Republican Hysteria Over Immigration Reform Misses A Main Demographic: WOMEN

By Donald A. Collins | 13 June 2013
Church and State

(Credit: Piqsels / Public Domain)

As the Senate plunges into the highly charged immigration bill, S.744, the Republican concern over doing something adequate to propitiate the Hispanic voters looms large in the outpourings of the US main stream media and from the GOP members of both houses.

Will we have another 1986 amnesty passed, which granted 3 million illegal aliens citizenship and which with no enforcement morphed into at least 11 million illegal aliens here now, probably closer by some estimates to 20 million?

The jury is out, but amendments are flowing in and we can only hope that the few real immigration reform patriots such as Jeff Sessions (D-Ala) will be able to lance this tragically flawed piece of legislative pus, so that the Republic will have some semblance of adherence to our precious Rule of Law when S.744 is considered by the US House of Representatives, which will have its own bill.

Just thinking politically, sans the usual jargon which accompanies everything in print and electronically these days, I think the hysterical Republicans who think comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) is the key to their future elect-ability are dead wrong.

They should get a good start on better understanding by reading reality based analysis from people such as Shawn Trende, who opines that other issues outflank CIR with Hispanic voters.

The late Mayor of NYC, Ed Koch, once opined, “I can explain it to you, but I can’t comprehend it for you.”

Ok, lets turn the beam on an obviously broader demographic. WOMEN. Right! Yes, Boys, they are half the US population. And they vote!

Yes, Republicans, you are really missing the boat and are politically drowning in your own flawed ideology when you persistently attack women’s reproductive rights.

Perfect example: Per a Washington Post item of 6/12,

At a House Judiciary Committee meeting on Wednesday, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), whose measure banning abortions after 20 weeks was being considered by the committee, argued against a Democratic amendment to make exceptions for rape and incest. Franks suggested that pregnancy from rape is rare, saying, “before, when my friends on the left side of the aisle here tried to make rape and incest the subject — because, you know, the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”

Gee, rape is ok because only a few women get pregnant? Oh, so let’s not fix the rapes of women in the military? Senator Levin, a Democrat, wants to leave the final decision to service commanders who have done nothing to stop the thousands of rapes for years. Yes, it is a male problem and it needs fixed.

However, Democrats are consistently better on women’s reproductive rights. We get constant proof almost daily.

For example, Dana Milbank’s 6/12/13 WAPO column, “In Abortion Storm, It’s Reigning GOP Men” he tells us:

Ladies and gentlemen, Republicans are again voting on new abortion restrictions. Cue their theme song:

“Men men men men, manly men men men!”

“Men men men men, manly men men men!”

The House Judiciary Committee gathered Wednesday to pass another antiabortion bill, and the nameplates on the majority side told the story:

Mr. Goodlatte.

Mr. Sensenbrenner.

Mr. Coble.

Mr. Smith.

Mr. Chabot.

Mr. Bachus.

Mr. Issa.

Mr. Forbes.

Mr. King.

Mr. Franks.

In all, the nameplates of 23 misters lined both rows on the GOP side; there isn’t one Republican woman on the panel. The guys muscled through a bill that, should it become law, would upend Roe v. Wade by effectively banning all abortions after 20 weeks.

With the grace of Charlie Sheen and the subtlety of a sitcom, the manly men voted down a Democratic effort to add enhanced protections for the life and health of the mother. They voted down a Democratic amendment that would allow exceptions for women with heart or lung disease or diabetes. They even voted down an amendment that would have made exceptions for victims of rape or incest.

If that weren’t enough, the chief sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), had a Todd Akin moment as he attempted to argue that women aren’t likely to become pregnant from rape. Franks provided his variation of “legitimate rape” theory when he argued against the rape-and-incest exception because the amendment didn’t require women to report the crime.

“What difference does that make?” asked Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).

“The point I was trying to make, Mr. Nadler, is that, you know, before my friends on the left side of the aisle here tried to make rape and incest the subject, because, you know, the incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” he said. “But when you make that exception, there’s usually a requirement to report the rape within 48 hours.”

Hold on. The incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low?

“I just find it astonishing to hear a phrase repeated that the incidence of pregnancy from rape is low,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), one of five Democratic women on the panel. “There’s no scientific basis for that. The idea that the Republican men on this committee think they can tell the women of America that they have to carry to term the product of a rape is outrageous.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) joined in. “I don’t think any of them can speak to the question, unless they desire to raise their hand, of being raped,” she said. Jackson Lee noted that “not a single hand was raised.”

Even before the hearing, Democrats were talking about the legislation as evidence that the GOP had returned to its “war on women,” a favorite Democratic theme to widen the party’s advantage among female voters. But if this really is a war, women have nothing to worry about: These Republicans can’t shoot straight.

The legislation, even if it clears the House, has no chance in the Senate and would face a certain veto. It also contradicts the long-standing Roe precedent that the Supreme Court has shown no appetite to revisit. And yet House Republicans pressed ahead, inviting charges that they are unconcerned about the economy and indifferent to victims of sex crimes.

“This looks like just another battle in the Republican war on women,” Nadler observed, saying the majority thinks women are “too immoral or too stupid” to make their own choices.

To counter this argument, Franks invoked Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortion doctor who was convicted last month of murdering babies. But Gosnell was convicted under existing law and therefore didn’t help Franks rebut the war-on-women charges.

Lofgren told the story of a woman whose pregnancy was putting her life at risk. “The idea that we would force somebody like Vicki to endanger her own life — the Republican men on this committee think they have the right to do that,” she said.

Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) said the bill’s text has “14 legislative findings, none of which included any mention of Congress’s role in protecting the health and lives of pregnant women.”

The men easily defeated the rape-and-incest exception. But when it came time to vote on an exception for a mother’s health, there were 11 Democrats in the room and only 10 Republicans.

“It is good for everybody to have lunch, so we will stand in recess,” announced the chairman, Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

“Can we vote on this amendment, please?” asked Jackson Lee, the sponsor.

“We will vote on it when we return,” Goodlatte said.

The Republicans needed more manpower.

Thanks, Mr. Milbank. I rest my case about political mis-emphasis by Republicans.

After spending over a week this month in Oslo, Norway, in talking with many Norwegians, I find they are dumb founded at the attitude of Americans generally in the US about women’s reproductive rights issues. Wisely against more out of wedlock pregnancies, teen pregnancies, and transmission of STDS, just to name a few results of American policies, Norwegians have healthier lives uncluttered with fatuous pronouncements from male politicians like Mr. Frank.

So let’s have a vigorous immigration reform debate. S. 744 is so flawed and anti-American citizen that I predict it will fall of its own weight as this 843 page monstrosity’s guts get spilled into the sunlight of public awareness.

Do we need reform? Yes. Do we need better enforcement? Yes. Do we need E verify made permanent and mandatory for all employers? Yes. Please Congress, let’s do it!

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

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