If you believe the social media posts, television screeds, and scare tactics of Republicans, women are murderous by nature. Given half the chance, they’ll undergo invasive surgery to kill a baby for the sheer joy of it. If their unwanted baby is somehow born alive, they’ll happily ask a doctor to snuff out its life.

It’s a nightmarish vision that runs counter to all reason and all evidence. For generations, women have stood at the forefront of every movement to protect human life and dignity. They commit fewer crimes. And though they spend, on average, significantly more time with their children, they’re far less likely to abuse them. When you really start digging into Republican views, it’s hard for them to mask their true feelings: they hate women. They don’t trust them. This depiction of women as infanticidal monsters also ignores hundreds of heartbreaking stories of women who choose to abort children they love, either to spare the child the misery of a few agonizing seconds of life on Earth, or because the child is already dead.

It’s time for liberals to reframe the debate. We need to stop assuming anti-choicers are an audience who will listen to reason or care about the suffering of women and families. The real truth, and the one we must discuss as frequently as possible, is that Republican policies force women to have abortions.

Republicans: Opposing Every Measure That Could Lower Abortion Rates

In 2014, abortion rates reached historic lows. The data suggest this was due to the Affordable Care Act, which made healthcare more accessible to more vulnerable women. Republicans opposed and continue to oppose this piece of legislation.

The same trend holds true with virtually every other policy that could slash abortion rates. Reducing abortion is not a mystery. Researchers consistently identify a handful of policies that could lower abortion rates. Republican lawmakers oppose them all. Those policies include:

  • Comprehensive sex education. States with abstinence-only sex education have the highest teen pregnancy rates, and some of the highest abortion rates. It should come as no surprise that, when teens aren’t taught how to prevent pregnancy, sexually active teens don’t take measures to prevent pregnancy.
  • Free contraceptives. Republicans have doggedly worked to make contraceptives less accessible. Some even want them to be illegal. Many Republicans who support insurance coverage for Viagra and other medically unnecessary drugs think contraceptives should not be covered. A study of teens with access to free contraceptives found that those who got free birth control had 20% as many abortions as teens without access to free birth control.
  • Better birth control. Funding birth control research, including birth control for men, can lower the abortion rate.
  • Supporting a consent culture. When women feel empowered to decline sex, rates of unwanted pregnancy and abortion decline. Republicans remain defenders of rape, telling women to just enjoy it or instructing us all that women lie about rape. Many insist that marital rape should be legal.
  • Improved health care access. Healthcare costs in the U.S. are among the highest in the world, with some of the worst outcomes. Research shows that making health care more accessible, especially by ensuring reproductive health care access to teens, can lower the abortion rate.

How Republican Policies Drive Abortion

Republicans don’t just oppose policies that could lower the abortion rate. They actively promote policies that encourage women to have abortions.

Research on women seeking abortions consistently finds three reasons for the abortion: 1) concern about the woman’s ability to care for other people, including children she already has; 2) the inability to afford a child; 3) the fear that having a child will make it difficult or impossible to finish school or work.

Republicans frequently point to these motives as signs of women’s fundamental selfishness, as if the desire to work or to not live in deep poverty indicates a moral failing. Meanwhile, they continue to push for policies that make life even worse for women who keep their babies. The U.S. has the worst maternal mortality rate in the developed world. For black women, the picture is even grimmer. In states such as Georgia, it is more dangerous for a black woman to give birth than it is for women to give birth in Iraq, Iran, or the West Bank.

What are Republicans doing about this? They’re rejecting Medicaid expansion, which has been shown to save lives. They’re aggressively pushed to reinstate the ability of insurers to deny care to pregnant women. They don’t want health care coverage for everyone—or a guaranteed baseline of care for anyone. They want the fetuses they so aggressively advocate for to be born to mothers who might die, might not be able to afford medical treatment, or might go into bankruptcy because of birth. They claim these “unborn babies” are precious, and then they advocate for insurers to be able to deny them care.

Republican platforms have long included opposition to any sort of welfare or public support for mothers and families. They don’t want to guarantee the babies they claim to care about food at school. They don’t want them to live in safe or affordable homes. They don’t want them to have access to safe or affordable childcare.

minimum standard of maternity leave is “government regulation.” It’s fine to regulate women’s bodies, even to force them to give birth to dead babies or to keep pregnancies that will kill them. But regulation that could allow women to recover from birth and care for their babies is another matter altogether.

They don’t want supportive workplaces. They’ve historically opposed any measure to prevent discrimination at work against mothers or pregnant women. They oppose worker safety regulations, minimum wage, fair labor rules, sexual harassment protections, and any other measure that could keep pregnant women safe at work or ensure that babies have healthy mothers.

At nearly every moment in history, at nearly every chance, Republicans have taken up the mantle of making life worse for mothers and babies. They don’t really oppose abortion at all. They just want to punish women in every way possible. After all, as their social media posts about women who have abortions make clear, they think women are monsters.

Source: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/2/28/1838316/-How-Republican-Policies-Force-Women-to-Choose-Abortion?utm_campaign=trending