War on Women: Reproductive Health Legislation Review
Women have come to the situation, when they know that they can do more than following the rules of marriage, as they can run companies, establish their own rules and be equal members of society. It has a direct correlation to birth control, which have occurred decades ago have entitled females with the opportunity to make choices for themselves. Thus, there are still certain situations related to redistricting and reapportionment, while the government tries to impose limitations on women through passing certain laws that put a restriction on reproductive health. Thereafter, the current paper critically reviews the “anti-women’s reproductive health legislation” in the USA dated 2011-2015.
The issue of putting restrictions on reproductive rights of women, which is mainly done by the Republican Party, has turned out to be known as ‘war on women’. This phrase has been used in order to highlight that it is a real issue for the American society, while the laws are affecting an abortion and birth control services, criminal violence prosecution against women, rape definition and workplace discrimination. The war on women has started in 2011, when provisions related to reproductive rights and women’s health have started to appear more frequently and have many restrictions regarding abortion. Thereafter, the law has restricted the time when the abortion is take place and has also limited the abortion insurance coverage (Zengerle).
The Democrats are against the war on women, which is why they present much evidence that since 2011, a number of laws restriction and limiting the choices of women regarding birth control and abortions have increased by more than three times. In addition to that, some states such as Indiana have made the laws even stricter risking to be cut from the governmental support of the healthcare system due to such actions. In 2012, the new requirement came out that was related to the ultrasounds, which have been declared to be mandatory on the governmental level before taking an abortion. Some states have looked into the obligation of women to see the fetus image, while others have spoken about listening to the heartbeat. This is a problem not only from the moral side, but from the physical as well, as the majority of women who want to have an abortion are on the short term, and they need a probe to be inserted within in order to get the ultrasound image.
In 2013, the House Judiciary Committee approved the bill posted by the Republican Party member in Arizona related to the fact that women should be banned from having an abortion if they have been over week 20. The proposed bill did not include provisions related to insect, rape or other forms of abuse, while it turned out to be very cruel and impolite towards women, who have been treated as a ‘kettle’. The law related to the ban on abortion after the 20th week has been enforced within seven states in the USA.
The list of further laws that are non-beneficial for women has been added through birth control initiatives. Thereafter, in 2012, the announcement regarding the fact that all contraceptive health plan coverage should be agreed by FDA came into place, while religious institutions have got an exception related to the possibility to seek the cost coverage from insurance companies. The Arizona House has passed the bill that allows to exclude the contraceptives from the healthcare coverage due to religious beliefs. This legislation turned out to be very heatedly discussed among many political members, and it was particularly disadvantageous for women who were literary to use aspirin between their legs as a contraception item (Nash, Gold, Rowan, Rathbun, and Vierboom).
In 2011, the funding for the Planned Parenthood was cut, which was followed to decrease of budgeting of other initiatives that have aimed to improve the health of women all over the country. The further changes that have made the negative contributions during the war on women were related to a certain amendment of the rape laws in the provisions regarding abortions, as they have been put under scrutiny to find the verification that Medicare should fund them. In Michigan, since 2014, all private insurance companies are not entitled to cover abortions unless they are the result of incest or rape, which pushes women to purchase a separate type of insurance. There have been multiple declarations that those women who have been raped, become pregnant very rarely, which is a stupid argument. This continued with cutting off funds and further provisions that are to make the war on women even worth. There has been an attempt to justify the military sexual assaults, as it is allegedly related to the level of hormones of the males. The Violence Against Women Act has been renewed, but it was unwelcomed by the Republicans, and it was barely supported by the Congress due to a massive opposition. In addition to that, the program that has been supporting the breast feeding and low-income pregnant income women, which has been initiated by the office of the current President during the first years of his rein, was suggested to be cut by 10%. The budget was eventually cut by half of the proposed figure. In 2012, Wisconsin issued law related to the equal payment for both genders, which was aggressively met by the Republicans, and it was a continuation of the war on women acts.
The war on women has included a multiple amount of acts, which resulted in more than 1,100 rights-related and reproductive health provisions and amendments that is a very sharp increase since 1990. The majority of provisions have set abortion restrictions and have been implemented within more than 24 states, which is another record in comparison to those, which have been enforced in 2005. This is also important to mention that the most negative and disloyal part of the war on women was related to limitations on education regarding contraception. Thereafter, it has become hard in Mississippi for schools to justify the need to include into the curriculum the educational programs regarding the mentioned issue, while in North Dakota, it has turned out that women do not need such knowledge until they get married. The situation that has occurred in Tennessee was ridiculous, as the Senate has voted to ban holding hands at schools as the reaction to an increased levels of teenage pregnancy. The war on women has included many other hilarious laws, such as a law in Iowa, where a pregnant woman has almost got to jail due to the fact that has accidentally fallen down the stairs while talking to her husband on a phone and has put the life of the fetus in danger (PoliticusUSA).
Even though it might be considered that the situation has started to improve, the issue of the Hyde Amendment has demonstrated that the war on women still continues. The act is about to withhold insurance coverage of abortion, while it threatens the well-being and health of many women. The major objective of the Hyde Amendment is to prevent women from making an abortion, while it has been a subject of many changes since it was first issued. Nevertheless, the amendment still does not allow federal Medicare to cover the abortion unless it was a result of certain abuse. The state might allocate funds that would cover abortions as well, but this is not beneficiary for them, but women suffer as a result. The abortions are not covered even if the health of a woman is in jeopardy, and the example to that was the case in Florida, where a female was suffering a cancer and needed a therapy, but she was pregnant and could not get one. She was refused to cover the expenses of abortion. Low-income women suffer the most, as this requires them to save money on food and other vital basic things for life and normal well-being in order to cover the expenses related to the abortion costs. Women of color are another vulnerable group of population as they are more likely to face financial barriers while looking for abortion options (National Women’s Law Center).
Taking everything into consideration, even war on women is not official and not publicly recognized by the government of the United States, it still has caused many issues that continue to threaten the well-being and health of many women. Many decades ago women have ‘won’ the right to vote and to become equal members of society, while many individuals today still want them to be less powerful members of the society by imposing and enforcements laws related to birth control and reproductive system. Some of them might be even ridiculous, but they still continue to function, and the example to that is the Hyde Amendment.