For the past few months, there has been much controversy stemming from both Democrats and Republicans regarding the “War on Women.” Democrats and Republicans have been arguing about issues from reproductive rights, equal pay, to whether or not being a housewife does “real work.” One of the most recent battles fought regarding women’s issues has been regarding abortion, specifically sex-selective abortion.
Sex-selective abortion was brought to national attention when pro-life organization Live Action released a controversial video in May. In the video, a Planned Parenthood counselor disclosed to a woman that she would be able to obtain an abortion if she learned the sex of the child was female. The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), meant to ban the practice of sex-selective abortion, failed to pass the House of Representatives on May 31st. The failure of the bill was a victory for pro-choice supporters and a significant failure for pro-life advocates.
Another recent scuffle between Democrats and Republicans occurred regarding the Paycheck Fairness Act, which aimed to provide wage equality, regardless of sex, and would facilitate data collection in regards to sex-based pay discrepancies. The bill managed to pass the house, but it was blocked by Senate Republicans on June 5th. As a response to the Paycheck Fairness Act getting voted down, Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the End Pay Discrimination Through Information Act the day that that Senate voted on the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill would provide protection for employees who are trying to determine whether or not they are experiencing pay discrimination.
Women’s issues are gaining more exposure in the mainstream media and are shaping up to be a main focus for the upcoming presidential election. Though many women disagree with each other on the topic of abortion, it is safe to say that most women would support legislation for equal wages in comparison to their male counterparts. Republicans have seemed to recognize that and have introduced a new bill to remain relevant with female voters. The female vote will most likely be key in determining who is elected in November. We must keep in mind that women in America are vastly different. The definition of “women’s rights” for a Democrat may be oppressive to a Republican or Independent voter, and vice-versa.