While tales of Arnold’s physical harassment of women should keep him out of the Governor’s seat, George Bush‘s assaults against women nationwide–and around the world–should ensure that he is ousted from the White House in 2004.
Since he arrived in DC, he has been waging a not-so-quiet war against women and families. Several of his most extreme actions–for example, the global gag rule–have received some media scrutiny. But how many people know about these other assaults?
With all due credit to Emily’s List, here’s a top-ten list of Bush Assaults on Women and Families. (If you have your own list, click here to share it with me. I’ll keep a running tally of Bush assaults as we head into 2004.)
10. Bush chose Nancy Pfotenhauer, president and CEO of the conservative Independent Women’s Forum, to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women. (The IWF is a rightwing group actively opposed to the Violence Against Women Act.)
9. Bush appointed Diana Furchgott-Roth as director of the Federal Housing Finance Board. Furchgott-Roth, a former fellow at the far-right American Enterprise Institute, co-authored a book denying the existence of a wage gap and glass ceiling, and arguing that women are no longer affected by discrimination in the workplace.
8. The Republican-backed Personal Responsibility, Work and Family Promotion Act of 2003 increased from thirty to forty the number of hours that welfare recipients are required to work–while also providing $200 million annually to promote marriage and $50 million to promote abstinence.
7. Bush tried to eliminate contraceptive coverage from federal employees’ health plans. (Democrats fought back and won.)
6. Bush in intent on nominating judges who are staunch opponents of abortion rights. His most recent nominee to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Claude A. Allen, has gone so far as to claim that abortion is causing genocide of the black population. Allen has also been a vocal supporter of abstinence-only education programs and the Bush Administration’s decision to remove information about condoms and teen pregnancy prevention from the Center for Disease Control’s website.
5. Bush appointed Wade Horn as assistant secretary for family support in the US Health and Human Services Department. As President of the National Fatherhood Institute, Horn said that low-income kids whose parents aren’t married should be last in line for Head Start and other benefits.
4. Bush policy prohibits military women stationed overseas from receiving safe medical abortions at military hospitals, even if they pay for the procedure with personal funds.
3. Bush slammed the door shut on the White House Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach, which worked with women’s advocacy groups on public policy and political issues. His 2004 budget eliminated funding for the Women’s Educational Equity Act to promote equity for girls and women in education.
2. Bush nominated Dr. David Hager to chair the Food and Drug Administration’s Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. (Hager has written about Christ’s ability to heal women’s illnesses and reportedly refused to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women.) The good news? Hager did not become chair. The bad news? He became a member of the committee.
1. Under the pretense of helping working families, particularly working mothers, the Bush Administration proposed the so-called Family Time Flexibility Act to abolish federally mandated overtime pay for workers, allowing employers to offer comp time instead. The Democrats prevented this bill from coming to the floor but there’s talk that Republican legislators may try to bring it back in different form.
Don’t let George W. hide behind his image as the protector of a country that is, in fact, becoming increasingly less secure–not to mention less fair, less compassionate and less just–under his shrinking stewardship.