By Stephanie Whiteside / current.com
Is there really a war on women?
Republicans say no. They say the phrase is a bunch of hyperbole. But their actions say otherwise. After what was already a record number of reproductive health related restrictions introduced in 2011, conservatives have ratched up the rhetoric and legislation aimed squarely at women.
Think this is just happening in Virginia, Idaho and Arizona? Think again. The items on this list include actions in or representatives of 30 different states, not to mention national commentators and pundits (not just Rush Limbaugh). The list also includes more than 30 proposed or approved pieces of legislation and court rulings.
And while most of these attacks revolve around women's reproductive rights, they also veer off into more general areas, including a Fox News contributor who says women in the military should "expect" to be sexually assaulted.
If these combined actions don't qualify as an all-out assault on women's rights, it's difficult to imagine what would. So here are the quotes, legislation and other developments that we consider 101 assaults in the War on Women in 2012.
- "Personally I’d like to make a law that mandates a woman watch an abortion being performed prior to having a ‘surgical procedure’. If it’s not a life it shouldn’t matter, if it doesn’t harm a woman then she shouldn’t care, and don’t we want more transparency and education in the medical profession anyway? We demand it everywhere else."-- Arizona state Rep. Terri Proud (R) (March 21)
Below, Arizona state Rep. Chad Campbell discusses the outrageous proposal with Keith Olbermann on "Countdown."
- Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signs a law requiring a 72-hour wait to obtain an abortion. (March 21)
- "I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that's part of the counseling that goes on." -- Idaho state Rep. Chuck Winder (March 20)
Kaili Joy Gray of the Daily Kos decries Idaho's proposal with Keith Olbermann on "Countdown" in the video below.
- GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney: "Vote for the other guy" if you want birth control covered. (March 20)
- Arizona state Rep. Debbie Lesko (R) defends her bill, which could require women to prove to their employers that they are taking birth control for medical reasons and not simply to prevent pregnancy, by putting religion above women's rights: "My bill does one thing and one thing alone. It allows an employer with religious objections to opt out," she says. (March 20)
- "If I thought that the man’s signature was required… required, in order for a woman to have an abortion, I’d have a little more peace about it…" -- Alaska state Rep. Alan Dick (March 20)
- Rhode Island state Rep. Karen MacBeth, a self-described conservative Democrat, introduces a bill requiring ultrasound before an abortion. (March 19)
- The Idaho Senate passes a bill requiring an ultrasound for women seeking a abortion, as well as providing a list of providers of free ultrasounds. The catch? Those providers are mainly crisis-pregnancy centers run by pro-life groups and the ultrasounds performed there may not meet the requirement of the law, necessitating a second procedure. (March 19)
- The Tennessee legislature proposes a bill that would publish the names of doctors who provide abortions, as well as potentially identifiying women who undergo the procedure. (March 19)
Gloria Feldt, former president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, tells Keith Olbermann in the video below that assaults on reproductive rights are part of a broader effort to limit freedom.
- Data shows that, thanks to a process known as gender rating, women pay more for health insurance than men, even among plans that don't include female-specific services like maternity coverage. (March 19)
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry implements a law that would exclude Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid women's health program, causing the Department of Health and Human services to revoke federal funding for family planning via Medicaid to the state. (March 16)
- The Arizona legislature is on the cusp of defunding Planned Parenthood. (March 16)
- A Colorado bill, which passes the state House, would increase penalties if a person hurts a woman and causes death or injury to her unborn child. Critics say it effectively criminalizes abortion. (March 16)
- "They take women to dinner, they buy women diamonds, they open car doors for women." -- Rush Limbaugh on why Republicans can't hate women. (March 15)
Below, comedian Lewis Black tees off on Rush Limbaugh and more on "Countdown."
- "To me the issue is that we have young people who think they are doing good for others by handing out condoms. There are many instances of date rape in which the assailant uses a condom. I would hate to think that the condom they receive from this group somehow entitles them to...[do this]" -- Rev. Jude DeAngelo, reacting to a student group aiming to encourage safe sex by distributing condoms. (March 15)
- The Guttmacher Institute reports that more than half of reproductive-aged women in the U.S. live in states hostile to reproductive rights. (March 15)
- The New Hampshire House passes a bill forcing doctors to tell women of a link between breast cancer and abortion, which has been scientifically disproved. (March 15)
- Congressional Republicans oppose renewing the Violence Against Women Act. (March 14)
Molly Ball, staff writer for The Atlantic, joins Keith Olbermann to talk about Republican opposition to reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
- The Utah state legislature passes a bill that would ban sex education in schools. Bright spot: Gov. Herbert (a Republican) vetoed it. (March 14)
- New Hampshire House votes on a bill banning third-term abortions. (March 14)
- "Now, how can I be anti-woman? I even judged the Miss America pageant.” -- Rush Limbaugh (March 14)
- New Hampshire House votes on bill that allows judges two business days before they have to decide whether a juvenile who does not want to inform her parents may have an abortion. (March 14)
- Catholic bishops declare the fight against mandated coverage of contraceptives a top priority. (March 14)
Jennifer Granholm is "Fired Up!" about the introduction of religion into the political conversation. She asks, "What would Jesus do about the birth control debate?"
