Does the War on Women Exist?

In this upcoming election, one of the most common   statements made is that the Republican Party is waging   a “war on women.”  This phrase has been used most frequently in the debate on abortion and contraception in the U.S.  Just this week, “the war on women” conversation was revived once again, due to Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s comments about the legality of abortion in the case of rape.  Mourdock stated that “Life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Mourdock later apologized (or did he?) for his comments, but Democrats still eagerly jumped to paint the candidate– and the rest of the Republican Party– as ignorant conservatives.
Mourdock’s comments were obviously inappropriate and ignorant, but they’ve helped to raise a prominent question: is “the war on women” really a war on women?  Or is it actually a war on the unborn child?

The Democratic Party and liberals believe that this war is indeed directly aimed at denigrating women at large, and argue that the right to abortion is a woman’s right to her body.  Most articles written about abortion in the liberal news media, such as the New York Times and Time Magazine, mention the “war on women.”  The Huffington Post has even gone so far as to have a playlist entitled “The War on Women,” with tracks such as “99 Problems” and “Butterfly Fly Away.”

The Republican Party and conservatives tend to believe that they aren’t waging a war at all, but rather that their opposition is waging a war on the unborn child.  Many Republicans and social conservatives insist that they are fighting for the unborn child rather than directly attacking the women who are, or will be, carrying one of these unborn children.  Some Republicans also insist that “the war on women” is sexist fiction contrived by Democrats as party propaganda.

So does “the war on women” really exist?  And if so, is it really a “war on women?”  I have to say that, yes, the “war on women” exists, but not in my state.  I live in New York, a historically liberal state, and there aren’t particularly strict abortion laws or politicians who make rape comments on a frequent basis.  But there are states where   both events happen frequently, and I find it hard to believe that most women in those states are happy to hear that their representatives believe that rape is intended by God.  I also find it hard to believe that women in Virginia who wanted, or needed, an abortion were happy with being forced to get a trans-vaginal ultrasound before they could have an abortion before this bill was repealed.  I’ll admit that the Republican party has a decent point when they say that a war is being waged on the unborn child.  But I also have problem with the fact that they’re more concerned with a war waged on a person who isn’t alive than they are about a war on their current citizens.

It’s true that the “war on women” will someday come to an end.  But if politicians keep making ignorant comments and attempting to pass what a Nebraska judge called “Draconian” abortion restrictions, it’s going to be a long time before we see that day.

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8 comments

  1. Hi Mfliegz28,

    I really enjoyed reading your article about the “War on Women”. I, personally, agree with you. I also live in a state where my rights as a woman are not often called into question (Oregon, especially Portland, tends to be incredibly equal. The point you made about women in certain states with more conservative leanings is a thought that has bothered me for some time. In your opinion, what type of mentality could cause a woman in a conservative state or with conservative beliefs to perpetuate the “War on Women”?

    Like

  2. Hello!
    I honestly don’t like the division of rights of women vs. rights of the unborn child, though you are definitely right to say that’s what the two sides have become. I don’t particularly like that abortion has become a “women’s issue”. I am absolutely pro choice, and I live in California, a state where the right to abortion is very much supported, even often among many of the Republicans I know. Even so, I think painting abortion as a “women’s issue” alienates it a bit from the rest of society. To me, the most convincing and important argument for the right to abortion is the negative societal impacts unwanted children can have. (Not to sound callous… but it is true that often the mother did not want these children.) They can hurt the mother and her future productivity; they can hurt the children as the children are often not cared for properly or given a proper education. Essentially women’s rights versus the rights of unborn children is a complete clash of moral priority, and there is absolutely no negotiating to be done in that situation. Maybe it’s because I’m a debater, but I feel that a “net benefits” argument is more convincing, in which it is argued that the negative societal effects of unwanted children outweigh the moral arguments. It seems to me that an argument about how unwanted children and women who cannot be productive anymore because of the children they must care for can cost more money to the welfare system, which many conservatives are opposed to. I suppose trying to convince the other side is often futile in politics; it’s one of the reasons we have such ridiculous gridlock.
    Great post!
    Jane

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  3. Hello,

    I believe that women should always have the choice to get an abortion or to not get one. It should not be only rape victims. As thefederalreserve points out above, unwanted children usually end up getting improper care and education and can also hurt the mother. The so-called “moral” argument sounds like hogwash to me. That baby can’t even think! Strictly speaking, it’s not “alive”. So why do people feel the need stop abortion from happening? This is a free country… right? Anyways, good post bringing up an often-talked about issue.

