The most overlooked ‘Lie of the Year’: The so-called Republican ‘War on Women’

This week, PolitiFact came out with its list of finalists for the 2012 ‘Lie of the Year.’ The “lies” cover everything from abortion to health care to taxes to the auto bailout, and hit on an equal number of claims from both sides of the aisle.

Every year PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” causes controversy. In 2009 and 2010, it rated “death panels” and “government takeover of health care” as the respective Lies, rankling conservatives, and in 2011 it ranked the Mediscare tactics of the Left as the worst Lie.

Each of these “Lie of the Year” awards can be argued and debated endlessly. While “death panels” may not technically exist, it is clear that the Independent Payment Advisory Board does have the power and incentive to limit care to seniors. Is that an effective death panel? Only time will tell.

This year, however, PolitiFact missed what is to me the clear winner of the ‘Lie of the Year’ award: the claim that Republicans are waging a ‘War on Women.’

In a phone interview, PolitiFact Editor Bill Adair explained why the “War on Women” didn’t make the cut.

“Lie of the Year comes from statements PolitiFact has rated ‘False’ or ‘Pants on Fire.’ We rate the ‘Lie of the Year’ as the boldest statement or the statement with the biggest reach. Obviously, it’s subjective,” he said. “We didn’t do a fact-check on a statement that there was a War on Women. It was an opinion, and we don’t fact-check opinions. People used it as a sum-up of a variety of aspects of the 2012 campaigns, but it was an overall opinion, not a statement of policy fact.”

Unfortunately, I think Adair and his staff missed the boat here. The ‘War on Women’ claim was indeed related to many policy claims. Politicus USA even provided a whole list of policy aspects of the ‘War on Women. Furthermore, the ‘War on Women’ was launched on January 20, 2012 by none other than President Obama when his Administration put out the HHS contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate, which is a policy. Prominent liberal pundits like Gail Collins then claimed religious opponents of the mandate were trying to force “their particular dogma on the larger public,” when in fact all the religious organizations wanted was the freedom to not engage in government-coerced action.

The false ‘War on Women’ claim that may have done the most damage to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012 was Planned Parenthood’s assertion that Romney wanted to “get rid of” Planned Parenthood, when he was actually talking about federal funding for the organization. Romney was eventually forced to run an ad stating he is pro-choice, becoming possibly the first modern Republican candidate for President to run on a platform supporting abortion. He was also forced to declare in a debate that “[e]very woman in America should have access to contraceptives.”

Additionally, Richard Mourdock, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MS) and Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), among other Republican candidates, lost their races at least in part because of the alleged ‘War on Women.’ The Mourdock and Akin losses helped leave the Senate in control of the Democratic Party.

The claim that Republicans are engaged in a ‘War on Women’ was prominently displayed at the Democratic National Convention by Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, among others. And President Obama’s campaign made national news when it released a vote with your “lady parts” graphic (that was quickly deleted).

Of course, in the end, women supported Obama over Romney by a substantial margin overall, especially in key states. How can Politifact argue that the ‘War on Women’ lies Democrats told about Romney and fellow Republicans didn’t have a broad enough reaching effects to be considered for ‘Lie of the Year’?

Besides impacting the election and public opinion, the “War on Women” could result in the shut down the Catholic Church’s entire affiliated network in America. This includes one-sixth of hospital beds in America, schools and adoption centers across the country.

Given how widespread this lie was, the implications for the 2012 elections, and the future implications on health insurance and private education in America, it definitely qualifies as at least a candidate for ‘Lie of the Year,’ if nothing else.

