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Milbank writes: "March is federally recognized as Women's History Month, and Republicans have been celebrating the occasion in a most unusual style: with a burst of interest in women's private parts."

The debate over contraception has been terse in the run-up to the November 2012 election, but an amendment put forward by Republican Sen. Roy Blunt was defeated 51 votes to 48 in the chamber. (photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
The debate over contraception has been terse in the run-up to the November 2012 election, but an amendment put forward by Republican Sen. Roy Blunt was defeated 51 votes to 48 in the chamber. (photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)



The GOP's Vagina Monologue

By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post

05 March 12

 

n Thursday, the Senate took up an amendment proposed by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) that would allow employers to deny women birth-control coverage if the employer found contraception morally objectionable.

About 100 miles south of Washington on that same day, Virginia legislators passed a measure requiring a woman to be offered an ultrasound image of her fetus before aborting it. The legislation, which opponents say could also require some women who have miscarriages to be offered ultrasonic images of their dead fetuses, is the successor of a bill that would have required women to undergo an invasive "transvaginal ultrasound."

Still on Thursday, the industrious Virginia House of Delegates also approved legislation bestowing rights on people, including a father, to bring a lawsuit over the death of the fetus.

On Wednesday, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, a powerful influence among Republican lawmakers, described as a "slut" the law-school student invited by House Democrats to testify in support of birth control. "It makes her a prostitute," Limbaugh said of the woman, blocked last month by House Republicans from testifying on what became an all-male panel. "She wants to be paid to have sex."

On Tuesday, Oklahomans held a protest at the state capitol to oppose a bill, passed by the state Senate and now being taken up by the House, that would bestow "personhood" on fetuses - one of many such efforts across the nation. Democrat Judy McIntyre, one of just four women in the 48-member state Senate, was so upset that, according to the Oklahoman newspaper, she held a protest sign proclaiming: "If I wanted the government in my womb, I'd [expletive] a senator."

Democrats think they have a political winner in the Republicans' fascination with reproduction at a time when economic production is what voters have in mind. The party is raising money with a petition against the "Republican War on Women," and 11 Democratic women running for the U.S. Senate are using the occasion to launch a fundraising tour.

They are attempting to tie together everything from last year's effort to defund Planned Parenthood to the proposed repeal of Obamacare (which expanded coverage of mammography and birth control). And Obama campaign strategists tell me they are confident that the two leading Republican presidential candidates, a Mormon and a devout Catholic, will have difficulty beating the rap that the party is obsessed with reproduction.

Evidence that the Republicans realize they're in a pickle: Mitt Romney spontaneously flip-flopped on his initial opposition to the Blunt amendment, which would also provide employers with a moral opt-out from other elements of Obamacare. Romney first said that "questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a woman, husband and wife, I'm not going there." But he quickly reversed himself in favor of the amendment, aligning himself with Rick Santorum, who has voiced doubts about the constitutional protections for birth control.

More evidence: After championing the Blunt amendment, Republican leaders backed away from their demands for a vote on the provision. And Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), an early proponent of the amendment after hearing about the issue during a Catholic Mass, disappeared from the debate. So Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) wound up forcing a vote on the provision, which was narrowly defeated Thursday afternoon.

"Today, the Senate will vote on an extreme, ideological amendment to the bipartisan transportation bill," Reid said, kicking off Thursday's debate. "This amendment takes aim at women's access to health care."

The Republican Senate leader, Mitch McConnell (Ky.), made no mention of birth control in his reply, countering that "it is not within the power of the federal government to tell anybody what to believe, or to punish them for practicing those beliefs."

Most other Republicans followed McConnell's lead in avoiding mention of contraception. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (Utah), however, said the provision in the health-care law requiring preventive medical coverage for women is "questionable policy," and he accused the administration of "deferring to its feminist allies" by mandating contraceptive coverage.

After the amendment went down to defeat, its sponsor gave a General MacArthur. "I'm confident this issue is not over," Blunt said. "It won't be over until the administration figures out how to accommodate people's religious views as it relates to these new mandates."

The monologue will continue.

 

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+38 # mishanti2 2012-03-05 16:37
I know...if it is against your religion to use bieth control then DON'T!!!!
 
 
+17 # Barkingcarpet 2012-03-05 21:20
In any erection, presidential, senate, congress, nine out of ten men who try camels, prefer women.

For most men, it is about the private parts....

Sex, sex, and more sex, and who should give a F about anybody else's or who or how they do it.

Private parts, are private.
Leave em that way.

That, and set em free.
Politics is simple folks, boot all the loonies.

Let's take our whirled back.
We ARE the power.
 
 
+4 # portiz 2012-03-06 09:50
I think it's time for Dems to 'spin' the news the way the GOP does. I'd love to see this press release:
"HEADLINE: Santorum Encourages Teens to Engage in Sodomy
BODY: At the behest of conservative puppeteer Limbaugh, GOP Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has repeatedly stated that birth control is immoral and should not be supported. Since it is well known that abstinence is not a reasonable expectation, one can only conclude that Santorum is encouraging high school and college students to engage in "non-reproducti ve sexual activity", that is, sodomy. Reached for comment, SADS [Students Against Drunken Sodomy] national chairperson Ben Dover stated, "We appreciate that Candidate Santorum has acknowledged that us kids are going to do 'it', and it's wonderful that he's encouraging us to take it out of the back-seat of our parents' cars, and instead do it on a national stage. We remain unsure if Mr. Limbaugh will expect us to share video... because, I'm not sure we'd be comfortable with that."
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2012-03-07 06:34
You just put more work into that bit of satire than the AP puts into articles it considers "serious".
 
 
+26 # Willman 2012-03-05 16:56
I guess the government laws removing the right to polygamy will be repealed as that is an infraction on their religious beliefs.
 
 
+16 # Rick Levy 2012-03-05 17:27
"On Thursday, the Senate took up an amendment proposed by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) that would allow employers to deny women birth-control coverage if the employer found contraception morally objectionable."

Retiring Senator Olympia was the only Republican to vote against this bill.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57388641-503544/senate-strikes-down-blunt-amendment-on-contraception-rule/

I recall a recent article that said there are five women Republicans in the U.S.Senate So that means the other four voted FOR the Blunt Amendment.

So if the "The GOP's Vagina Monologue"s point that there is a "war on women", note that not all the warriors are male.
 
 
+11 # angelfish 2012-03-06 06:15
Quoting Rick Levy:
"On Thursday, the Senate took up an amendment proposed by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) that would allow employers to deny women birth-control coverage if the employer found contraception morally objectionable."

Retiring Senator Olympia was the only Republican to vote against this bill.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57388641-503544/senate-strikes-down-blunt-amendment-on-contraception-rule/

I recall a recent article that said there are five women Republicans in the U.S.Senate So that means the other four voted FOR the Blunt Amendment.

So if the "The GOP's Vagina Monologue"s point that there is a "war on women", note that not all the warriors are male.

Of COURSE not all the warriors are male! Any woman who is a ReTHUGlican is intellectually challenged and has been indoctrinated, either by her Father before her, or her Husband. These poor souls are unable to think for themselves and follow the herd. It's a survival instinct that is involuntarily activated when they feel threatened.
 
 
+28 # bluepilgrim 2012-03-05 18:05
Republicans are now complete fruitcakes -- totally over the edge. In a sane society the election would be between Democrats, Socialists, Greens, and various independents. Sadly, this society, as a whole, can not be characterized as sane. (Maybe it's never recovetred from Bush and Paul Levy is correct in his diagnosis of 'malignant egophrenia' http://baltimorechronicle.com/011305PaulLevy.html .) We are living in a loony bin.
 
 
+7 # barbaratodish 2012-03-05 19:28
Quote:"On Wednesday, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, a powerful influence among Republican lawmakers, described as a "slut" the law-school student invited by House Democrats to testify in support of birth control. "It makes her a prostitute," Limbaugh said of the woman, blocked last month by House Republicans from testifying on what became an all-male panel. "She wants to be paid to have sex."
Get it right Limbaugh!Everyo ne knows that women who are paid to have sex are called sex-workers or "the girl friend experience! lol
Prostitute associations hate the term sex work! Their spokespersons have problems with the term sex worker because they maintain that sex is not work! Sex worker associations resent anyone who identitifies themself openly as having had sex work experience. They say it is inviting danger, that it is best, in their opinion, to be hidden and defensive! How can we expect those in media to communicate rationally, when so few people comprehend that sexuality can be limitless instead of fascist fetishization? Instead of media types, like Limbaugh seeing sexuality as an EXPRESSION of intimacy, they settle for their view of seeing sexuality as an IMPRESSION of force.
 
 
+38 # Susan1989 2012-03-05 21:46
Because of their reproductive capacity, women's health issues are divergently different from that of men. A century ago women were slaves to childbearing, and many of them died prematurely as a result of serial pregnancies. There is something highly destructive in Christian culture which feels that if women do not remain chaste, then they get what they deserve--which is to receive the punishment of pregnancy. In essence, without realizing it, men throughout the centuries have maintained their privileged status by exploiting the female's inherent vulnurability in this area. White males are replaying this drama in modern times in a last gasp attempt to maintain their supremacy and control. This issue is not about religion, but about control, and our conservative friends will fail dismally. If you look closely, you will note that at the heart of all conservative agendas is the intention to oppress anything that threatens the "old guard" power structure.
 
 
+16 # RLF 2012-03-06 06:01
Fundamentalists the world over have this point in common...that is...they are afraid of women having any power. Doesn't matter if they are Christian, Muslim, or Jewish...(don't know about the others).
 
 
+5 # Rita Walpole Ague 2012-03-06 07:45
Take off the blinders, folks. This attack on women and women's reproductive rights is Karlroving MSD (manipulation, spin, distractio) and dirty trickery of we the sheeple at it's best. Far more attention getting than all the 'mess' media's overcoverage of Greed Old Party caucus caca.

The Bushwhacking-Ko chsucking greed and power addicted villainaire 1%ers cannot have we the sheeple learning about more war acomin', total loss of rule of law and liberty of justice for all through Obama's signing onto vs. vetoing this year's NDAA, National Defense Authorization Act, with its loose as a goose wording in Section 1021, allowing arrest of any citizen here in the U.S. or across the world by the military for suspected support of terrorists (i.e. interviewing all sides a la good journalism, outing govt. corruption a la Pentagon Papers, Wikileaks, etc.). Then off to Gauntanamo style jail you go, indefinitely, with no due process, charges, etc.. Google: Hedges, et. al. v. Obama and Panetta

Karlrove us they do, to keep us from realizing and recognizing the coup d'etat that a pres. named Ike warned us was coming in his military/indust rial power grab comment he made as he left office.

POLICE STATE AIN'T GREAT!!!
 
 
+7 # tbcrawford 2012-03-06 08:55
Roy Blunt is a dirty old man! No other conclusion possible. The mentality of the entire debate is deplorable and if people want a religious tyranny, just come out and say so. Pursue the idea that a few cells are a person (just like a corporation!) to a final conclusion: deny birth control, family planning and all pregnant women will die if they don't want more children. Soon most of our breeding stock will be gone. Oh I forgot, we could genetically engineer designer kids!
 
 
+5 # jack406 2012-03-06 11:02
You mentioned the attempt to defund Planned Parenthood. When the Susan G. Komen foundation turned hard to the Republican Tea Party Right and stopped providing any of their donations to Planned Parenthood, they ignited a firestorm of protest across the nation. The Komen Foundation will probably never recover.
Neither will the Republican Party as long as the loons are in charge. They could lose big in November.
 
 
+4 # fishmother 2012-03-06 13:10
Perhaps it would do republicans some good to actually view Eve Ensler's ground breaking play "The Vagina Monologues." It might put this conversation back were it belongs. It should be a conversation by women about how to best serve our reproductive rights, not the prevue of a panel of republican men and Rush Limbaugh. I am pleased to say that I produced three major benefits for V-Day, which is an NGO working to end Violence Against Woman worldwide that uses Ensler’s play to raise awareness and funds to that end. It's sad to think that in this day and age, that one of the two U.S. political parties stands as a throwback when it comes to women's rights. Perhaps we women should organize a Lysistrata campaign and stick with it until insurance companies either cater to women’s needs or stop catering to men by paying for Viagra.
 

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