Is there a ‘war on women’?

Moderated by Rick Badie

Is there a “war on women” or a mere focus on women’s issues going on these days? Women on both sides of the political aisle are revved up this campaign season. The state director of Maggie’s List writes that Republicans are leading the charge against government overreach, while an official for the Georgia Federation of Democratic Women pledges that voters will remember politicians who supported legislation that harmed women and families.

GOP propels women’s values

By Suzi Voyles

The real reason Democrats manufactured “Julia” and the “war on women” is because women don’t support their policies. It’s Republican women leading the charge against the overreach of government into our lives. In 2010, Republicans won the women’s vote for the first time since Ronald Reagan.

We fired the first woman speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, because we didn’t like the direction the Democrats were taking our country on the economy, health care and especially on the debt. We still don’t like it today.

“Julia’s” life is not typical of American women. Nor is it something to which we Republicans aspire. We don’t see our lives as a product of government handouts.

In fact, we resent the idea that we owe our success to bureaucrats and not to our own initiative. When Republicans talk about freedom, entrepreneurship, patient-centered health care and fiscal responsibility, most women respond positively.

We refuse to be enslaved to the myth that we are “entitled” to something. We know by the example of other countries that have gone down that path that we surrender more personal liberty than we can ever gain in what the government can give to us.

We also believe that government should practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money we earn. And when Republicans propose policies grounded in those principles — reducing taxes on small businesses, shrinking the deficit through the Ryan plan and repealing “Obamacare” — women see that it’s the Republican Party that’s advancing their values, not the Democrats. GOP women believe that encouraging individual initiative through free enterprise is what brings opportunity, economic growth and prosperity to our state and country.

When it comes to the empowerment of women, Republican women have always stood on the front lines. GOP women believe in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity regardless of race, sex, age, creed, national origin or disability.

We would never spend our time in a party that did not believe the same. We believe strongly that the strength of our nation lies with each individual and that each person’s liberty, dignity, ability and responsibility must be honored.

Republican women believe that America is the most exceptional nation because of our founding principles, recognizing that our rights come from God, not from government. While retaining these principles that have made us strong, we must also develop innovative ideas to meet the challenges confronting each generation. GOP women believe that American values are worth preserving.

We believe the United States must retain its national sovereignty. And we know the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles and policies from which to govern.

Republicans don’t merely “talk” a good game. A look at our record shows that we produce upon these principles. Republicans were founded on the precept of personal liberty. A Republican woman was the first woman to be voted into Congress, before she could vote for herself (translation: GOP men elected her).

It was a GOP Congress that twice passed women’s suffrage to override the veto of President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat. The GAGOP chairman is a woman, Sue P. Everhart. Jan Jones is the first female speaker pro tem and Republican majority whip in Georgia. In 1892, Ellen Foster and two other women were elected alternates to the GOP Convention, a first for either major party.

We absolutely do not believe Republicans have mounted a war on women. Foster declared it best: “We are here to help you. And we have come to stay.” Our growing numbers attest to that fact.

Suzi Voyles is Georgia state director of Maggie’s List and serves on the organization’s national board of directors.

Fallout of health law looms

By Elaine Davis-Nickens

“We will remember in November.”

That was the chant of women who walked around the Georgia State Capitol during the 2012 legislative session. Women carpooled to Atlanta from every end of the state because they wanted their voices heard by legislators who were considering bills that were crossing the line of common sense and erasing current recognized health care practices.

During the march, one woman asked me if I thought legislators inside the Gold Dome would pay us any attention. The actions of those who were engaged in the Republican War on Women answered this question loud and clear.

House Bill 954, authored by state Rep. Doug McKillip, R-Athens, was passed in the final minutes of the session and then signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal. When this new law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013, there will be major interference with the patient-physician relationship because of the removal of current standards for medical procedures.

The new law forces obstetricians to perform C-sections on women who go into labor early even when standard medical practice doesn’t call for it. According to an article written by Ruth McClatchey Cline, president-elect of the Georgia Obstetrics and Gynecology Society, the new law … “complicates the routine practice of obstetric care.” The C-section “… would involve a vertical incision of the entire length of the uterine wall. Thereafter, the mother would be at a high risk of uterine rupture in future pregnancies.”

Another major change will place a 20-week limit for abortions. The current standard for viability is 23 to 24 weeks when a fetus has a 50-50 chance of surviving outside the womb. There was testimony from medical organizations that births at 22 weeks have less than a 10 percent chance of survival. At 26 weeks, the current law mandate for a cutoff date, the survival rate is 85 percent.

