It is by now beyond apparent that Republicans hate women. They believe women to be lying, deceitful and slutty drains on the economy because outside of a proper Christian marriage they have a proclivity for screwing and then demanding abortions on the federal or state dime. Oh, and they also don't deserve decent health care.
How else to account for the latest GOP-perpetrated outrage: A Democratic-led effort in Indiana to add a rider exempting women who are raped or victims of incest from a bill that would make most abortions illegal after 20 weeks got this response from Republicans: The exemption is "a giant loophole" because, as one self righteous male legislator declared, women "could simply say they've been raped."
Let that concept sink in for a moment: These haters actually believe that a woman will falsely say that she was raped in a dark alley or knocked up by an uncle in order to get a free abortion. The perversity of this notion is . . . well, pornographic.
The dust-up in the Hoosier State comes hard on the heels of legislation in the House introduced by Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey that could accurately be called The Defense of Rape Law.
The bill would make permanent the 35-year-old Hyde Amendment, which prohibits health-care programs like Medicaid from covering abortions except in cases of rape, incest and danger to the mother's life. It also would prohibit employers and self-insured Americans from using tax breaks to buy private health insurance that covers abortion.
Where H.R. 3 goes -- or rather went -- completely off the rails was in redefining what constitutes forcible rape, and allowing an exemption to the law only in the case of incest involving minors. Women who were forced to have sex against their wishes and became pregnant were screwed. Women who were drugged before sex and became pregnant were screwed. Women whose health was in danger and became pregnant were screwed. Women who were mentally retarded and became pregnant were screwed.
The forcible rape definition has been somewhat watered down, but the bill is alive and kicking. So is H.R. 1, the first piece of legislation introduced in the new Republican-majority House. It would repeal the Affordable Care Act, which among other things prohibits insurance companies from charging women more because of their gender and prohibits them from denying insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition such as a Caesarean section or because a woman is a victim of domestic violence.
Meanwhile, initiatives to punish rape victims are making their way through legislatures in Texas and Ohio, while a bill in the South Dakota legislature as introduced would consider murdering an abortion provider to be a justifiable homicide. It was later tabled.
It is my own belief that women and not government, let alone hair-on-fire Christian zealots, are in charge of their own bodies, something that I understood early on because of a mother who, while not exactly a women's libber, believed in equality between the sexes. That belief became deeply rooted through decades of social, personal and sometimes intimate relationships with women who have come from the proverbial All Walks of Life, wherever that is.
I understand that there are people whose faiths consider having an abortion, let alone engaging in non-marital and extra-marital sex, to be sinful. Then there are faiths who pile on further by considering women to be second-rate creatures whose place is in the home.
But I also understand that the further up the Republican food chain one goes, there is less support for draconian measures like those being pushed in the House and in conservative state capitals. This is because pols with a national perspective -- including those who would like to reclaim the White House sooner rather than later -- understand that many women, including those all-important independent women, are less likely vote for candidates representing a party that openly declares its hatred for them.
Finally, a little perspective: Republicans want no controls on banksters and other lenders who visit miseries on middle-class and poor American families through predatory lending practices. I can only imagine that an accidental -- and because of tough economic circumstances -- unwanted pregnancy may pale in comparison to having your family home foreclosed, yet today's Republican Party will go to obscene ends to deny a woman an abortion while doing nothing whatsoever to save her family home.
IMAGE: "The Rape" by Darwin Leon