By N Oji Mzilikazi
20 February 2016
The fight by women for rights and gender equality has been an extremely long and slow struggle – and still continues to be. And while we in the West take pride in our democratic principles, highly tout and value our many freedoms, there is not a country in the world where women are not oppressed, disadvantaged and face “glass ceilings.”
Increasingly, women’s gains and women rights are under siege by patriarchies rooted in the past; males that long for the glory days when women were chattel, women “knew their place,” and men had territorial rights over a woman’s body. To that end, they seek refuge in religious dogma and use the same as authority and divine justification.
In America, the Republican Party, its slate of elected law makers and their presidential candidates are foremost in the charge to reverse women’s hard won reproductive rights.
So myopic — and desperate are Republicans to uphold their anti-abortion ideology, they willingly and gladly spread half-truths, engage in in deliberate contextual misrepresentation, make false associations, abandon facts, reason, as well as common sense to advance their cause.
Disingenuously, maliciously and slanderously, New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential contender Chris Christie said that Planned Parenthood “engages in the systematic murder of children in the womb, in order to maximize the value of their body parts for sale on the open market.”
To raise funds and find favour with the electorate, Carly Fiorina, the only female Republican candidate for the White House deliberately misrepresented the images and descriptions in an anti-abortion video.
The video used “images and videos spliced from unrelated events, one of which depicts a miscarriage not an abortion.” Still, Fiorina “dares” Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and others to watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.
Texas Republican assemblywoman Shannon Grove attributed rain falling on drought-stricken Texas to the abortion restrictions signed by the governor.
Sheila Butt, Republican floor leader in the Tennessee House of Representatives blocked an amendment to an anti-abortion bill that would have created an exemption for victims of rape and incest, by asserting of all things, such cases are too difficult to confirm. Really?
A female articulating such speaks volumes about the depth of indoctrination as well as internalization of Republican anti-abortion ideology.
The extremism and idiocy over abortion is such, Kenlissia Jones, 23, of Albany, Georgia was arrested and jailed on murder charge for taking abortion pills to terminate her pregnancy.
Florida Senator and Republican presidential contender Marco Rubio is an extremely proud anti-abortion hardliner. He believes there should not be exceptions for rape or incest and is willing to lose the election/votes for his stance.
Eight days before the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado that killed three persons and wounded nine others, Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz hailed an anti-abortion extremist who wants abortion providers executed.
Kentucky Senator and Republican presidential contender Rand Paul opposition and hatred of abortion is such, he stated in a January 2016 GOP presidential debate, “The more states that make abortion illegal, the better.”
As detailed recently in Mic, “The majority of low-income women consider family planning centers like Planned Parenthood their primary healthcare provider.” Yet, as far as Republicans are concerned, Planned Parenthood is a bastion of evil that must be totally eradicated.
Chris Christie boasted about having vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times out of the New Jersey budget. In Jeb Bush first year as Florida governor, the Republican presidential contender signed a law creating a “Choose Life” license plate.
Rick Allgeyer, director of research at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission co-authored a study suggesting that cuts to Planned Parenthood are restricting access to women’s health care statewide.
The backlash from Republican leaders was immediate. Republican state Senator Jane Nelson, an architect of Texas’ current women’s health program dismissed the findings as biased and invalid.
If Republicans have their way, they would strip all funding from Planned Parenthood.
Republicans hate Planned Parenthood, Republicans hate women.