Today marks the 41st anniversary of the historic Roe v. Wade decision protecting every woman’s right to safe and legal abortion. Today, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America, seven in ten people support Roe v. Wade.
A poll conducted by NBC News and Wall Street Journal last year found that a record number of respondents supported a woman’s right to choose in all or most circumstances.
This support is especially important in light of the work conservative activists continue to carry out in an attempt to undermine women’s health and autonomy. As noted in our 2013 report, Chipping Away at Choice, from mandatory waiting periods to “TRAP” laws, the ability for women to access safe and legal abortions is under attack. People For the American Way will continue to work with our allies in protecting women’s right to choose.
To celebrate the 93rd Anniversary Women’s Equality Day on Monday, People For members joined hundreds of progressive allies on the steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison for the “Stand With Wisconsin Women” Rally. The event opened with a song from the Solidarity Singalong participants, and featured Wisconsin women, activists, and legislators speaking out against the Wisconsin GOP’s war against women.
(Video credit: Scott Foval / PFAW.org)
“Thanks to the ACA, the Affordable Care Act, I will no longer pay co-pays for my birth control. As a woman I will no longer be charged simply for being a woman, and attempting to control my own reproductive life,” said Kristina Nailen. “I am still afraid. I am afraid that after these nine years of accumulating debt just for my bachelors, graduating this year with 83,000 in debt before interest, that I will be able to manage my own health care and make my loan repayments.”
Nailen called on Governor Walker and the Republican-controlled Wisconsin legislature to reverse their decision to cut the BadgerCare program, and immediately restore health care funding and provide access to more than 100,000 Wisconsin women who count on the program for their health care coverage.
The rally also featured a roster of activists, leaders, and legislators calling for equal pay for women, for paid family leave legislation, and endorsing the return of legislation promoting common sense, true equality, and fairness for all citizens; including working women, low wage workers, same-sex couples, disabled persons, and immigrants. Following the rally participants entered the Wisconsin capitol building to lobby Governor Walker and members of the Wisconsin legislature, demanding they refocus on creating well-paying jobs, and stop enacting anti-woman measures as distractions from economically-focused legislation.
Last week, the Republican National Committee and the four national GOP campaign committees sent out a memo claiming that there is in fact a Democratic “war on women” being waged on two fronts: New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s sexting and San Diego mayor Bob Filner’s sexual harassment.
Claiming that “most Democrats said nothing” about the San Diego mayor’s serial sexual harassment and the former congressman’s serial sexting of strangers, the memo charges, “With their silence, they are sanctioning the actions of Bob Filner and Anthony Weiner and numerous others who have assaulted, harassed, and preyed on women.”
Now, Virginia attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has picked up on the theme, sending out a fund raising email with a graphic connecting Cuccinelli’s Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe and President Obama with Weiner and Filner.
“By not condemning Weiner and Filner’s unacceptable behavior towards women, leaders like Obama and McAuliffe are signaling to our young people that it’s okay for powerful American leaders to harass, humiliate and assault women,” the email reads.
As many commentators have noted, the GOP’s new attempt to turn the tables on the War on Women isn’t exactly convincing, especially coming from the party of trans-vaginal ultrasounds and “legitimate rape.”
But the argument is almost comical coming from Cuccinelli, who has one of the most extreme records in the country when it comes to women’s health and women’s rights. This is a candidate who:
Yet, Terry McAuliffe is waging “the real war on women” because of the actions of a man he’s never met who lives on the opposite side of the country.
It’s been a chaotic week for the Texas legislature, but the drama isn’t over. Following state Senator Wendy Davis’ epic filibuster of a bill that would limit Texas women’s access to abortion, Governor Rick Perry has called yet another special session to push the legislation through.
The bill would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy – with no exceptions – and would place burdensome requirements on abortion providers, effectively shutting down all but five clinics in the state.
Sen. Davis filibustered the legislation for more than twelve hours and, with the aid of hundreds of protesters, effectively blocked Senate Bill 5 from passing the Senate and reaching the governor’s desk before midnight. Davis was championed around the country as a political celebrity standing, quite literally, for women’s rights. People For the American Way recognized Davis’ efforts, encouraging members to sign a note of appreciation and support.
However, her victory may be short lived.
