Republican Candidates Care About Privacy, Just Not Yours.

“We are seeing a Republican primary that is absolutely a race to the bottom for women, where they are trying to outdo themselves on who would be the worst president for women.”- Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood

Unless you have lived under a rock for the past few years, you’re more than likely to be aware of the maneuvers most conservative candidates will pull to ensure a couple of votes. While stunts usually shift in cultural fashion over the years, one issue always remains in the spotlight of these campaign promises: the hopeful overturn and restriction of Roe v. Wade.

Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul. Bringing old white guy justice to your town since the world began. Image copyright of the Associated Press.

The Roe v. Wade debate has been raging since the ’80s, when Reagan began a crusade on the legislation, backed by religious groups, as well the nation’s already growing hatred of the newly-christened pariahs, “welfare queens.” Conservatives have always used the hot button issue in reactionary politics, relying on securing votes and support through moral based policy, racing to find the loudest way to advance their opposition.

However, with the new election year comes a new stance on privacy and access; moreover, reproductive privacy and access. Instead of the normal targeting of just Roe v. Wade, candidates like Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have recently begun campaigning against birth control access by expressing support for a state’s right to decide whether or not birth control is an option. Ron Paul, patron saint to libertarians everywhere, is a fierce opponent to reproductive healthcare stating that “as a man of faith committed to protecting life” he considers it the “the most important issue of our age.Rick Perry has described his vehement opposition to those seeking an abortion even in cases of rape or incest, and Mitt Romney went so far as to write an editorial for USA Today promising that, if elected, he would tackle the debt by cutting Title X funding for family planning groups (listed as abortion groups, even though H.R.3. prohibits funding for abortion), eradicating services for an estimated 5 million peoplea position that’s strangely convenient, considering his stance in the not too distant past.

While these could be considered extreme views by even centrist Republicans, they are effectively being used by frontrunners to ensure the votes of the extreme right, and also not a rarity among any of the current candidates (almost all GOP nominees signed the major anti-abortion pledge, the Personhood Republican Presidential Candidate Pledge). Rachel Maddow echoed this fact, when on Monday evening, she expressed her own concern over the growing attacks on reproductive health:

 “What is most remarkable about this year’s Republican presidential field is this thing of opposing popular forms of birth control is the majority position among the entire field of candidates.”

For embracing a political system that values privacy and personal ownership, the GOP lineup seems more interested in expressing extreme moral disapproval dashed with a return to “the good old days,” the ones where there was no such thing as access to a “safe” abortion or birth control was inaccessible. You know, when spitting out babies was the only purpose of many (unless you were considered “deviant,” “promiscuous,” or “at-risk,” in which case, you were forcibly sterilized).

The rise in 2011 Restrictions. Image and figures copyright of the Guttmacher Institute.

Even more concerning is that this platform comes fresh off a year where 1,100 pieces of legislature were introduced by 50 states to counter the legality of Roe v. Wade. The Guttmacher Institute reported that:

“¦135 of these provisions had been enacted in 36 states, an increase from the 89 enacted in 2010 and the 77 enacted in 2009. (Note: This analysis refers to reproductive health and rights-related “provisions,” rather than bills or laws, since bills introduced and eventually enacted in the states contain multiple relevant provisions.

Fully 68% of these new provisions – 92 in 24 states – restrict access to abortion services, a striking increase from last year, when 26% of new provisions restricted abortion. The 92 new abortion restrictions enacted in 2011 shattered the previous record of 34 adopted in 2005.

In a recent press e-mail, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, aptly stated that the extreme measures suggested by the candidates would not only be harmful, but that:

“the majority of voters are going to be women. And they are going to be paying attention to how candidates stand on women’s health issues”¦ Republican women who support Planned Parenthood are very, very disturbed about the extreme nature of the Republican primary, and wondering where they are going to go.”

