New Rule: Only Women Legislators Should Be Allowed to Vote on Women's Issues

It is sad and embarrassing to admit this, but the impetus for most of these reproductive control bills has come from men. Over time, the number of men that believe they must control women like this will decline. But women cannot await universal male enlightenment.
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Since the "jobs, jobs, jobs" Republicans took over Congress and state legislatures, the only jobs they have created are those for men inventing new ways to define and control women.

Hundreds of reproductive control bills have been introduced and more than 100 passed by Republican state legislatures, and signed by governors. In Kansas, physicians have to violate their Hippocratic oath ("first, do no harm") by telling women lies about data on abortion and the risk of breast cancer. In Virginia women seeking abortions must endure a common law assault, an ultrasound exam whether medically necessary or not, and must pay for it themselves.

Mitt Romney supports, and the Republican Congress has tried, defunding Planned Parenthood -- which provides healthcare to 3 million women. Only the Democratic Senate and President Obama's poised veto pen have prevented it.

Republicans, including Mitt Romney, supported the Blunt-Rubio Amendment that placed women at the mercy of corporate CEOs' decisions on covering contraception and other reproductive services.

Not to be outdone, Arizona, in possible violation of federal medical privacy laws, has a bill that would force a woman to prove to her employer that her contraceptives were not being used for contraception per se, but for some medical condition, and would allow employers to fire women employees if they could not prove their medical need.

Congressmen Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Todd Aiken (R-MO) have introduced "personhood" legislation to control women in the District of Columbia. The legislation defines a fertilized egg as a legal person. It would outlaw all abortions and certain forms of contraception.

Ryan and Aiken, along with their House Republican colleagues, have blocked a routine extension of the "Violence Against Women" Act.

When Scott Randolph, a Florida legislator, suggested that the way to protect women was for them to incorporate their uterus so that Republicans would stop regulating it, he was admonished by the Republican Florida Speaker that he should not be using the word "uterus."

It is sad and embarrassing to admit this, but the impetus for most of this control over women's bodies has come from men. Over time, the number of men that believe they must control women like this will decline.

Yes, there are many women, such as Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) who would vote against their own gender's freedoms, but, when given the chance, one suspects most women would understand that it is time to stop the control of women by male legislators.

This is not to diminish the key role many males, almost all Democrats, have played in providing women freedom and dignity. Vice President Biden, for example, authored the original Violence Against Women Act when he was a senator.

But women cannot await universal male enlightenment.

Hence, the "New Rule": starting with the next session of legislatures, state and federal, that each institution which adopts a rule that says that, on issues affecting only women's bodies, only women legislators can vote, and that majorities of those voting are sufficient to pass legislation.

This post has been updated since its original publication.

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