Perry called the first special session to give the legislature more time to consider anti-choice legislation that failed to advance during the regular legislative period. A special session follows different rules than the normal session, as the governor has sole discretion over what the legislature can work on. Perry said that the legislature also failed to pass bills on infrastructure funding and mandatory life sentences for 17 year-olds committing capital felonies, providing convenient additional justifications for the necessity of a second session. Perry said,
"Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn. Texans want a transportation system that keeps them moving. Texans want a court system that is fair and just. We will not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do."
Davis refused to let Perry’s affront go unanswered, firing back that it was Perry and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst who had “led the charge” in the breakdown of decorum and “made a mockery of all of the rules we run by in this state.”
As the New York Times reported yesterday, it is unlikely that the Democrats will manage to block the bill for another 30-day session. It will probably pass. But as the governor can call as many special sessions as he likes, even a successful second filibuster may not be enough to stop the Republicans’ anti-choice agenda.
The second session begins July 1st. The war on women rages on.
Today the Supreme Court declined to review a federal appeals court ruling blocking an Indiana law that would have stopped Planned Parenthood from receiving federal Medicaid funding for preventative health screenings.
Rev. Brendolyn Jenkins-Boseman of Aiken, South Carolina, chair of the African American Ministers Leadership Council, released the following statement:
"Today’s decision is a victory for Indiana women and should be a signal to conservative legislatures across the country that are trying to limit women’s access to health care. Our courts have stopped many of these measures, but with proposals to defund Planned Parenthood surfacing across the country, we must remain vigilant.
"Why do conservative politicians still think that playing politics is more important than women’s access to cancer screenings and other vital health services? While these politicians push for wasteful and unpopular attacks on reproductive justice, many faith leaders and our allies remain committed to fighting for access to safe, affordable, and compassionate health care for all women. All women deserve dignity and autonomy – over their own bodies and their own futures."
The anti-choice group Americans United for Life is using the trial of Philadelphia abortion provider Kermit Gosnell – accused of infanticide and causing the injury and death of several women in his care – to push for “TRAP” laws meant to shut down safe abortion clinics.
TRAP – “targeted restrictions on abortion providers”—laws are a favorite tool of anti-choice activists trying to work their way around Roe v. Wade. Passed under the guise of improving care for women, they are in fact aimed at shutting down abortions providers by burdening them with onerous and unnecessary regulations. A TRAP law in Virginia forced a respected 40-year-old abortion clinic to close this month. Last year, Mississippi passed a TRAP law aimed at shutting down the state’s only abortion clinic.
And this is exactly what Americans United for Life wants more of. In a press release today, AUL president Charmaine Yoest presents two model state-level TRAP measures, falsely claiming that her group “has led the nationwide effort to combat the reality of legalized ‘back-alley’ abortions”:
"For more than a decade, Americans United for Life has led the nationwide effort to combat the reality of legalized 'back-alley' abortions, advocating for meaningful and comprehensive regulation and oversight of abortion clinics. And legislators across the country are responding to AUL's call to protect women from substandard abortion clinics and providers. Over just the last three years, eight states have enacted new comprehensive abortion clinic regulations or made significant improvements to existing regulations.
"Commonsense regulations must be a national priority. Enacting medically appropriate and comprehensive abortion clinic regulations is a critical and sensible solution to the on-going problem of unsafe, legal 'back-alley' abortions, which is now better understood as a result of the horrific revelations in the Gosnell trial. These regulations are designed to safeguard against unsanitary conditions, inferior equipment, and the employment of unsuitable and untrained personnel. They are also intended to put an end to substandard medical practices that injure and kill untold numbers of women each year."
Of course, these laws do nothing to prevent back-alley abortions or “safeguard” women’s health. Instead, they serve to force safe clinics out of business, forcing women into unsafe practices like Gosnell’s. Gosnell’s squalid and dangerous clinic was the last refuge for many low-income women in Philadelphia. Yet AUL and its allies are trying to exploit the Gosnell story to make it even harder for women to access safe abortion care.
The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, an Illinois-based conservative group, convened a symposium in Washington earlier this month to discuss topics including “Defending Faith in an Age of Christophobia,” “The Pornography Industry,” and “Economic and Social Costs of Abortion.”
At a panel titled “The ‘War on Women’: Myth or Reality?,” Concerned Women for America senior fellow Janice Shaw Crouse argued that it is in fact “those who present themselves as champions of women’s rights” who “constitute a very real war on women.” This “war,” Crouse declares, began in the 1960s and has “undermined and torn apart the faith, values and morality that have held together a diverse and multicultural people.”
