The GOP's War on Women's Reproductive Rights


Blogging at Ebony magazine, Zerlina Maxwell offers an interesting explanation of the GOP's war on reproductive rights. She describes it as an all-out effort to manipulate an appeals process to put a case before the conservative Supreme Court in hopes of overturning Roe v. Wade — and abortion rights.


With the economy on the upswing, the Republican Party has chosen this moment to turn the focus away from President Obama’s successes and onto whether women have complete autonomy over their bodies and their reproductive health. Personhood amendments, controversy over contraception, state-sponsored vaginal probes for women seeking abortions in Virginia and congressional hearings on birth control with (almost) no women testifying have made news recently. Certainly this is ample evidence that the GOP may want to re-launch the culture wars that are so effective in dividing electorates in election years.

For those unfamiliar with personhood amendments, they are bills that define a fertilized egg as a person. That means that a woman who uses birth control pills, who has a miscarriage, or who has a legal abortion could be guilty of violating the law. Virginia and Oklahoma are the two states which very recently passed so-called personhood legislation and hilariously in the Oklahoma bill an amendment was added to declare every sperm is “sacred.”  Every sperm.

It’s a good time to point out that Roe v. Wade is still the law of the land no matter what conservatives want Americans to believe.  So why would Republicans in state legislatures across the country introduce legislation that is clearly unconstitutional? Feministing's Executive Editor Samhita Mukhopadhyay tells EBONY  “[The introduction of personhood amendments] is a strategy on their part to get these issues included in the national conversation on women's rights.  By changing the conversation so far to the right, it galvanizes opinions that should and most likely are on the margins, but they make it look like they are legitimate policy options …

Read Zerlina Maxwell's entire blog entry at Ebony.