The concerns raised by these issues have been voiced by women and men who are Republicans as well as Democrats. McKillip now faces a tough primary contest by Regina Quick, a Republican attorney who practices family law and who is anti-abortion. She has stated that the issues that McKillip and those who voted for his bill have created has moved into “a legal and medical gray area where decisions are best left up to women and their doctors.”

Then there is the issue of the comparison of women giving birth to stillborn babies to that of livestock on a farm delivering stillborns. That jewel received national attention through various outlets and has received almost 32,000 YouTube hits.

Georgia leaders need to be focused on creating jobs, improving education and transportation — things that can move our state forward. Instead, we are reduced to hearing about issues that go against acceptable medical practices and further harm the emotional and physical well-being of Georgia women and families.

My heart breaks for those women and men who must deal with the medical procedure of abortion. Their decision should not be complicated by highly questionable decisions by lawmakers when they should be relying on their doctors to help them make the right decisions.

It is reasonable to believe that we will remember in November.

Elaine Davis-Nickens is the public relations chairwoman for the Georgia Federation of Democratic Women.

30 comments Add your comment

Leone Medley

June 14th, 2012
8:30 pm

The column by Suzi Voyles was one of the best articulations I have seen on the attitude and values we, American mothers, hold and try to teach our children. It is the positive, uplifting and inspiring belief in the great potential America holds out to those willing to work hard and sacrifice to achieve their dreams. Thanks for the breath of fresh air!


June 14th, 2012
5:48 pm

DebbieDoRight – A Do Right Woman: you are so bad. . .I like it!

Marlboro Man

June 14th, 2012
3:34 pm

Being paid less is not a war, unless you were a man, then it would be atomic war.


June 14th, 2012
3:01 pm

the Republican party is not denying anyone birth control. The Catholic Church is refusing to pay for it.

Somehow the Catholic church’s high minded beliefs don’t keep them from accepting taxpayer money–including mine—for their non-church businesses. IT’S NOT THEIR MONEY. They have no right to redistribute taxes according to their theology—a theology they obviously don’t take seriously, seeing as how most of their own parishioners reject it and use birth control.

So why should non-Catholics be forced to accept what actual Catholics don’t?


June 14th, 2012
2:29 pm

lefty_316 @1:43 pm – While I agree with a portion of your comment I must say I do have a concern about such praise on one Barry Goldwater. Barry Goldwater was a racist of the worst kind! I am not sure of your age or what you really know about his social beliefs. Barry Goldwater was staunch segregationist!

As an African American the very mentioning of his name brings chills to my brain. Such Adoration for such a hateful Man is like supporting the beliefs of the KKK. The support of the Republican party of Barry Goldwater is why the the republicans had the biggest defeat in U.S. Presidential elections in modern times. With the present direction and support of the Republican agenda currently, they are set to even break that record come November. The Republican Party has made its Bed, now its time for us to make sure they are aware that their agenda is wholly unacceptable to the American people in its present form. Barry Goldwater was rejected then and his way of thinking has no room in America NOW!


June 14th, 2012
2:00 pm

Suzi Voyles: What in the h#ll have you been inhaling?


June 14th, 2012
1:43 pm

It’s time for the GOP to get back to the principles put forth by Senator Goldwater – small government, fiscal restraint and, above all, personal liberty. Twenty six states, including Georgia, have either passed or have introduced legislation placing further restrictions on abortion. That is a completely unnecessary intrusion into the lives women.

Unless the GOP ditches the filthy, perverted and devisive agenda of the roaches commonly known as social conservatives and gets back to being an actual political party it will eventually become irrelevant.


June 14th, 2012
12:54 pm

@RAMZAD – perhaps I misunderstood your post…the Republican party is not denying anyone birth control. The Catholic Church is refusing to pay for it. It is against their beliefs to provide this product, and that belief is protected under law. If someone working for a Catholic institution wishes to purchase birth control, they can do so with their own money.
Frankly, I wish the government would get back to basics and stop legislating our personal lives. If I am concerned I am not making enough money, I can look for another employer or ask for a raise. I can pay for the things I think are best for myself and family…birth control, yep, I can buy it; giant Cokes, yep, if I want it, I should be able to buy it; place to live, car to drive, yep and yep. Do it yourselfers unite to get government out of our wallets and out of our lives.

Dumb and Dumber

June 14th, 2012
12:52 pm

I agree with williebkind, victims of rape and incest should not be allowed to have an abortion, after all rapists and pederasts have rights too! God Bless the GOP!


June 14th, 2012
11:23 am

“My heart breaks for those women and men who must deal with the medical procedure of abortion.”

by Elaine Davis-Nickens.

How cold hearted is she? She has a breaking heart for a procedure but not for life itself. Yep, that is the liberal democratic mantra.