Why, then, do we even have to ask, ‘Is there a war on women?’ The war began as early as 1960. Since then, our nation has been experiencing a harsh cultural winter. Howling winds of change, insidious myths and outright falsehoods have undermined and torn apart the faith, values and morality that have held together a diverse and multicultural people.
These myths and those attacks, those falsehoods by those who present themselves as champions of women’s rights constitute a very real war on women. It’s a senseless war, promoting casual sex, spreading the myth that women don’t need marriage, and pushing the cultural and public policies that inevitably lead women to be the majority of those in poverty. That war against women has loosened and upended many of the foundation stones of the Judeo-Christian principles.
It was only last year that Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Nance criticized the term “war on women” as “phony, focus-grouped rhetoric” geared to “raise money and hackles” among Democrats. She predicted that women would turn on Obama and wouldn't vote on issues such as abortion rights or birth control access (unless they are anti-choice). Of course, exit polls showed that Obama carried women voters over Romney 55-44% and that 59% of voters said abortion should be legal either in all or most cases.
So it should come as no surprise that Nance is now using the “war” rhetoric in her latest Washington Times op-ed: “When high-sounding legislation becomes a war against women.” That’s right, she now believes that there is in fact a war on women, but that it comes from supporters of the Violence Against Women Act.
She claims that VAWA “hurts sex-trafficking victims,” even though 93 Senators voted for Sen. Patrick Leahy’s amendment focused on combating the trafficking of women and girls.
The Violence Against Women Act headed to the president’s desk lulls Americans into believing that actual violence was addressed Thursday when, in reality, Congress pushed through a bad bill that hurts sex-trafficking victims, seeks to legalize prostitution for minors and fails to protect the consciences of organizations, such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, that oppose abortion but want to protect trafficking victims.
Within the Senate version of the act is an amendment by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, that decimates the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, seeks to change the Model State Law to promote the decriminalization of prostitution for minors, and assaults the conscience protections of groups that have a history of hands-on help for these victims.
The Violence Against Women Act also promotes the decriminalization of prostitution of minors for states, which is also dangerous for trafficking victims. Decriminalization provides a perfect opportunity for pimps, traffickers and gangs to exploit minors in the sex industry by telling the minors that it is not illegal and that they will not get arrested. In Germany, Australia and the Netherlands, child prostitution increased after prostitution was legalized. Why would the outcome be any different here if states decriminalize prostitution for minors? Section 1243 seeks to change the Model State Law to promote the decriminalization of prostitution for minors:
It prohibits the charging of a minor for a prostitution offense. This removes all judicial discretion from the process.
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report shows that there were only 895 arrests of minors for prostitution in 2010. In 2011, the number of arrests dropped to 763. Over the past seven years, arrests of minors for prostitution have averaged 1,067 annually.
Decriminalization provides a great recruiting tool for gangs, pimps and traffickers, who can say, “Don’t worry; it’s not illegal.”
The lesson Congress has learned from the “war on women” apparently is that as long as the title of the legislation sounds good, you must vote for it — even if it is bad policy.
South Dakota’s state senate today passed a bill that would extend the mandatory 72 hour waiting period women face when seeking an abortion in the state to specifically exclude weekend days and holidays from counting towards the 72 hour period. Apparently, South Dakota’s Republican lawmakers think women aren’t able to think as well on weekends.
The AP reports:
The South Dakota Senate has given final legislative approval to an extension of what is already the nation's longest waiting period for a woman to receive an abortion.
Senators voted 24-9 Thursday to approve the bill, which has already been passed by the House. The measure will become law if signed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard.
Women seeking abortions in South Dakota currently must wait three days after seeing an abortion clinic doctor before they can have the procedure. The bill would make it so that weekends and holidays do not count in calculating the three-day waiting period.
The state House of Representatives approved the anti-choice legislation earlier this month, and it now heads to the governor’s desk.
WASHINGTON – People For the American Way today commended the House passage of a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which House Republicans had allowed to expire at the beginning of this year.
Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way, said:
“Today’s historic expansion of the Violence Against Women Act shows what Americans can do when we stand up to extremism and say ‘enough is enough.’ For 18 years, VAWA has saved lives, dramatically reducing intimate partner violence, helping women to escape abusive relationships and ensuring that domestic violence is treated like the crime it is. Now, the law will be even stronger, protecting at-risk groups who have too often slipped through the cracks of domestic violence prevention efforts.
