Washington (CNN) - House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi told a summit of female activists she believes Republicans are engaged in a war on women and women's rights.
"There is actually a war on women," the minority leader told several hundred activists attending the Women Money Power Summit sponsored by the Feminist Majority Foundation. "Abortion is one issue but contraception and family planning and birth control are opposed by this crowd too. Understand what is at risk here," Pelosi said, referring to proposals promoted by the new House Republican leadership.
Pelosi's criticism echoes warnings by other progressive activists who argue the new House Republican leadership's budget cuts disproportionally target programs for women's health and low-incomes women's services.
Pelosi identified three bills pending before Congress which she said take aim at women. One, HR-3, would restrict women's access to abortion and eliminate federal funds for abortion in all circumstances. A second, the stop gap spending measure passed Thursday by the House, would eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, including for health checks for sexually transmitted diseases. And the third, the House Republicans' proposed budget for next year, would completely overhaul Medicare and Medicaid. Pelosi argued that proposal will end Medicare altogether.
"This is not reform. This is the same old ideological turn back the clock for women- end Medicare, end Medicare. Are you ready for that?" Pelosi asked the crowd.
When asked for comment, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee dismissed Pelosi's remarks as obstructionist. "These are more scare tactics and demagoguery from Democrats who are trying to distract from the serious conversation Republicans are having about our unsustainable budget. They weren't willing to have the conversation when they controlled the entire federal government and they are continuing to attempt to obstruct it now," said RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski.
Republicans argue that they are advocating painful cuts now to save programs for the future. When he unveiled his proposed budget earlier this week, Republican Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said, "We owe it to our country, to our kids to fix this problem."
In an interview with CNN Thursday, Pelosi maintained that women will bear the brunt of Ryan's Medicare fix saying, "Women are predominantly the recipients of Medicare, and they are going to be hurt by this. Medicaid they are going to be hurt by this."
The House Republican budget would convert Medicare from a fee-for-service program into a "premium-support" system for anyone under 55 today. When those individuals become seniors, they would choose from a Medicare-approved list of private insurance plans and the cost of that plan would be partly subsidized by the federal government. The Republican proposal would also gradually raise the age at which an individual is eligible for Medicare from 65 to 67 by the 2030s.
Speaking with CNN, the former speaker insisted the Republican agenda does harm to women saying, "If you are talking about jobs, their pay in the work place, health care, making-no longer is being a woman a pre-existing medical condition. They want to change all of that. So in every aspect – whether it is employment, whether it is education, whether it is health care, whether it is retirement, whether it is collective bargaining which affects women as well women have a lot to lose with the ideological old style agenda of the Republicans."
The women's vote will be key in next year's election, and analysts expect a battle for their allegiance. Since 1984, according to CNN exit polls, women have been a majority of voters in both presidential and congressional mid-term elections. By a 56 to 43 percent margin, the female vote in the 2008 presidential race went to President Barack Obama while in the 2010 midterm elections women voted for Republicans by a 49 to 48 percent margin for the House - helping them to re-gain the majority.
Pelosi urged the assembled activists to get involved ahead of the 2012 elections insisting the stakes are high.
"We have a big fight on our hands, in terms of respect for women, and our, what is right for our country in terms of our family decisions, in terms of Medicaid and Medicare," she said. "We have to create a drumbeat across America."
You tell it, Nancy! Tell it like you see it! I'm behind you all of the way!!!!!
why dont this pig go away? But then she is from san francisco...figures.
Yes, the Party of No can't compromise or negotiate, but can wage a war against social issues. Where is one piece of legislation for jobs out of these right wing nuts?
Pelosi is delusional and incompetent. There is a war against women, but it's by the liberals against any woman who doesnt subscribe to the liberal agenda. Pelosi is the problem, not the solution.
I don't understand how any woman can vote Republican. The bills that are working their way through some State legislatures right now to control women's right to choose (FL, IN, WI) are really abominable and single out women purely because of their gender. Rep. Pelosi is right.
Republicans hate women, Americans, this country, everything that has to do with America. They want to establish a dual theocratic/dictatorial fascist country where only older white rich men have anything.
What? The Republicans have empowered women. Just look at Sarah Palin. On second thought, don't look. It's one thing to empower women; it's quite another to empower bimbo women.