- New Hampshire House approves a 24-hour waiting period for abortions. (March 14)
- "I don't know how you make anybody watch, OK. Because you just have to close your eyes. But as long as it's on exterior not interior." -- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett on an ultrasound bill being considered in the House (March 14)
Former Congressman Patrick Murphy tells Keith Olbermann the Pennsylvania proposal is unconstitutional and indefensible.
- Lasko (R) introduces her bill in the Arizona House that would allow employers to ask women for documentation if they require birth control pills for non-contraceptive reasons. (March 14)
- Fox News commentator Liz Trotta says military women should "expect" to be raped. She goes on to say the military is spending too much money on sexual assault prevention. (March 14)
- Indiana woman Bei Bei Shuai has spent one year in jail for the crime of attempting suicide while pregnant. (March 14)
- "If they can refind those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help." -- Wisconsin state Rep. Don Pridemore to abused women (March 13)
- "Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that." -- Mitt Romney on cutting spending (March 13)
Christine Pelosi joins Jennifer Granholm on "The War Room" to respond to Mitt Romney's attack on Planned Parenthood.
- Mississippi passes a measure aimed at closing the state's only abortion clinic. (March 13)
- The Alabama Supreme Court ruled doctors can be sued for the death of an unborn, pre-viable child. (March 12)
- "Every invasive procedure has an informed consent requirement" -- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on mandatory ultrasounds (March 12)
- A number of newspapers refused to carry a "Doonesbury" strip referencing the transvaginal ultrasound bill authored in Virginia on the grounds of graphic language. Because it's OK to make laws about vaginas, but it's not OK to talk about them. (March 12)
- "If these young women are being responsible and didn't have the sex to begin with, we wouldn't have this problem to begin with." -- New Hanover County (N.C.) Commissioner Ted Davis (March 12)
- Maine state Rep. Lance Harvell questions why pap smears are covered by insurance. (March 12)
- "Life gives us many experiences … I’ve had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive. Delivering pigs, dead or alive. It breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it." -- Georgia state Rep. Terry England, comparing women to livestock (3/12)
Ana Kasparian of "The Young Turks" tackles Rep. England's "barnyard logic."
- Catholic University of America shames students for premarital sex, outlaws contraception on campus. (March 9)
- The Atlantic reports on a New York state policy that carrying condoms can be used as evidence of prostitution. A bill that seeks to reverse this policy has languished for 13 years. (March 9)
- "Artificial birth control is unnatural and immoral." -- Pat Buchanan on contraception coverage. (March 8)
- The Arizona state Senate passed a bill that would allow doctors to conceal information about disabilities or deformities affecting a fetus in order to prevent abortions. (March 8)
- "Going with that logic, according to our own Health and Human Services secretary, it isn’t far-fetched to think that the President of the United States could say, 'We need to save health care expenses — the federal government will only pay for one baby to be born in the hospital per family, or two babies to be born per family.'" -- Michele Bachmann on the Obama adminstration's contraception mandate (March 8)
- Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R) proposes a law classifying single parenting as child abuse. (March 7)
- Virginia Gov. McDonnell signs into law a measure requiring an ultrasound prior to obtaining an abortion; however, a controversial provision requiring a transvaginal ultrasound was removed after significant pressure. (March 7)
- "President Obama and his allies in the press are trying to pull a fast one on you. You've heard all about the so-called 'contraception controversy,' well there's no such thing... his foot soldier, Sandra Fluke, a contraception activist, is at the center of the storm... President Obama, on the ropes with the economy and specifically with women voters, gets Mrs. Fluke to create a controversy, and the liberal media puppets play along as scripted." -- Fox News host Eric Bolling (March 7)
- Colorado's Supreme Court approves a ballot initiative for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit a woman from terminating a pregnancy for any reason. (March 7)
- "What is it with all of these young, single, white women, overeducated — doesn’t mean intelligent." -- Rush Limbaugh on author Tracie McMillan, discussing her book about child nutrition (March 6)
- Sarah Palin says outrage over Limbaugh's "slut" comment is hypocritical. (March 6)
Keith Olbermann responds on "Countdown" to the false equivalency from the right.