“When extremists in the House GOP tried to bring down the Violence Against Women Act, Americans stopped them in their tracks. I hope this vote shows that the House Republican leadership is rethinking its embrace of dangerous extremism and destructive gridlock.”
Christian conservative radio hosts Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner are not exactly big fans of feminism in any of its forms. So far this month, they have opined that a woman fired for being too attractive shouldn’t have been working for a man who wasn’t her husband in the first place; that “socialist” single women are taking over America; and that Sandra Fluke isn’t “ladylike” enough to be considered for Woman of the Year.
On Tuesday’s edition of Generations Radio, Swanson and Buehner sat down in Swanson’s basement studio to discuss a report they came across that claims “rising college costs are driving a new trend called ‘Sugar Daddies.’” This led to a wide-ranging discussion of the scourge of women’s independence and a new unified theory of feminism.
There are “two forms of feminism,” Buehner argued. There are “cute” feminists like Sarah Palin who will find jobs in the “marketplace” and “get themselves a husband” but will “never submit to the husband, in fact they will use their power probably to make their husband submit to them.” Then, there are the “ugly” feminists whose “lack of attractiveness has not given them access to power that they wanted in the marketplace.” These “attractively challenged” feminists will only find careers in academia and in government agencies, for instance, “you can run the EPA.”
What all these feminists have in common, Swanson argues, is that “all of them want to be free from the family” and together with “the homosexuals” are “destroying society.” Buehner speculates that in the future, feminism will be remembered as “a time in which women lost the love of their children” and “decided to become selfish, narcissistic, family-destroying whores.”
Swanson: Now remember, the goal is that these women have to be independent. The goal is lots and lots of birth control. The goal is lots and lots and lots of fornication. The goal is abortion. The day-after pill will help. And it will help a lot. Remember, the goal is to get that girl a job because she needs no stinkin’ husband, she’s got the fascist corporation and government-mandated insurance programs and socialist welfare that will take care of her womb to tomb. Who needs a cotton-pickin’ husband? Who needs a family? That’s pretty much the worldview that’s dominating, my friends. That’s what the college is all about.
Buehner: Because her feminist professors have told her her husband will abuse her, she will be like a slave to him. Instead she will just go to the slave market and sell herself, at least sell her body, to the highest bidder. See, that’s much, much better!
Swanson: And Dave, you talk about the two kinds of feminists now, this is your new division, you say there’s two kinds of feminists.
Buehner: There are.
Swanson: All of them want to be free from the family. They want to be free from the husband. Who needs a stinkin’ husband? Who wants to be submitting to a husband and find security in the family when she can find security in the state or a sugar daddy for the four years that she needs to get through college?
Buehner: Right. Actually, you’re talking about perhaps even a third stream of feminism. There’s the Sarah Palin kind of feminism that wants to have a husband, just not one to submit to. And she still wants to..
Swanson: But talk about the two forms of feminism you see that are rising today.
Buehner: Right, there are two forms of feminism, and it actually has to do with a division of how attractive a woman is. So, you have the group that is very attractive, they’re in the sororities, they’re gonna be in the beauty contests. They’re actually going to get the good jobs. They’re going to leverage their attractiveness in the marketplace because it has a market value. Marketing. It helps market who you are. They’re going to proceed, now they will probably some of them become the Sarah Palin-style feminists, they’ll get themselves a husband, but they’ll never be dependent on the husband, they’ll never submit to the husband, in fact they will use their power probably to make their husband submit to them.
Swanson: Okay, so you have the cute feminists.
Buehner: Right, you have the good-looking ones.
Swanson: Well, who are the others?
Buehner: Well, the other ones are those who we should say are, um, attractive-deficient. And they have not been…
Swanson: That’s nicely put. Attractively challenged.
Buehner: Attractively challenged. Optically challenged. These are the kinds that will look for careers mostly likely in academia.
Swanson: Now, just to say, they’re ugly. They’re the feminazis that Rush Limbaugh likes to refer to.
Buehner: Right, right, and they’re generally very angry about it because their attractive…or their lack of attractiveness has not given them access to power that they wanted in the marketplace. So they can get jobs…
Swanson: And they’re certainly not going to get a lot of power sexually.
