Pelosi: There is a war on women
April 7th, 2011
06:02 PM ET
12 years ago

Pelosi: There is a war on women

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."

Filed under: Nancy Pelosi • Republicans
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. the real ib

    No botox lady this is not a war on women it's about this country being broke and the programs of Planned Parenthood and NPR should be at the bottom of the list on things to fund. The demo's just don't get it; the cookie jar is empty it's time to fund only programs that have to be funded. If a woman wants to have an abortion fine just don't use tax dollars that we don't have to do it. Private funding should be used for these programs not tax dollars. It's time to stop the out of controll spending and stop it now.

    April 7, 2011 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There certainly seems to be when there is a restriction on abortion as well as cuts to health centers run by Planned Parenthood. Why would you cut that when they do more than just abortion? I guess with plans to cut every social service, they figure that there will be a private sector that will compensate. That is only in an ideal world. We're not there!

    April 7, 2011 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  3. Phoenix86

    According to Pelosi, reducing federal funding for abortions is a "war on women". I guess for Pelosi, a war on a baby in the womb is perfectly ok. This woman needs psychiatric help.

    April 7, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  4. Fed Up

    I know what is at stake here – a baby's life. No federally funded abortions! That means Planned Parenthood which tries to push abortion on your mothers. I know, because my daughter-in-law went there for a pregnancy test and she just about had to fight her way out of there when she said she was keeping the baby. Sorry folks. No more funds for Planned Parenthood.

    April 7, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    The current debt is about 24% of our GDP; where were all these Republican yahoos when Reagan took it up to 50%?

    April 7, 2011 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    The truth hurts and the Republicans can't stand it. They ARE targeting programs that help women and children – just look at the list:

    1. Planned Parenthood (without whom I would not have found my early-stage cervical cancer)
    2. WIC (Women, Infants and Children program for low-income women and their children)
    3. CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program for low-income children)
    4. HeadStart (low-income children whose parents can't afford private daycare)

    Since women tend to outlive men, targeting Medicare also unfairly penalizes women.

    The bottom line is, we need these programs because it's just common sense (pay for it now or pay for it later with more unhealthy people and fewer skilled laborers). Besides, it's also the Christian thing to do to help those in need (Matthew 25:40 "And Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’"

    April 7, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  7. V

    Could so much favoritism for Planned Parenthood against the desire of many taxpayers to pay for abortion ( for they will use the money to build surgical centers and buy instruments which will dismember and kill the defenseless human baby) be due to political /financial support from Planned Parenthood???

    April 7, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  8. Stu Steinberg

    If I didn't know better, I would think that the members of Congress who are opposed to all things related to women are the Muslims the same people rail about because of their treatment of women in some quarters. These people are the same type of radical fundamentalists who still think women should stay home, pleasure their men, raise children and keep their mouths shut. What can you expect when Supreme Court Justice Scalia is of the belief that the constitution does not afford any protection to women because of their gender. I hope these people are right about Revelations and the Rapture and that they will soon all be gone. Then the rest of us can live in peace while we figure out how to kill the anti-Christ. Locusts and frogs would be far better than continuing to have to share oxygen with these cretinous people.

    April 8, 2011 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  9. nikki

    Nancy seems to forget that it was SHE who waged a "war" against the first VIABLE woman candidate for President, Hillary Clinton. Perhaps if she had voted FOR THE FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT, instead of fight her, women would not be in this predicament.

    April 8, 2011 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  10. Marie MD

    Of course there is a war on women. The rethugs want to keep them in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant. santorum tells us that he has done his job (over population I would say) with seven children and that 1/3 of abortions is the problem with Social Security. I guess getting rid of Planned Parenthood who work with women, any woman, for birth control and annual checkups is less important. Look at the governor from va. During his campaign his sons had something important to do. His daughters were going to visit grandma. These fools want to take us back to the days when the little woman stayed home and spawned like a rabbit (once again adding to the over population)!

    April 8, 2011 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  11. Steve Jackson

    As always Nancy Pelosi talking out her ass there is no war on women Medicare parenthood is not just about women This is about Pelosi trying to Get women all Worked up

    April 8, 2011 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  12. a in austin

    No need to take a step back in time when women had no rights – WOMEN UNITE!

    April 8, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  13. Morgan Zealear

    While you can obviously argue that the GOP is specifically targeting bills that would affect women primarily, it would be an oversight to mention this and NOT the number of bills currently on the table that oppose Pelosi's perogative. I'm not saying that this article is wrong, but there is little to say Pelosi is right. Then take for a moment that men have no rights AT ALL in respect to these issues, and nor can we be voted to have them. Case in point: Abortion. Often, the man would rather keep the baby, than to see the pregnancy terminated prematurely, but since it is growing in the woman, the man has no right; hundreds of thousands of mens sons are aborted, and we have no right to complain, nor do we make a stand about it every damned election cycle. It takes two to tango, or make a thing go right, or to create a new life, yet politics and women's right have pushed this issue entirely to one side of the court. I'd like you to think about this onesidedness before abasing Pelosi's perogative as national agenda or anything other than GOP scare mongering. And by the way, registered Democrat.

    April 8, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  14. BamaWhig

    I thought the Republicans were against being mandated to purchase health insurance from a private company, calling it unconstitutional after they mandated it by threatening to filibuster the Affordable Health Care for America Act over a "Public Option". Yet here is Paul Ryan mandating that future seniors get their end-of-life care decided on by for-profit companies subsidized by the government. There is no credibility in the Republican message, only more and more brazen hypocrisy.

    April 8, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  15. Marda

    The real war on women are liberals and feminists like Ms. Pelosi who assault the values, opinions, life choices, wardrobes, and intelligence level of women that they don't agree with.

    April 8, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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