    -David

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  4. Hi!

    Thanks for this post on such a complicated subject. I definitely agree that abortion should be allowed for rape victims as well as situations where the child would grow up in a less than ideal situation, like parents without a place to live or a teenager without a job. However, I am not sure what is meant by the phrase, “a war on women” or “a war on the unborn child”. While there is conflict over this issue, I think the phrase suggests malicious intent even though everyone’s goal is to do what they think is best. To me, this issue affects both the women and the unborn child, because they are the two main groups being impacted. What is your opinion?

    Thanks,
    Sydney

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  5. Hey,

    Thanks for such a great post on this very current and controversial issue. This is a hard issue for me because I can understand both sides of the argument. I definitely agree that women should have rights to their own bodies and so should be able to choose if they want to have an abortion if they get pregnant. However, I also understand the argument that by the time a woman could have an abortion the child is already conceived and so is alive, so abortion is ending the life of an unborn child. This issue is so tough to figure out and I think I have finally, thanks to your post, realized why. It is, as you say, a war between “a war on women” and “a war on the unborn child.” This issue affects both the woman and the unborn child and my thoughts on the issue depend on whether I am thinking about the woman or the unborn child. I really love the point that you brought up of how laws should be more concerned with actual current citizens than unborn children as well as I think the argument that the child may not grow up in a stable home is a really good one. I am certain that I agree that rape victims are entitled to abortion and women who are not able to provide a stable life to their child but I also am beginning to solidify my belief that all women are entitled to abortion no matter what their situation.

    Thanks for such a great post,
    Mira

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  6. Hi Mfliegz28,
    I found your post very interesting and well written! I don’t have a whole lot of time to read all of the political propaganda floating around, but from what I’ve heard/read, I found that your article very succinctly sums it up! I agree with your point about the war on women being a real thing, and also agree that Republicans do have a point about the war actually just being waged on the unborn child. But, I almost don’t find the latter example more appalling; if anything it surprises me more that a party would ‘declare’ war on a child at all, nevertheless the mother’s right to chose what is best for her/her (born or unborn) child! On a slightly different topic, had Mitt Romney been elected to office several weeks ago, do you think he would try to outlaw abortion, or do you think this strong opinion is only held by republican extremists?

    Thanks so much for your consideration!
    Clara

    Like

  7. Hi there,
    I really liked your post! I liked that you gave the opinions of both sides, and gave your own opinion so we, as readers, can decide for ourselves where we stand. Mourdock’s comment definitely changed people’s views on the republican party. You have probably heard about Todd Akin’s comment as well (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joxny3rco_4 if not), which was a similarly dumb comment, although maybe not intentionally. It seems like people are generalizing that the whole party is uninformed on the whole issue, although it is definitely not the case for their whole party. Good job on the post, it is not easy to present information like this without unintentional bias, but I think you did a good job with that.

    Kevin

    Like

  8. Hello,

    Your post was very enjoyable to read and well-organized. I also like how you presented both sides on the issue; that made your blog more credible. As far as the “War on Women” goes, I agree that Republicans appear to be ignorant about the issue with comments like those of Mourdock. However, I feel that the war involves both the unborn child and the mother. Since I know how abortions are performed after listening to a speech about them, I now feel even more against abortions than ever before. With the exception of rape victims, my opinion is that abortion should be illegal. But then there’s the question if the mother’s rights are being taken away from her or not? Either way, this topic is very controversial and you did a great job of writing an unbiased post. Great job!

    Chelsea

    Like

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