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


June 13th, 2012
8:49 pm

And for those of you who believe that we do not receive equal pay for equal work, ask your mothers what that is really like.


June 13th, 2012
8:46 pm

Women are our own worst enemies. If we would ignore all of the abortion rhetoric then the issue would fade. Unfortunately, some people feel the need to get out and march and write letters and freak out about something that will never go away. Politicians use your histrionics to avoid real issues.

Hillbilly D

June 13th, 2012
8:43 pm

To think that there’s a “war on women” it would be assumed that all women have the same views, which of course, isn’t true. Women disagree on all manner of things, just as men, or any other group you care to name, does.

Whose rhetoric?

June 13th, 2012
7:32 pm

Suzi Voyles says the GOP does more than talk, but in her own statement she uses platitudes and stump rallying cries in lieu of facts. Her comment that the GOP believes in equal rights – I point to the fact that NOT ONE Republican senator voted in favor of the recent equal pay bill.

It’s 2012! It shouldn’t be hard to convince these friendly, women-loving, progressive-minded conservatives that Suzi has dreamed up to vote in favor of equal pay for women. Except, apparently, it is.

The GOP has no interest in acting rationally or in a way that helps/propels/encourages the citizens of this country. Particularly not women.

After 40 years of fighting for equal pay, we’ve managed to make 77cents on the dollar; you want to force TVUs and C-sections to scare unprepared women into giving birth, thereby forcing unwanted babies into a system that you don’t want to pay for; you rail against comprehensive sex education that would actually reduce the need for abortions, and yet, republicans overwhelmingly support the death penalty!

To you, Suzi, and to all your compatriots, I say corporations, the status quo, and lining your friends’ pockets will always mean more than acting rationally and with purpose or creating a vision for a unified America that moves forward together. “Helping” is not a dirty word.

Bravo to you Elaine. Way to use facts, figures and impassioned sympathy to make your point. I swear there are a few of us here in Georgia who are with you.


June 13th, 2012
7:28 pm

There’s not a GOP war on women if you want to go back to the 1940’s.


June 13th, 2012
7:18 pm

It never fails to amaze me how politicians make up these faux controversies to avoid addressing the real issues. I suppose what amazes me even more is how many gullible people just buy right in. Whether it is the war on children, women, Christmas, the environment, education, or woodchucks it boils down to an attempt by one party or the other to avoid the real issues.

We really need to clear all these bogus issues off the agenda and make them address things that really matter like: preserving personal freedoms, maintaining a fair and open economy, national defense…


June 13th, 2012
7:04 pm

The simple premise of this article makes the women of America laugh like crazy!
They are on the floor rolling in delirium. Any Human being knows without a doubt when they are being attacked and efforts to marginalized them at every turn.

The Republican Party along with the support of Tea Party members have joined forces together to take the American Women back to the early 1950’s when it comes to healthcare as it pertains specifically to their gender. All one has to do is to survey the recent and ongoing rulings of the state capitals around this nation. These rulings are being initiated and implemented by Republican led legislators and its Governors collectively at an alarming rate unlike in years before. They started the War, but in November the women of America are going to respond in kind at the voting booth. President Obama will be their most supportive candidate to combat these unacceptable policies as the women of America work to change the leadership
one state at a time. As a Man we all know or should know when a woman becomes quiet about any decision she disagrees with, that a price is to be paid somewhere or sometime soon. November, appears to be that time! as for me, I cannot wait!

The American woman is not one to be discounted for any reason…Her bite is worst
than her bark!

DebbieDoRight - A Do Right Woman

June 13th, 2012
6:31 pm

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

Unless of course you’re pregnant and want to terminate a pregnancy — then we have to give you an intrusive exam before you can get one (Virginia); or you’ve been brain dead for years and your husband wants you to be finally free and rest, (Terri Schiavo), then we’ll rain down a bunch of bogus legislation and a couple of bible versus on your azz; OR you’re gay and want to get married, then we’ll take that “freedom” from you because being gay means you loose all your freedoms.

Other than that, then yeah, we’re all for individual liberty. :roll:

DebbieDoRight - A Do Right Woman

June 13th, 2012
6:26 pm

Well,now I’ve read everything………republicans, who are trying to mandate restrictive abortion rights, voters rights and equal pay for equal work “rights”, are only “leading the charge against the overreach of government into our lives”.

I wonder if they REALLY think women are as stupid as they hope they are?


June 13th, 2012
6:21 pm

Suzi Voyles wants to talk about what the GOP did for women in 1892? Unlike most Goopers, I’m a tad more interested in what’s happening this century. But if your current record sucks, I guess crowing over a defeat of Woodrow Wilson is all you can do.