Republicans appear to be increasingly annoyed by talk of the GOP's "war on women," as evidenced by John Boehner's recent tirade on the House floor. To hear them tell it, the very idea is trumped-up "fiction," based on bogus misconceptions cooked up by Democrats and sympathetic reporters.
And yet, when it comes to public policy, the larger trajectory is hard to miss. Take Republicans in Arizona, for example.
Last month, Gov. Jan Brewer (R), under the auspices of "protecting" women, signed a measure banning most abortions in the state after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and requiring a state-mandated, medically-unnecessary ultrasound 24 hours before the procedure. Late Friday afternoon, Brewer went even further.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Friday signed into law a bill banning abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from receiving money through the state, her office said in a statement.The Republican-backed Whole Woman's Health Funding Priority Act cuts off funding for family planning and health services delivered by Planned Parenthood clinics and other organizations offering abortions."By signing this measure into law I stand with the majority of Americans who oppose the use of taxpayer funds for abortion," Brewer said in a statement.
The problem with Brewer's statement is that it's not true -- taxpayer funding of abortion was already prohibited before this law was signed. Arizona hasn't provided any public funds to terminate any pregnancies.
Rather, what the governor and GOP policymakers in Arizona have done is cut off funding for contraception, cancer screenings, and basic preventive health care for families who are already struggling.
The next time someone says the Republican war on women is nothing more than media-driven hype, a myth trumped up by Democrats in an election year, remember it wasn't Dems or journalists who made this proposal law in the state of Arizona.