One has to admit that these days, anyone who has ever needed an abortion, Plan B, or birth control, are finding themselves being either coddled or slighted at every angle. Reproductive healthcare and all its entitlements are a hot election chip, with many barreling down on who can present the most conservative platform on what’s the best decision between you and your doctor. While there is a stark difference between Obama’s seemingly passive stance on the recent Plan B decision and Romney’s all out suggestion of letting states decide whether or not birth control can even be accessible, one thing is for certain: there is no such thing as privacy when making a reproductive health decision. Even now, if we travel to the safest of clinics, the most liberal of health care providers or pharmacists, our decisions are still under scrutiny, up for question, or not even possible.

So until reproductive healthcare exists no longer as bonus points for elections, there is no such thing as privacy. That’s something that’s only available to GOP nominees and corporations.

15 thoughts on “Republican Candidates Care About Privacy, Just Not Yours.”

  1. One thing I never understood about Republican politics is the contradiction between the its social platform and reproductive rights.  Republicans want to reduce social support programs, but by restricting or denying birth control or abortion, they will be forcing an increase in the population that would need social support programs.  Let’s face it, if abortion and birth control were both made illegal or unavailable, the rich would still be able to afford illegal or under-the-table access.  It would be poor women who would be saddled with unwanted pregnancies.  The increase in the poor population caused by lack of access to birth control or abortion would cause and increase in social support spending.  Are Republicans idiots that just don’t get this?

    1. Yes. And I’ve tried explaining it to Republicans in real life, and they do not comprehend. “If you make it so women (especially lower-income women) have more babies (by removing access to birth control and abortions), there will be many many more children in lower-income families who will need social services, which will come out of your taxes.” They do not get it.

    2. I think the lawmakers get it entirely. They are creating an underclass; creating cannon fodder for the myriad of wars that the usanian powers that be overwhelmingly profit on.

      As a young person reaching adulthood in the US with no financial options, a tremendous shame of receiving government aid, many opt to join the armed forces. Guaranteed paycheque, benefits, family benefits etc…

      They’re feeding the war machine.

  2. I hate everything that opposes a womans right to reproructive freedom so this really just makes me angry. Taking away abortion and birth control options sends a message that women aren’t smart enough to make their own decisions. The fact that these candidates are all so opposed to reproductive freedome is a huge blow to women’s rights and its astonishing how retrograde these ideas and candidates are.

  3. Every time I see a woman, or someone who is a racial or religious minority, or someone who is LBGT, or someone who is unemployed, or struggling to make ends meet, voice support of a Republican candidate, I cringe. These people hate us. They think we are less than, and that we should be ignored or cast aside. I cannot reconcile anyone other than wealthy white men supporting Republican candidates.

    1. My stepmother is a virulent Republican that hates social programs and Obama, and did actually say at Christmas that ‘unqualified’ voters voted for him just because he was black.

      However, last month, when her son needed to go into in-patient rehab, he was able to because it was the first year her insurance would cover children up to 26. So when she was saying ‘thank god the insurance changed this year’, I totally told her she could go thank Obama care, and maybe she should rethink her support of people who were trying to repeal it. She did stutter a bit before agreeing with me.

      People don’t vote for where they are in life; they vote for where they aspire to be. (Rich, powerful people who don’t have to worry about social issues.)

      1. Thank you, my mother is a prime example of a voter who votes according to her aspirations.

        Even though she was a single mother immigrant, all of our liberal programs (many of which she depended on for almost a decade while raising my siblings and me) are evil and akin to the communists who stole her parents’ estate in Southeast Asia.

        It saddens me that she would vote for people who would have not thought twice about denying her aid 30 years and wouldn’t have cared if a vulnerable woman was on the street with three little girls.

      2. People don’t vote for where they are in life; they vote for where they aspire to be.

        This really struck me – it’s so alien to me. I wonder if anyone has done any cross-cultural, international comparisons of voter attitudes and patterns, because that one seems like something that’s very USian to this Irish woman.


        1. I’m sure there has — I’ll look it up later. But I do think its something very tied to the American idea of bootstrapping. We can all become rich and famous if we work hard, we’re all exceptional, etc, etc. Its a culture that isn’t very focused towards the good of the group, but the illusion of freedom of the individual. I think its become more prevalent with the death of unions — you no longer have a working class that is united by the idea of banding together to ensure good working conditions and fair wages for everyone.

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