socio-economic barrier between women in the workforce vs. women at home), that doctors purchase specific and expensive malpractice insurance, and that all clinics that offer any kind of abortion procedure must adhere to zoning and surgical regulations that don’t necessarily apply to them.
All of this happened within the course of just a few weeks – a rapid snowball of anti-choice legislation. Here is a video I found addressing the problem and the reality of the sexism in the works: http://current.com/shows/viewpoint/videos/how-did-michigan-become-the-latest-battleground-in-the-war-on-women/.
This just goes to show that we can’t take a day off, ladies – the other side certainly isn’t. We can’t afford to be surprised at the source of the anti-choice legislation or how swiftly the blows may come. The progress we made in the November election is only being met by an “over-correction” on the Republican’s behalf and it will only continue unless we make our voices heard. Also, the GOP in Michigan is starting to resemble the “cro-magnon, douche-bro, drunk and tattooed” stereotype some people associate with men from Detroit – and I think we can take them.
“The moment of betrayal is the worst, the moment when you know beyond any doubt that you’ve been betrayed: that some other human being has wished you that much evil.”
― Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale