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“New Life” Trumps “Existing Life” in the Modern Republican Party

1:06 pm in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Carole Joffe for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

“I believe that if you have to choose between new life and existing life, you should choose new life. The person who has had an opportunity to live at least has been given that gift by God and should make way for new life on earth.”

These are the words of the late Paul Weyrich, one of the founders of the conservative Heritage Foundation and a driving force behind the creation of the movement we know today as the Religious Right. As the above quote implies, Weyrich had no patience for those in anti-choice circles who advocated for an abortion exception when the life of the pregnant woman was threatened.

This sentiment, voiced by Weyrich in 1984, has never entirely disappeared from some sectors of the anti-choice movement, though for quite some time, it was not a position widely spoken of. This is hardly surprising given that a huge majority of Americans support access to abortion in life-threatening situations.

However, the Republican Party’s official platform is one place where the absolute ban on any exceptions, including one to save a woman’s life, is retained.

 

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Paul Ryan Pick Presents Unique Conundrum for Republican Women Voters

10:41 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Rebecca Sive for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan (Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flick)

Reports on women’s reasons for choosing public office are replete with data supporting the fact that these women, regardless of political party affiliation, are motivated to seek office by their desire to improve the lives of women and children. There are also occasions when women-electeds join hands across the political aisle to support a women’s cause, albeit usually of the “motherhood and apple pie” sort.

And women of every political stripe share that “girl power” bond so evident during the last couple weeks when America’s women Olympians were proving girl power to the right and to the left, literally. Regardless of political party affiliation we whooped and hollered; we didn’t know the athletes’ political views, but it didn’t matter. Knowing the desire and will of Gabby and Missy and Allyson and their team mates to assert their girl power was sufficient to being supportive.

Yet, while American women of differing political views share so many fundamental beliefs about the power (and virtue) of women, Republican and Democratic women officeholders increasingly differ in their approach to policy issues affecting women. The recent fight over re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and Republican women Member votes against the Paycheck Fairness Act are just two proof points.

Further proof came in the formation earlier this year of the Women’s Policy Committee by a group of Republican women Members. Alas, according to the Center for American Progress, these women are united in “…their legislative opposition to women’s rights…” including the fact that, as rated by Planned Parenthood:  ”20 of the 24…women earned a zero score, voting against reproductive health at every opportunity. The average score for the women was under 6 percent.”

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