- "We are seeing it. We are seeing the fabric of this country fall apart, and it's falling apart because of single moms." -- Rick Santorum (March 6)
- A New Mexico school is sued after allegedly publicly humiliating an 8th grader by announcing her pregnancy to the entire school. (March 6)
- TSA forced a woman to use her breast pump in a public restroom in order to take it on a plane. (March 5)
- "You want me to give you my hard-earned money so you can have sex?" -- Bill O'Reilly on Sandra Fluke (March 2)
- Nevada anti-abortion groups proceed with ballot initiatives to protect "prenatal" persons and prohibit abortion. (March 2)
- "Now Sandra has chained herself to the sinking ship of Pelosi Liberalism. She will always be remembered as a Welfare Condom Queen." -- Angela Morabito of "The College Conservative" blog, on Sandra Fluke (March 2)
- Florida passes a bill requiring a 24-hour wait before an abortion, and requires that clinics be owned by doctors. (March 2)
- "And not one person says, well, did you ever think about maybe backing off the amount of sex that you have? Do you ever think maybe it's your responsibility for your own birth control, not everybody else's?" -- Rush Limbaugh on Sandra Fluke (March 2)
- "Wow. Wow, wow, wow, that makes PMS almost worth it." -- Rush Limbaugh after a caller told him a month's worth of birth-control pills costs $5 at Wal-mart (March 1)
- Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt authors an amendment allowing employers to opt out of any health coverage they deem immoral. (March 1)
Prof. Tricia Rose joins Jennifer Granholm in "The War Room" to analyze the Blunt amendment and declares, "this is an absolute war on women's bodies."
- “She said, 'I leave it up to the government to make good decisions for America.' … What do you expect from a woman driver? I don't know why everybody was so shocked.” -- Rush Limbaugh on NASCAR driver Danica Patrick's support of the contraception mandate. (March 1)
- "We’re not talking about scientists. Ma’m we’re not talking about scientists here, we’re talking about religious belief." Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy (R), responding to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' explanation that the morning-after pill is not abortive. (March 1)
- The Georgia House passes a "fetal pain"-based bill banning abortion after 20 weeks. (March 1)
- "If a state required sterilization as a condition of citizenship, would you be required to do that on the federal level?" -- Texas Rep. Mike Burgess to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. (March 1)
- "So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here's the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex. We want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch." -- Rush Limbaugh (March 1)
- Louisiana Sen. David Vitter on contraception coverage: "It's about abortion, it's about abortion-inducing drugs ... it's about sterilization." (March 1)
- "I'm offering a compromise today. I will buy all of the women at Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as they want." -- Rush Limbaugh (March 1)
- "What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a Congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid for sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute." -- Rush Limbaugh (Feb. 29)
- Personhood Florida launched a two-year push to get a fetal personhood initiative on the ballot in 2014. (Feb. 29)
- "Well, I mean, this mandate has been justified on the basis of the fact that there’s health benefits to providing contraceptives. But the issue of health benefits is not the point. If the government mandated everything that had positive health benefits, it could possibly mandate that everyone drink red wine for heart health even though it violates the religious beliefs of Muslims and Mormons. And it could mandate that everyone eat shellfish even though that violates the religious beliefs of Jews." -- Asma Uddin, attorney with Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (Feb. 28)
- Alabama bill requires an ultrasound prior to an abortion Bright spot: It's changed to allow a choice of ultrasound methods. (Feb. 28)
- Colorado state Sen. Ted Harvey on a hospital dislosure bill: "This is religious bigotry, doesn’t matter how you look at it, and that is the way the Communist Vietnam government is." (Feb. 27)
- Pennsylvania ultrasound bill requires technicians give women personalized results and "strongly encourages" women to view the screen during the ultrasound. (Feb. 27)
- "How about we amend this bill to just put a big star, a big sign. To say this is the building we designated. Would that be appropriate? No. Neither is this bill." -- Colorado state Sen. Kevin Lundberg comparing a bill requiring religious hospitals to disclose services not performed to Nazi Germany. (Feb. 27)
- Wisconsin GOP attempts to repeal the Equal Pay Enforcement Act. (Feb. 24)
- Washington state Sen. Michael Baumgartner (a Republican) says U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (a Democrat) is unqualified to talk about contraception because she's an unmarried woman. (Feb. 24)
- The Virginia House of Delegates passes a bill that would define life as beginning at conception. (Feb. 23)
