Friday, May 6, 2011

Redefining rape and attacking women: the Republican Agenda

People elected the Republicans to Congress because they wanted attention paid to jobs and the economy. Instead, the Republicans have voted to eliminate Medicare as we know it, eviscerate government, and are perilously close to defaulting on our debt. Not satisfied with that swatch of attacks on our nation, they have also waged significant attacks on women and women's rights. ThinkProgress tells us that yesterday,
House GOP Unanimously Passes Anti-Abortion Bill That Redefines Rape, Raises Taxes, And Creates Rape Audits.
They claim this prevents federal funding of abortion, but the Hyde amendment assures there is no federal funding. Instead, this bill does the following: redefines rape to require physical violence (because otherwise, she wants it....?) using legislative tricks, increases taxes on women and small businesses by taking away tax credits if they have a health plan that supports abortion; requires the IRS to audit women to prove that any abortion they have is actually due to rape or incest, and bans abortions in DC.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure in this country. People can, and do, passionately disagree on the subject, but it remains a legal medical procedure.

How about in Indiana, where the Republicans in the statehouse say there shouldn't be a rape exemption because women would lie about it.

Lets also see another recent decision about rape, which is sickening-- and not covered in the US Press.
A teenage girl who was dropped from her high school's cheerleading squad after refusing to chant the name of a basketball player who had sexually assaulted her must pay compensation of $45,000 (£27,300) after losing a legal challenge against the decision.

The United States Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a review of the case brought by the woman, who is known only as HS. Lower courts had ruled that she was speaking for the school, rather than for herself, when serving on a cheerleading squad – meaning that she had no right to stay silent when coaches told her to applaud.
She was expelled from the team for refusing to applaud her attacker.
She was 16 when she said she had been raped at a house party attended by dozens of fellow students from Silsbee High School, in south-east Texas. One of her alleged assailants, a student athlete called Rakheem Bolton, was arrested, with two other young men.

In court, Bolton pleaded guilty to the misdemeanour assault of HS. He received two years of probation, community service, a fine and was required to take anger-management classes. The charge of rape was dropped, leaving him free to return to school and take up his place on the basketball team.
We really are moving into the territory of the HandMaid's Tale, where we are required to cheer our rapists and even bear their seed. THis case may turn on the details of the timing, but at the very least, there is a startling amount of insensitivity. More here.

Are these just a few examples, or is there a real anti-women trend in the New Republican (Tea) Party? It seems the latter. Remember the tea party is heavily Evangelical Christian. As Alternet points out,
the press and political watchdogs have been duped into whitewashing the religious zealotry that underlies the GOP's legislative goals. Without a full understanding of those religious beliefs -- and how those beliefs define women and their role as wives and mothers -- we have only a surface understanding of the motivation behind the anti-Planned Parenthood efforts. It is not solely about shutting down Planned Parenthood's federal funding because the organization provides abortion services (indeed federal funding of abortion is already banned by the Hyde Amendment). It's about shutting down Planned Parenthood because it provides contraceptives. That is a target because, as Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has put it, "an arrogant corrupt Washington elite" has "declared war on marriage, on families, on fertility, and on faith." (Emphasis added.)
Even more examples here. Where the Republican party sees women: barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen.

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