Nancy has got her facts right.
Republicans are at war with everything that doesn't fit into their narrow view of the world. Anything that can in any way pose a threat or opposition to their rule they are attacking. Women, children in our schools, NPR, ACLU. Name it.
"There is actually a war on women" of every kind
And the women from the RIGHT are totally blind
Blind to the fact that the MEN have forgot
About their rights because they call all of the shots!
"Abortion is one issue…” we should discuss
“…contraception and family planning…” is a MUST
“…and birth control [is] opposed by this crowd too
When will they realize they don’t speak for me or YOU!!!
“Understand what is at risk here"
The far-RIGHT seems as if they don’t care
It’s all about the Tea Party and NO ONE else
That’s why the Republicans will be put back on the shelf!!!
OBAMA/BIDEN 2012 – Everything from the RIGHT cannot serve the TRUE AMERICA!!!!!!
The Republicans have announced their plans openly so what Ms. Pelosi states is nothing new. That Republicans can say otherwise is ridiculous. It is amazing how Republican women want to be subsurvient to males. The few like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann seem far from educated when they open their mouths. One has to give them credit for knowing how to capture monies from others, so in that respect they are smart. When Mrs. McCain openly talked of a position against her husband's ideas, it seems the plug was pulled on her. We haven't seen her since then unless she is standing by her man. I wish women would realize this effort to push women backwards.
Queen Nan is her usual divisive and uninformed self! There is a war, but the war is on ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS that she and her party have hooked their voters on! There are tons of worthy causes, but since a minority of us are actually paying taxes, we have a big problem with her government give-aways at our expense!
There is a war on women? Hmmm...Sarah Palin comes to mind.
So the rethuglican mouthpiece blathered about smokescreens and demagoguery but couldn't bring herself to answer the question. Typical.
I, too, agree this is a war on women. Everyone should be aware of what these cuts are and not just some magic number these Republicans want to cut the budget by. These are programs our country need. Planned Parenthood is vital to women of all ages and not just the working poor. WIC provides vouchers for formula and baby food, and monthly check-ups for the child from birth to 5 years old. They also want to cut the EPA for goodness sake. You want to cut something that will make a difference, cut the subsidies to the oil companies, cut that darned Bush Tax Cut. Stop making the Corporations and wealthy of this country off limits when it comes to cuts.
Anyone who believes her spin and lies suffers from a significant case of HEAD UP REAR END syndrome. What a fool.
It is great to see an intelligent and powerful woman standing up to the Repub thugs (angry old men) who want to destroy providers womens healthcare.
Typical Dem tactic – lie and use scare tactics. Anybody that does not see through this old crow is an idiot....
Ms. Pelosi had plenty of opportunity to create and pass a budget but decided not too; enough said.
The Democrats along with Pelosi need to come out and tell the American people that the GOP is LYING when they claim Planned Parenthood is funded to perform abortions. In fact it is illegal for the goverment to do so. Yet they keep allowing them to tell this untruth. I know the folks in the right wing FoxNews bubble will not believe them, but the Dems need to get more spine and STOP letting GOPers spread manure that is downright untrue just because they know they have people out there that just trust everything they tell them without research of facts.
Yea Repub/TPers, keep 'em barfoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. You betcha !
nancy we know why your eyes are brown
Thank you for speaking the truth. This war is driven by religion. It's a war of church pressuring state to do its biased dirty work. All these law makers who are obsessed with women and their reproductive tracts are acting from superstition and fear, and not from understanding or compassion for the realities of being female, bearing live young, and tending those young for many, many years. Women are not government breeding machines, and this is not government business.
Pelosi is right. This chipping away at women's access to good health care if fundamentally wrong and misguided.
You do not have to believe in abortions but you should at least believe in the right to choose. If you do not want an abortion, do not get one but to limit a women's access and place prohibitive restraints on women is wrong. I would not get an abortion and I carried two babies, and that experience and choice was my own. I could not force someone to carry a baby if they do not want one. That is wrong.
There's a war on women for sure. Young ladies are discouraged from marrying young and having their babies because so many feminists think they need to get out there in the workforce to be happy. Then when they do finally try to follow through with the desire of marrying and having children many of them are finding it too late or impossible. Yes, I call the feminist agenda a war on women.