- "We can expect future mandates, under the guise of "health care," to include sex-change operations, late-term abortions, embryonic stem-cell use, and a variety of other procedures that many Americans do not support and certainly do not want to be compelled to foot the bill for. Obama’s mandate for abortifacient drugs opens a slippery slope that would erode the moral authority of religious institutions in America." -- conservative blogger Phyllis Schlafly (Feb. 22)
- A Congressional hearing on contraception won't be televised. (Feb. 22)
- "Abundant evidence proves that the agenda of Planned Parenthood includes sexualizing young girls through the Girl Scouts, which is quickly becoming a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood." -- Indiana state Rep. Bob Morris (Feb. 21)
- Proposed Arizona prenatal nondiscrimination act allows men to block abortions. (Feb. 20)
- "One of the mandates is they require free prenatal testing in every insurance policy in America. Why? Because it saves money in health care. Why? Because free prenatal testing ends up in more abortions and therefore less care that has to be done, because we cull the ranks of the disabled in our society" -- Rick Santorum (Feb. 19)
- "But it was one of those things where her story was compelling, but it wasn’t in any way related to the point of the stated reason for hearing." -- Rep Darrell Issa on not allowing Sandra Fluke to testify in a contraception hearing. (Feb. 17)
- Oklahoma Senate passes personhood bill saying life begins at conception. (Feb. 16)
- Virginia Del. David Englin (a Democrat) recalls a conversation with an unnamed GOP lawmaker regarding the transvaginal ultrasound bill, who told him women already made the choice to be "vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant." (Feb. 16)
- Oklahoma attempts to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. (Feb. 16)
- Rep. Darrell Issa's hearing on contraception coverage includes zero female witnesses, and several female legislators walk out in protest. (Feb. 16)
- "You know, back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly." -- Santorum backer Foster Friess (Feb. 16)
- A Texas law requiring mandatory ultrasounds goes into effect. (Feb. 16)
- "One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, 'Well, that’s okay. Contraception’s okay.' It's not okay." -- Rick Santorum (Feb. 14)
Irin Carmon of Salon on "Countdown" breaks down the GOP's emphasis on cultural warfare as part of its agenda.
- "Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one. The fact of the matter is, this is a trampling of religious freedom and religious liberty in this country." -- Georgia Rep. Tom Price on the mandate that contraception be covered by insurance at no additional charge (Feb. 10)
- "Interestingly enough, here is what they are forcing them to do — in an insurance policy, they or forcing them to pay for something that costs just a few dollars. Is that what insurance is for?" -- Rick Santorum on birth control (Feb. 10)
- Fox News' Greg Gutfeld claims contraception coverage for the poor amounts to "class warfare." (Feb. 8)
- "The feminists have so broadened the definition of domestic violence that it doesn't have to be violent and can usually be whatever a woman alleges." -- Phyllis Schlafly on the Violence Against Women Act (Feb. 7)
- Kansas offers a sweeping anti-abortion bill that would allow doctors to withhold information about birth defects, require women to hear a fetal heartbeat, and force doctors to inform women about a disproved link between breast cancer and abortions. (Feb. 6)
- The Susan G. Komen foundation pulls funding used for breast exams from Planned Parenthood, citing an investigation into the organization's funding. (Jan. 28)
Ana Kasparian on "The Young Turks" calls out an anti-abortion activist on his completely made-up statistics in regard to Planned Parenthood's revenue.
- Virginia state Rep. Dave Albo entertains the House floor with stories of his wife withholding sex over the ultrasound bill, and later sends a snarky email to an angry blogger who wrote about it. (Feb. 27)
- "I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you." -- Rick Santorum on pregnant rape victims (Jan. 23)
- A Federal judge rules Washington pharmicists cannot be required to dispense Plan B if they have a moral objection. (Feb. 22)
- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) approves language on a proposed personhood ballot initiative defining life as beginning at conception. (Jan. 5)
- "I would advocate that any doctor that performs an abortion should be criminally charged for doing so." -- Rick Santorum (Jan. 4)
- An Arkansas-based conservative group attempts to get a ballot initiative that would define life as starting at conception. (Bright spot: The state's Attorney General rejected the petition.) (Jan. 4)
- Rick Santorum declares that states should be allowed to outlaw birth control. (Jan. 3)
Finally, Jennifer Granholm challenges Republicans to get off of their "obsession (with) women and their bodies," and get back to discussion about jobs and the economy.
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