Where Are the Women, Ted?

Isn’t it amazing…

Look, I have things to do, right?  I’ve got papers to write and other really important stuff I’m just saying, this is beyond me.

Ted Cruz – and any sentence that starts this way should make you roll your eyes instantly – takes issue with Hillary Clinton’s statements about the Republican position on contraception.  This is the pertinent part of what she said for our story:

“The Republicans have made it clear in recent years that they are not only opposed to abortion, which they have been for quite some time. They’re increasingly opposed to family planning and contraception. This is a direct assault on a woman’s right to choose health care.” (Washington Post)

Emphasis is mine.

This is how Ted Cruz responded to that.

“Last I checked, we don’t have a rubber shortage in America. When I was in college we had a machine in the bathroom, you put 50 cents in and voila!” Cruz continued to some laughter. “So yes, anyone who wants contraceptives can access them.” (The Hill)

There’s more.  I linked the article from The Hill, check it out.

First thought?  I can’t tell you what my first thought is.  It’s inappropriate. My second thought, however is this: where are the women?  Isn’t it amazing how Republicans manage over and over again to talk about women’s health – including abortion – without ever actually mentioning women?  Again and again they do it and Ted Cruz just did it once more.

When faced with a question of whether Republicans support contraception (which is variable, to be generous), he responded by saying “condoms, you guys, they’re everywhere.”  Except, excuse me – rubbers.  I hope you can feel my eyes rolling right now, because they are.  Condoms, the sort of condoms to which Ted Cruz refers, are for men.  And yes, they are available everywhere.  You can buy condoms at your local grocery store, at Target, Walmart, pretty much any local pharmacy, not to mention most convenience stores and gas stations.  You can buy those condoms, which are made to protect against sexually transmitted diseases as well as prevent pregnancy by fitting snugly over a penis, over the counter without a prescription and without question.  What about the other kinds of contraception?

How about IUDs?  They are, if you’re unfamiliar, inserted in the uterus by a doctor to prevent implantation of a zygote thus preventing pregnancy.  Ted Cruz thinks IUDs are abortifacients, never mind that isn’t medically accurate.  He opposes abortion in all cases, even incest and rape, and he called IUDs and similar forms of birth control including Plan B abortifacients which means that he doesn’t – in actual fact – support a full range of contraceptives.  Neither do several of the Republican candidates.  Here’s a fun article that ranks the GOP candidates on women’s issues.  It’ll make you ill.  Conservatives have a pretty fun record when it comes to contraceptives.

This is all, however important it is to know, very much beside my main point which is – how do Republicans keep managing to talk about women’s health while never actually talking about women?  I don’t know, but I very much hope that whoever wins the Democratic nomination for every seat up for election in 2016 plans to push their Republican opponents on exactly that.  No more talking about abortion without talking about the women who desperately need abortion services.  No more talking about contraception without talking about the people whose economic independence depends largely on their ability to control when and if they have children.  No more pretending that the logical end to your policy positions isn’t denying women the ability to control our own bodies.

No more.



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