Everyone has been talking about Todd Akin’s concept of legitimate rape but if you really want to know about the legitimate rape of women’s rights then all you have to do is observe the voting record of the elected officials in the Congress. It’s been a banner year for the Congressional Conservative’s aim to push women’s rights in America back to the fifties with an average of more than one anti-women vote per week in the 112th congress according to a new report released today. The executive summary of a report prepared by U.S. House of Representative’s committee on Energy and commerce (minority staff) says the following:
The House of Representatives have voted repeatedly for an extreme anti-women agenda in the 112th Congress. Since January 2011, the Republican-controlled House has voted 55 times to undermine women’s health, roll back women’s rights, and defund programs and institutions that provide health care and support for women.House Republicans have voted to strip women of access to preventive health care and contraception, to eliminate federal support for reproductive and maternal care services, to cut funds for important nutrition programs for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and families, and to allow insurers to discriminate against women and charge them more than men for health insurance policies. They have voted against passing, improving, and funding important programs like the Violence against Women Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act. They have voted to end the basic guarantees that the Medicare and Medicaid programs provide to low-income women or women who are seniors. They have voted to increase the exposure of pregnant women and women of childbearing age to dangerous toxic chemicals. And they have voted numerous times to restrict women’s access to legal abortions.
The House of Representatives averaged one anti-women vote for every week that the House has been in session since Republicans took control in January 2011. Almost 5% of all House legislative floor votes since the beginning of 2011 have been anti-women votes. During these roll calls, 95% of Republican members voted for the position that was harmful to women, while 90% of Democratic members voted for the pro-women position.
This analysis, prepared at the request of Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman, Subcommittee on Health Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr., Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Ranking Member Anna G. Eshoo, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Ranking Member Diana DeGette, and Committee members Lois Capps, Jan Schakowsky, Tammy Baldwin, Doris O. Matsui, Donna Christensen, and Kathy Castor, provides a summary of the 55 times that House Republicans have voted against women in 2011 and 2012. Among these votes are:
• Seventeen votes to allow health insurance companies to discriminate against women by charging women higher premiums than men or denying women coverage based on “pre-existing conditions” like being pregnant.
• Eleven votes that cut women’s access to preventive care, including votes to repeal Affordable Care Act provisions that provide free preventive care for women and votes to eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which is used to support breastfeeding and immunizations and is budgeted to pay for breast and cervical cancer screenings for hundreds of thousands of women in 2013 and beyond.
Ten votes to restrict or roll back abortion rights or access to legal abortion, including votes to ban the use of federal funds to train medical students in the provision of abortions, votes to allow hospitals to deny emergency abortions to women’s whose lives are in jeopardy, and votes to prohibit the District of Columbia from using local funds to pay for abortions.
• Seven votes to cut funding for key nutrition programs for women, including votes for significant cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) that provides nutrition, food counseling, and support for more than nine million low-income pregnant women, new mothers, and infants each month.
• Six votes against protections for women from violence and discrimination, including votes against protecting the confidentiality of domestic violence victims, votes to oppose additional funding for grants under the Violence Against Women Act, and votes to place new restrictions on the citizenship rights of legal, foreign-born women who are victims of domestic violence.
• Three votes to block access to reproductive and maternal care services, including votes for a budget that prohibits funding of Planned Parenthood and eliminates funding for the Title X Family Planning Program, which provides family planning services for millions of low-income women every year.
• Three votes to undermine Medicare and Medicaid programs, including votes to end the basic Medicare guarantee and votes to turn Medicaid into a block grant, slash $800 billion in existing federal support for state Medicaid programs, and repeal $640 billion of new Medicaid funding from the Affordable Care Act over the next ten years.
• Fourteen votes to weaken environmental laws that protect pregnant women, including votes to block EPA regulations that would protect pregnant women and women of childbearing age from exposure to mercury, a potent neurotoxin that poses particular risks to the brain and nervous system of unborn children.