Opinion

If you're anti-abortion, you're anti-woman, or something

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Abortion,Ashe Schow,War on Women,Race and Diversity,Gender Issues,Income Inequality,Feminism,Terri Lynn Land

Unless you support liberal policies like abortion-on-demand, you hate women. That's according to Lauren Rankin, a feminist writing for Talking Points Memo.

Because as we all know, there’s no such thing as a pro-life woman, and should feminists find one, well, that one just hates her own gender.

Rankin first mischaracterizes the GOP's response to the “war on women” claim being made by the Left -- by saying the GOP is simply saying, “We're women and we're Republicans; therefore there is no Republican war on women.”

Rankin's evidence of this response is from Republican Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land in Michigan. Land points out the absurdity of her male opponent, Gary Peters, claiming that Land, as a woman, is waging a war on women and says at the end of the ad that she “might know a little more about women than Gary Peters.”

The Left, including those like Rankin, have then mischaracterized Land’s words as meaning “she better understands and represents women.” No, she’s saying she understands women; her whole campaign (and Peters’) is about representing the people of Michigan — women and men.

The Left’s claims that women who oppose liberal policies are anti-woman are similar to their claims that any black person who espouses a different viewpoint is an ‘Uncle Tom.’ It’s not true in either case.

Rankin’s follow-up evidence of Land’s anti-woman stances is a list of items liberals favor and Land opposes, most notably abortion.

Forget the fact that there are women who support what Land supports, she’s still anti-woman.

Because, as the Left makes clear it believes, all women who aren't liberal aren’t thinking for themselves. Now that’s not sexist at all.

Rankin makes sure to characterize everything in her piece she opposes with adjectives like “egregious,” “incredibly draconian,” “cruel” and “paternalistic.” Except when you step back from the overtly biased wording, you’ll see that most of what Rankin opposes isn’t that extreme — which is why she needed the adjectives.

For instance, the “egregious law” passed by the Michigan legislature in 2013 doesn't so much “ban” this and “force” that as it enacts a law based on a provision included in Obamacare (which was passed by Democrats, in case you needed the reminder).

That provision “explicitly allows states to pass a law to ban abortion coverage in any exchange established in the state.”

Now, the Michigan law, called the “Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act,” goes a step further and excludes standard abortion coverage from private and public health insurance plans in the state, which is why Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed the legislation in 2012. But the bill was passed with the help of two Democrats and the state's lone independent.

Really, the bill means that employees -- including men -- don't have to pay higher health premiums for abortion coverage. Now, I'll agree that the bill probably should have included exceptions for rape and incest, but given that just 3.3 percent of Michigan abortions in 2012 were covered by insurance, the bill doesn't affect many people and is far from a “war.”

But Rankin uses this bill to prove that Land is anti-woman. Why? Because Land was apparently too silent for Rankin’s liking, even though she wasn't a member of the legislature. Really it just means that Land didn’t give the answer Rankin wanted.

Further, Rankin reminds readers that Land is “vehemently anti-choice,” and as proof, a broken link to a Politico article is offered. After finding a working link, it's clear there's nothing “vehement” about Land's abortion stand. She didn't mention an exception for rape or incest, and instead of stepping into the fray of the Opt-Out Act, she said “government shouldn't pay for abortions.”

The Left attacks Republicans for everything they say about abortions, so staying out of the fight and not making it central to a campaign is smart politics — especially when the candidate isn’t running on abortion.

Rankin then casts aside Land's positions based solely on the fact that they don't line up with liberal dogma. Rankin claims that Land's position on equal pay doesn't line up with her rhetoric -- she doesn't mention what Land actually did for equal pay.

Because Land implemented policies that allowed for flexible working hours for mothers, she’s anti-woman — she should have pushed for a new law to work on top of an existing law that would make it easier for women to sue their employers. Note that making it easier “to sue” is not the same as making it easier “to win.”

Rankin's other example to show the GOP is anti-woman is Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin. Rankin begins by listing things Fallin did that aren't specific to women's rights, such as Fallin's ban on spousal benefits for soldiers in the Oklahoma National Guard (could be argued as anti-woman but it was really a move to disallow spousal benefits for same-sex couples). What Fallin did there may be wrong, but Rankin's next examples are that Fallin's state that just botched a lethal injection and that she signed a ban on a minimum wage increase.

Specifically on women’s issues, Rankin claims Fallin is “abysmal,” because Fallin voted against a supposed "equal pay" bill that actually just made it easier for women to sue their employers. Laws like this don’t actually create equal pay, they just create frivolous lawsuits that get tied up in court (which can get expensive for the women involved).

Fallin's other crime is signing some “incredibly draconian anti-abortion legislation.” Really, the bills Fallin signed would ban second-trimester abortions (which a large majority of Americans believe should be illegal), ban abortion-inducing drugs after seven weeks into the pregnancy, inform women of a perinatal hospital option and require women to provide informed consent 24 hours before an abortion.

Really radical stuff, considering that many Americans share those beliefs.

Rankin’s whole argument boils down to “the GOP is waging a war on women because it doesn’t support liberal policies.” That’s a sad world view, because it means that anyone that disagrees with you is morally abhorrent, rather than simply in disagreement about how to help people.

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