Comments

Comments

  1. Naomi Pena says:

    •Republicans in the House proposed a bill (HR 1179) called “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011.” The bill, introduced by Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb), allows health care providers and pharmacists to deny birth control to women if it conflicts with their religious or moral convictions. The Senate is expected to vote on its version of HR 1179 during the week of February 27 where it is known as S. 1467, whose primary sponsor is Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and has become an amendment to Transportation Authorization Bill S. 1813. The Blunt Amendment was defeated in the Senate on a narrow vote of 51 to 48 on March 1, 2012.= (i am going to deny you of making your own decision to your body due to my PERSONAL ideologies)

    •South Dakota wants to require “spiritual” counseling (House Bill 1217) at religious centers before allowing an abortion to take place. The bill was signed into law in March 2011 and challenged in court by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU in May. We still haven’t heard what the courts will decide in this case (though a federal judge has suspended most of the law in the interim) and Republicans aren’t waiting to find out. The South Dakota House of Representatives approved a bill on February 13 sponsored by Rep. Roger Hunt, R-Brandon that changes counseling requirements. Women seeking abortions will still have to wait 72 hours and endure spiritual counseling but now requires those counselors be licensed. The consulting doctor will now have to decide if it is likely the woman will develop mental health problems as a result of the abortion. As a side note, in both 2006 and 2008 voters rejected attempts to outlaw most abortions.(separation of church and state? doesnt seem like it)

    •The Texas State House of Representatives has passed the Sonogram Bill (HB 15), a measure requiring women to get a sonogram before ending a pregnancy, forcing even victims of rape to have a sonogram at least 24 hours before the procedure. Gov. Rick Perry has signed the bill into law, which takes effect September 1, 2011. There are exceptions in cases of rape and incest. As Planned Parenthood reports: “While a woman can opt-out of seeing the sonogram image and hearing the heart tone, she cannot opt-out of a medically unnecessary sonogram, nor can she opt-out of the fetal description except within very narrow parameters for situations of rape, incest, judicial bypasses, and fetal anomalies.” (enforcing your what you think is right into someone else’s personal life? sounds like it)

    •Georgia State Representative Bobby Franklin has introduced a bill that would not only make abortion illegal but would make miscarriages illegal.

    •Indiana (House Bill 1210) wants to force doctors to lie to women about abortion causing breast cancer despite medical evidence to the contrary in order to discourage women from having abortions

    •The U.S. House of Representatives passed (by a 234-182 vote) an amendment sponsored by Virginia Foxx (R-NC) prohibiting teaching hospitals from receiving federal funding if they teach doctors how to perform abortions. Unfortunately, as a result of this legislation new physicians will not receive the training needed to save women’s lives. As Correntewire.com puts it, “234 members of the House voted to ban the teaching of medical procedures that are vital in saving the lives of women who have miscarried, or have complications that endanger their health, or who aren’t even pregnant.”

    i could go on and on and on.

    So we shouldn’t do with our bodies as we please like men do because it conficts with their THEIR religion..yeap separation of church and state..and the Liberals are the unconstitutionals right?
    Its a better deprive young women from having an unwated pregnancy causing drop outs, most likely not such a good life for the child and probably some governement health..oh right the conservatives also criticize those on safety nets.

  2. Naomi Pena says:

    i love how everytime i want to post something dissaproving with the article this website doesnt let me post it…

  3. Lisa says:

    What many liberal and left leaning democrats do not understand is that that many who advocate legal abortion have never seen the remains of an aborted baby nor have they ever suffered the damaging consequesences of abortion which the violent force used to open a woman’s cervix in order to reach up and cut and dismember an unborn baby then d an c her in order to remove the remains which in many cases lead to rupturing of the uterus which in many cases leads hemmhoraging and or death. Many women lose the ability to carry a child later when they “choose” to have a baby (key word -baby not fetus or clump of cells). Many women who have had abortions and claim it was a goid thing are saying this because they choose not (key operative “choose”) to listen to their conscience. The fallacy that a baby magically becines a baby only when it is wanted is not based in scientific logic. It is emotional and a selfish motivated emotion. The fact that many in the pro abort camp are blind to scientific fact that life begins at conception and that abortion actually protects rapists, pedophiles, pimos,

  4. Lisa says:

    *pimps, coercive men and family members. Pro-Abortionists are the ones waging the war on women, not the republican party and certainly not those who are actually concerned about the health and safety of women by advocating the preservation of life and limb of both mother and child.

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