In this upcoming election, one of the most common statements made is that the Republican Party is waging a “war on women.” This phrase has been used most frequently in the debate on abortion and contraception in the U.S. Just this week, “the war on women” conversation was revived once again, due to Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s comments about the legality of abortion in the case of rape. Mourdock stated that “Life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
Mourdock later apologized (or did he?) for his comments, but Democrats still eagerly jumped to paint the candidate– and the rest of the Republican Party– as ignorant conservatives.
Mourdock’s comments were obviously inappropriate and ignorant, but they’ve helped to raise a prominent question: is “the war on women” really a war on women? Or is it actually a war on the unborn child?
The Democratic Party and liberals believe that this war is indeed directly aimed at denigrating women at large, and argue that the right to abortion is a woman’s right to her body. Most articles written about abortion in the liberal news media, such as the New York Times and Time Magazine, mention the “war on women.” The Huffington Post has even gone so far as to have a playlist entitled “The War on Women,” with tracks such as “99 Problems” and “Butterfly Fly Away.”
The Republican Party and conservatives tend to believe that they aren’t waging a war at all, but rather that their opposition is waging a war on the unborn child. Many Republicans and social conservatives insist that they are fighting for the unborn child rather than directly attacking the women who are, or will be, carrying one of these unborn children. Some Republicans also insist that “the war on women” is sexist fiction contrived by Democrats as party propaganda.
So does “the war on women” really exist? And if so, is it really a “war on women?” I have to say that, yes, the “war on women” exists, but not in my state. I live in New York, a historically liberal state, and there aren’t particularly strict abortion laws or politicians who make rape comments on a frequent basis. But there are states where both events happen frequently, and I find it hard to believe that most women in those states are happy to hear that their representatives believe that rape is intended by God. I also find it hard to believe that women in Virginia who wanted, or needed, an abortion were happy with being forced to get a trans-vaginal ultrasound before they could have an abortion before this bill was repealed. I’ll admit that the Republican party has a decent point when they say that a war is being waged on the unborn child. But I also have problem with the fact that they’re more concerned with a war waged on a person who isn’t alive than they are about a war on their current citizens.
It’s true that the “war on women” will someday come to an end. But if politicians keep making ignorant comments and attempting to pass what a Nebraska judge called “Draconian” abortion restrictions, it’s going to be a long time before we see that day.