RMC Responds: It’s Time to Focus on What Really MattersPosted: April 12, 2013
This week in a response to a post about an unconstitutional anti-choice bill advancing in Alaska, Julie said, “Roe v Wade makes absolutely no mention of medical necessity when legalizing abortion; this is extremely unconstitutional…and the taxpayers of Alaska will have to chip in to defend this in federal court….too bad….
The GOP has taken a lot of heat over the past few years for it’s out-of touch, and often offensive, opinions on various women’s issues from rape to trans-vaginal ultrasounds to abortion. A central message of the RNC’s Growth and Opportunity Project, one that has been heard regularly from the media as well, is the GOP needs to simply stop talking about some of these more divisive women’s issues. We agree – to a point.
We do not want to see reproductive health issues become the central issue or debate of the Republican Party. Our time, our elected officials’ time, and our taxpayer dollars would be much better spent focusing on historic GOP priorities of economic security and limiting government intrusion. However the anti-choice forces are determined to continue a constant barrage of legislative attacks keeping the issue front and center regardless of the effectiveness or potential harm of their agenda.
2012 was one of the worst years to date for women’s reproductive health with over 1100 reproductive-health related measures filed at the state or federal level. That’s over one thousand different affronts to reproductive health, and unfortunately almost every one pushed by a Republican leader.
In Arkansas and North Dakota, Republican-controlled legislatures have passed abortion bans so early that legal experts and politicians agree there is no doubt they are unconstitutional. Anti-choice activists have admitted the purpose of such legislation is to challenge Roe v Wade. These bills will likely be tied up in the courts, wasting taxpayer’s dollars for years to come.
And despite the proven effectiveness and cost savings of preventative family planning services, Republican representatives in Tennessee proposed two bills aiming to defund family planning clinics and promote abstinence only education. Increasing access to reproductive health procedures and medicines allows families to prevent unwanted births. This, in turn, saves taxpayers over $3.4 billion in Medicaid costs for prenatal care, delivery and infant care—amounting to $3.74 saved for every $1 spent on contraceptive care. This is public policy that works for both your family and the government.
As Julie stated in her comment this week, anti-choice legislation to these extreme degrees can only be counterproductive in our civil society. We wish we did not have to discuss these common sense issues, but when our fellow Republicans promote bills that directly defy the constitutional rights enumerated by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, we have to speak up.
Above all else, we are true conservative Republicans. As conservative Republicans, we value personal and fiscal responsibility – and as pro-choice Republicans we believe that our party must stop attempting to further restrict access to reproductive health care for the betterment of our nation. As soon as we stop focusing on these counterproductive measures and bills, we can work towards a compromise that works for all of us.