Debate Club

Is There a Republican 'War on Women'?

Is There a Republican 'War on Women'?

According to recent polls, Barack Obama is trouncing Mitt Romney nationally among likely female voters, and many have pointed to the supposed Republican “War on Women” as the reason for Obama’s lead. Those who argue that the war is real cite examples like the strong Republican opposition to Obama’s proposed contraception reform and the extreme pro-life stances of people like Rick Santorum—who has said that abortion is wrong even in cases of rape and incest—as instances of lawmakers wading too far into women’s issues. Republican efforts to redefine rape to reduce access to abortions, cut funding for Planned Parenthood, hold a hearing on contraception without any female panel members, and (in South Dakota, at least) make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions have not helped their case with some women, either.

Others argue that the rhetoric is a desperate attempt by the Obama campaign to disparage Republicans and pander to female voters. In an interview that aired this weekend, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus argued that the war on women is as fictional as a “war on caterpillars.” 

“If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars,” he said.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, argued on Sunday that Americans need to stop exaggerating political differences, saying that talk of a “war on women” damages the body politic. Likewise, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called the controversy a “manufactured issue.”

Is there a Republican "War on Women"? Here’s the Debate Club’s take:


The Arguments

#1
309 Pts
Democrats' 'War on Women' Rhetoric Is Insulting and Disingenuous

No – Democrats' 'War on Women' Rhetoric Is Insulting and Disingenuous

Sharon Day Co-chair of the Republican National Committee

#2
265 Pts
Reproductive Health Laws Prove GOP 'War on Women' Is No Fiction

Yes – Reproductive Health Laws Prove GOP 'War on Women' Is No Fiction

Zerlina Maxwell Political Analyst and Contributing Writer for EBONY.com, theGrio.com, and Feministing.com

#3
62 Pts
Talk of Republican 'War on Women' Is a New Low for Democrats
#4
34 Pts
Women Can't Trust GOP on Healthcare

Yes – Women Can't Trust GOP on Healthcare

Simone Ward National Deputy Constituency Director and National Director of Women's Outreach at the Democratic National Committee

#5
-10 Pts
Obama, Not the GOP, Started the 'War on Women'
#6
-10 Pts
The Republican 'War on Women' Is Real

Yes – The Republican 'War on Women' Is Real

Krystal Ball MSNBC Contributor and Former Democratic nominee for Congress in the First District of Virginia


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