Michigan’s War on Women

Michigan Republicans have once again shown that the War on Women is real. The GOP can deny these tactics all they want but the proof is in the legislation they are writing and passing in GOP controlled legislatures across the country.

On Wednesday Michigan lawmakers passed a law in both congressional bodies that prevents insurance coverage of abortions and essentially states that if a woman is raped she has to buy a separate insurance policy.

“Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed an earlier version of the bill last year. “I don’t believe it is appropriate to tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rape that she needed to select elective insurance coverage, and, as a practical matter, I believe this type of policy is an overreach of government into the private market,” he said.” [1]

This piece of legislation was resurrected by the all-to-well-known Right To Life Group of Michigan.

“But Right to Life of Michigan re-introduced the bill through a citizen’s petition, which in Michigan can become law through the legislature without the governor’s signature. Democrats opposing the bill had argued that the petition signers made up only 4% of the state’s voters and that the issue should be put to a state-wide referendum.”[2]

This type of governmental over-reach is beyond disturbing and once again shows that the agenda of the Republic Party and the Religious Rights is to erode the rights of women in this country and to continue to perpetrate this War on Women without regard to the Constitutional protections afforded to American women. In all likelihood this law will find its day in court and most likely will be overturned, but at what expense to the citizens of Michigan a state where the recession has been especially hard hitting. The GOP and the Religious Rights have no concern whatsoever for the financial impact to the states in which these laws that limit women’s access to a constitutionally protected medical procedure. It is obvious they have no concern for the women themselves.

The Religious Right have inserted their dogma into most every aspect of our government with no regard into another Constitutional protection, the separation of church and state. We all know however when and if the government attempts to set limits on religious activity in this country then that same Religious Right gets up in arms shouting from the rooftop that their religious freedom is being infringed upon. While the Constitution states that the State cannot dictate religious tenets to the citizens of this country when is the Supreme Court going to protect the American people from the Religious Zealots known as the Right to Life groups as well as many others.

I have never had to have an abortion, but I am a rape survivor and if I had become pregnant as a result of that rape I surely would have exercised my right to have an abortion. I cannot imagine what it is like for those rape survivors who have become pregnant or for those women who have to make the difficult decision to have an abortion. Here’s the thing about the having to the right to have an abortion in this country – it is NO ONE’s business. That is something that the GOP and the Religious Right don’t seem to understand.

They have determined that women’s bodies are no more than incubators and as such have no rights while the fetus inside who cannot survive without being in the woman’s body has more rights and protection. If this isn’t a War on Women then I don’t know what is.

It is one thing to have a fervor religious belief in which you are against abortion, that is your right, but it is quite another to dictate what a woman’s insurance plan will cover. I always find it interesting that none of these proposed bills ever have any type of restrictions placed on men. Not only are laws like this intruding on a woman’s right to privacy or protecting them from state mandated religious dogma it is gender discrimination at its finest.

One of the benefits of the ACA has been to eliminate the gender discrimination that insurance companies have perpetrated onto women for years. Women have paid higher rates of insurance for decades due to the fact that we are the ones who give birth as well as the main ones responsible for preventing pregnancy. Even the use of birth control pills though does not eliminate the need for access to abortion for women. There are a myriad of reasons that women seek abortion and once again it is no one else’s business.

Here’s the thing about the GOP War on Women – they write laws to eliminate abortion, or make it difficult enough for women to access that it might as well be illegal. They write laws like this one in Michigan that prevent women’s PRIVATE insurance policies from covering this medical procedure. They write laws to restrict coverage of birth control. They write laws to cut food stamps that feed children in need or cut WIC which provides supplemental food and even baby formula and food for poor children. They write laws to cut early childhood education in programs like Head Start. The GOP has no concern for women and honestly have no concern for the fetuses they are supposedly fighting to protect either, as evident from their lack of concern for providing medical care for expectant mothers, food for children, and education for children.

So what is it they are trying to protect? I say they are only working to instill their religious dogma into government and nothing more. If they truly cared about LIFE then they would actually pass laws that show it. Until the GOP stops discriminating against women and women’s healthcare this War will never be over and until then women of this country will continue to fight them.

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