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This past weekend, two important events took place that impact American women. First, April 29th marked the three-year anniversary of the date the Democrat-led Senate last passed a budget. Second, nationwide rallies, coined by organizers as being “United Against the War on Women,” took place on Saturday. These two events are intertwined, with the latter being used to deflect the fallout from the former. What we’re left with is a manufactured war on women designed to draw attention away from the real threat to women: failed policies that have led to economic instability.
Gas prices are up and employment is down. Women are losing jobs in greater numbers than men. Our national debt has reached a stratospheric $15.6 trillion, meaning each of our children is saddled with a $50,000 share of this burden. One in seven Americans now receives food stamps. Women are struggling to take care of their families, and the Senate, guided by Harry Reid, does nothing. Where is the outrage?
The same way families and businesses must set budgets to meet their priorities, the Senate is legally obligated to do the same for the federal budget. But passing a budget would mean taking responsibility for the spending, the deficit, the debt … something Democrats are unwilling to do during this important election year. It’s a political game and the American people, and particularly American women, are the pawns. This breathtaking abdication of duty by Senate Democrats should have women across the country up in arms. Again, where is the outrage?
Well, some women did hit the streets this past weekend with a rally cry of “Enough is enough!” Kudos to these women for demanding accountability from our elected officials, right? Wrong. In stunningly crude fashion, these protestors picked up their placards and bullhorns in an effort to make women think their access to contraceptives and abortions is being compromised. These sparsely attended rallies featured protesters holding signs that read, “Keep your hands off my uterus” and “This slut votes.” The intention was to frame a narrative in which politicians, particularly those of the Republican variety, are ripping their birth control out of their hands and sending America back to pre- Roe v. Wade days.
Newsflash: The 1970s called and they want their signs back. Not only is contraception not going anywhere (not to mention cheap and easy to obtain) and abortion remains legal, these issues are not even remotely important to the vast majority of Americans circa 2012. What is important? The economy, jobs, budget deficit, health care, and education; abortion, birth control and gay marriage come in dead last in recent polling. Social issues are not on the minds of American voters, and therein lays the problem.
The women taking part in these “United Against the War on Women” rallies willingly let themselves be pawns in a political game with serious consequences. Instead of using their voices to help their “sisters” who are suffering in this woeful economy, they chose to follow the playbook set out last year by EMILY’s List to wage a war of disinformation in order to lure women voters back to President Obama. Make no mistake, this is a deliberate, coordinated effort to distract from the economic issues plaguing everyday Americans. The empowerment of yesteryear has given way to distortion and doublespeak.
Senate Democrats and their accomplices could put down their posters, halt the rhetoric and get to work on fixing our ailing economy, putting people back to work, expanding our energy resources, and providing parents with educational choice. Instead, they choose to manufacture a war on women. Enough is enough.
Teri Christoph is the co-founder of Smart Girl Politics, a non-profit organization for conservative women, and co-chair of She-PAC, a hybrid PAC supporting conservative women candidates. She lives in Leesburg, VA with her husband and four children. Follow her on Twitter: @TeriChristoph.