Buehner: No, but they can get jobs in the government bureaucracy, they can work as an FDA administrator, or you can actually run the EPA if you want, or academia. Academia’s actually the best place because you can be angry, ugly and you can also get tenure. It’s great, it’s the big trifecta.
Swanson: You’re gonna make some people mad about what you’ve just said. There will be some very angry feminists.
Buehner: You mean there will be angrier angry feminists.
Swanson: Angrier angry feminists are gonna come at you for what you just said, and probably from our listening audience, because if we tick anybody off we’re ticking two different folks off, the feminists and the homosexuals, they can’t stand this kind of stuff.
Buehner: Neither one of them have a high regard for the family or for the Word of God.
Swanson: That’s true, yeah, you’re right, you’re right, you’re right. And they’re the ones who are destroying society.
Buehner: The systems we are living in are coming down before our very eyes, the fiat currency won’t last, the corporate economies, they’re going to collapse. What’s going to last will be those who go back to a biblical worldview. I believe history will go back to this period of time and will look at feminism and say there was a time in which women lost the love of their children. They no longer cared about having children, they no longer loved their children, they no longer loved their husbands, where for all of history women very much cared about protecting the family. Now they only cared about themselves. They were riled up into a froth about how they were victims of society, patriarchal society, and they decided to become selfish, narcissistic, family-destroying whores.
WASHINGTON – People For the American Way today praised members of the House and Senate for reintroducing a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which House Republicans allowed to expire at the end of last year.
“Democrats in Congress are right to keep pushing until this bill becomes law,” said Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, Director of African American Religious Affairs at People For the American Way. “VAWA was passed and reauthorized twice with broad bipartisan support, and has succeeded for 18 years in making women safer. It’s absolutely shameful that Republicans blocked a routine reauthorization of the law. Fighting domestic abuse and sexual assault should be bipartisan priorities.”
“Tea Party Republicans are jeopardizing the safety of all Americans because they object to protections for LGBT people, immigrants and Native women,” continued Malachi. “This extremist obstruction must stop.”
The Violence Against Women Act expired this year after House Republicans blocked a reauthorization that boosted protections for Native Americans, immigrants and the LGBT community. This development has overjoyed Religious Right activists, who have long opposed the anti-violence law.
Sandy Rios of the American Family Association, speaking today with Ed Bartlett of Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, criticized the indisputably effective law and attacked Vice President Joe Biden, warning that “if we knew Joe Biden’s private behavior with women it might not be a pretty picture.” Rios stated that Biden’s “crassness, crudeness and disrespect for women” raises doubts about his work on VAWA while Bartlett used Biden’s own admission that abuse occurred in his household when he was younger as a reason to block the law.
Rios was also upset that VAWA may soon include protections for the LGBT community. Bartlett contended that these new protections prove VAWA is too easy on women since “studies have shown that lesbian-perpetrated domestic violence is higher than violence among heterosexual couples.”
However, according to the Center for American Progress, “Studies have found that domestic violence occurs among same-sex couples at comparable rates to straight couples.” While Bartlett admits that domestic violence is a concern among same-sex couples, he and Rios seem to believe that is a reason to oppose the inclusion of LGBT protections in VAWA.
Rios: Then we have this whole business of reaching out to the LGBT community and now that’s confusing because that’s women against women in many cases. That would have to be women against women.
Bartlett: Exactly, you’re right. In fact, studies have shown that lesbian-perpetrated domestic violence is higher than violence among heterosexual couples. So that again shows that this is a problem not limited to male perpetrators and female victims.
Rios: You know the person that has been pushing for all these years is Vice President Joe Biden, I find that very curious, what can you say about that?
Bartlett: I’ll tell you something that most people don’t know about Vice President Biden. He himself as a child was subjected to very serious physical abuse by his female sister, his sibling. Most people don’t know that but he has actually stated that in hearings held in the Senate. There’s a high irony here, a fellow who as a child was subjected to female violence is now denying the very existence of that.
Rios: I also think it’s ironic. I have a personal opinion because of Joe Biden’s repeated behavior. I know he’s become the brunt of jokes because he’s always saying something silly. But one theme in his jokes is crassness, crudeness and disrespect for women. He’s supposed to be some champion for women and yet he comes out and says these outrageous things which are insulting. I think if we knew Joe Biden’s private behavior with women it might not be a pretty picture.
Rios even argued that the law has had “an extremely detrimental, unfair, tilted, bad effect on men.” Bartlett dismissed reports that women face disproportionate rates of domestic violence and said that VAWA was actually passed by those seeking “to undermine family stability.”
