Ohio GOP Revs Up The Republican Party War Against Women Again
Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, was hardly surprised by the robust gap. "In 2012," she wrote a few days before the election, "it is no wonder the gender gap is so pronounced. A blizzard of hostile legislation (over 1,000 bills) has been introduced in the past two years against women's reproductive rights in Congress and in many states controlled by Republican legislators and Governors. In the legislative War on Women, the Paycheck Fairness Act has been endlessly filibustered by Republicans in the Senate, the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act is being blocked by House Republicans and several hundred extreme anti-abortion and birth control measures have been passed in state legislatures and the US House."
Yesterday, British historian Tom Holland tweeted that "under the New Jersey constitution of July 1776, widows & spinsters worth £50 or more were granted the vote" but that "in 1807, a referendum in New Jersey disenfranchised those women (& blacks) who had the vote. The turn-out was three times the norm." We've come a long way. But conservatives still haven't learned the right lessons about misogyny and about disenfranchisement, bigotry and attacking whole classes of people-- even if we're talking about women, the majority of voters!
Just days after their major ass-whupping across the country and across Ohio, Republican state legislators, who mistake absurdly gerrymandered districts for a sense of political invulnerability, were on the attack against women again, opening up a new battlefront in Ohio in the Republican Party's War Against Women.
With only Republicans voting in favor, an Ohio House panel Wednesday gave initial approval to a bill that would move Planned Parenthood and other facilities that offer family planning services to the end of the line to receive federal money.
Democrats said they were surprised their Republican colleagues would target women’s services so soon after last week’s election, in which several pro-life congressional candidates were defeated.
“Extreme politicians lost on election night because of their anti-women, anti-family agenda,” said Rep. Nancy Garland, D-New Albany. “Republicans here in the Statehouse have failed to get the message.”
...House Bill 298 would establish a tiered priority system to award several federal grants. Public health agencies would receive funding first, followed by community health centers, privately-run practices and centers that provide comprehensive care in addition to family planning services and lastly family planning services.
The House Health and Aging Committee backed away from the bill earlier this year but passed it Wednesday along party lines, 11-9, with Democrats strongly in opposition.
Rob Nichols, spokesman for Gov. John Kasich, would not say Wednesday whether the governor supports the bill but said, “The governor is pro-life and supports policies that protect the sanctity of life.”
...Ohio’s 32 Planned Parenthood centers serve nearly 100,000 Ohioans-- most for preventative care such as breast exams and contraception.
“The bill will not reduce the number of abortions,” Kight said. “It will reduce access to the care that we know helps women plan their pregnancies and have healthy pregnancies.”
Several doctors testified against the bill, saying they refer patients to Planned Parenthood for multiple reasons that include screenings for cervical cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.
“I don’t see in this bill we’re improving the system,” said Dr. Kimberly Shepherd, a gynecologist in Columbus. “I feel like we should be supporting those providers and those systems that are doing a good job taking care of women.”