BY VERN TURNER
This media flap perpetrated by the nearly brain-dead Senatorial candidate from Missouri, Todd Akin, is the latest example of the callous and ignorant understanding of women, their rights and the law. I taught human anatomy for three years in college and medical school and was astounded to learn new things about the female reproductive system and its physiology from Mr. Akin.
A little research turned up a 1996 report from the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology that noted there were over 32,000 pregnancies per year as a result of rape. It represented 5% of the victims raped between the ages of 12-45. This extrapolates out to over 640,000 reported rapes.
We are 16 years later with a more courageous female population that reports rapes more often rather than hide them.
From what I read, the rate of violence against women is about the same as in 1996, yet the GOP has recently voted against the Violence Against Women Act proposed by the Obama Administration.
They want to eliminate abortion altogether – as stated in their recently defined party platform – no matter the cause. They want to limit or eliminate contraception for women.
From the lips of Romney himself: “We want to get rid of Planned Parenthood.”
For those who don’t pay attention, Planned Parenthood provides free screenings for breast cancer, uterine cancer and other female reproductive issues NOT involving abortions. In fact, the percent of Planned Parenthood work that is proactive for women is over 95%.
Why, then, do Republicans want to end this program for women, especially poor women? Their theme seems to be: “You must have that baby, but once you do, you and it are on your own – No welfare, no food stamps, no Medicaid.”
That sounds a lot like assault to me.
There is plenty of room for debate on this issue. Good. Maybe eliminating rape and violence against women is a good starting place. I don’t like the concept of abortion; I prefer prevention of pregnancy.
Our current laws, however, allow some legally sanctioned abortions.
A recent poll shows that Caucasian males in the U.S. favor Mitt Romney by about 29%. In view of this topic, I wonder what the percentage of all females of voting age favor anything Republican.
With the other GOP attacks and fear mongering about people not in their base, it looks like all women and those who are not in a “favored” group will be compelled to vote against those who are working against their best interests.
My questions are: How could anyone with any respect for women and their hard-earned rights even consider voting for an agenda that condones rescinding those rights as well as rejecting a law intended to squelch violence against women? Do these people want to return to the pre-1920 era when women couldn’t vote?
Well, too bad. Women DO have the right to vote, and if they have any self-respect and dignity they will vote against the Republican’s anti-woman agenda.
– Vern Turner is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. He lives in Marble Falls, TX, where he writes a regular column for the River Cities Daily Tribune. He is the author of three books – A Worm in the Apple: The Inside Story of Public Schools, The Voters Guide to National Salvation and Killing the Dream: America’s Flirtation With Third World Status – all available through Amazon.com.