Rios: The problem with this particular law, as I understand it, is it has had an extremely detrimental, unfair, tilted, bad effect on men. Give us an example of how that has happened.
Bartlett: Sandy, you’re right and it’s happened in many ways. Part of what many people believe is the agenda is to undermine family stability by stereotyping men as being abusive. So over and over when you go to the websites of these various domestic violence organizations, they quote arrest statistics but they don’t quote the actual statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, which are the best statistics of all, which show that this is an equal opportunity problem. So we have men being stereotyped as being abusive, obviously that’s not good for strong, respectful gender-relationships in our country.
To be clear, the CDC and the Department of Justice [PDF] both find that women are much more likely than men to experience intimate partner violence. The DOJ found that “intimate partners were responsible for 3% of all violence against males and 23% of all violence against females in 2008,” and the CDC reports that “about 1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner” in their lifetime.
On yesterday’s Generations Radio, Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner took on the recent case in which the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a dentist was justified in firing an assistant whom he found “irresistible.” Swanson and Buehner, who agreed with the court’s decision, used the case as a jumping-off point for a discussion of the woes of modern workplaces that throw men together with women to whom they are not married. Such arrangements, Buehner fretted, are “pseudo-marriages.” Swanson feared that they come dangerously close to “polygamy”:
Swanson: This is not unusual, unfortunately, and it certainly is going to happen when you have a decrease in family economies. It’s one reason why we push the family economic vision, because the family economy is pretty much the way God set things up. The man and the woman come together not just for sexual union but also to be helpmeets and dominion-takers together as a team, as a lean, mean team in the dominion effort. That’s the way it was designed in the garden when the woman came to the man as the helpmeet for the man in the dominion task.
Buehner: And Kevin, I think that’s key. What we have in some of these business workplaces is a woman who’s not the wife being the helper or the helpmeet of the man and she has taken on the role of the helper…
Swanson: …for the man.
Buehner: And the only thing that’s missing in that relationship is the sexual consummation.
Swanson: Or the polygamy.
Buehner: Right. So remember, when God placed Adam in the garden, he gave him a mandate. He said you need a helper. He told Adam to go out and take some dominion, Adam named the animals, He said, ‘Yeah, this is really hard, you’re gonna need yourself a helper.” So He made Eve for him. It does not say that Eve was created because Adam needed to have a sexual outlet, it was created because Adam needed a helper. Now we take a man and we give him a helper out in the marketplace. He’s in a pseudo-marriage.
Swanson: And yeah, it can move in that direction pretty quickly.
The root cause of these inappropriate workplace relationships, Swanson and Buehner conclude, is an economic system built by “universities and colleges and political systems and corporate systems” in which women work outside the family unit. The fired dental assistant, Buehner contends, “would have been better off working for her husband.”
Swanson: Friends, you gotta understand that we have tremendous socio-economic forces that have been set up by systems that want to systematically destroy the integrity of the family life and the marriage in the 20th century and the 21st century. This is what you’re up against. I just want people to understand that as we are trying to reconfigure entire socio-economic systems by way of our familyeconomics.com and by our huge conferences we are sponsoring around the country to this year, we are going up against this socio-economic structure that has been put in place by universities and colleges and political systems and corporate systems, etcetera, etcetera, that makes it extremely difficult for the family to survive in the 21st century.
Buehner: In this dentist case situation, the dentist was married, his wife was working in the office with him. That’s great. This woman, this “irresistible” woman, she was also married and had two children. It would have been better if she was working for her husband! I mean, these are utopian ideas here, but these are Biblical ideas.
Back in April, the Senate passed a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which since 1994 has provided funding and training for state and local law enforcement to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. The law has worked incredibly well: between 1993 and 2010, the rate of intimate partner violence fell by 67 percent and the reporting of domestic violence has increased dramatically.
But this week, the Violence Against Women Act expires because House Republicans refused to reauthorize it. They refused even to hold a vote on it, instead proposing a watered-down bill that the president promised to veto. What they objected to were the new bill’s increased protections for immigrants, LGBT people and Native American women, which Majority Leader Eric Cantor characterized as “issues that divide us.”
Now the new Congress will have to start the process of reauthorizing VAWA all over again. Until they do, women across the country will be left without the safety net that VAWA provides.