By JENNIFER EPSTEIN | 4/8/11 7:39 AM EDT
There is “a war on women,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says, and it’s being led by her own colleagues on the other side of the aisle in Congress.
“There is actually a war on women,” the California Democrat said Thursday in Washington, taking aim at House Republicans’ efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and restrict access to abortions, among other measures.
“Abortion is one issue, but contraception and family planning and birth control are opposed by this crowd too,” the first female speaker of the House said of Republicans at the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Women, Money and Power Summit, CNN reported.
“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.”
House Republicans have proposed one bill that would eliminate all federal funding for abortions and restrict access to the procedure. Another measure, passed Thursday afternoon as part of the GOP-favored continuing resolution to keep the government functioning for another week, fund the military for the rest of the fiscal year and cut $12 billion in spending, includes among its cuts the end of federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said that his caucus will not back down from its efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and it’s said to be a major sticking point in budget negotiations between the House GOP and the White House. In February, he indicated that he had told religious leaders he wanted to “win the war not just win a battle” over Planned Parenthood and abortion.
Pelosi said that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) proposed 2012 budget plan and its vision for reforming Medicare and Medicaid would also disproportionately hurt women.
“This is not reform,” she said. “This is the same old ideological turn back the clock for women — end Medicare.”
In an interview with CNN, Pelosi went even further in attacking the GOP agenda and what it would mean for women.
“If you are talking about jobs, their pay in the workplace, health care … no longer is being a woman a pre-existing medical condition. They want to change all of that,” Pelosi said. “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.”