Note: A post from contributor John Tsitrian
If you want a micro glance at the macro problems that the Republican Party is contending with these days, you need gaze no further than Pierre and a House Bill (1237) that’s currently incubating. The bill amends a current law requiring women seeking an abortion to wait seventy-two hours between visits to her doctor, a “crisis pregnancy center” and undergoing the procedure itself.
HB 1237 would amend the law in the following way: “No Saturday, Sunday, federal holiday, or state holiday may be included or counted in the calculation of the seventy-two hour minimum time period between the initial physician consultation and assessment and the time of the scheduled abortion procedure.”
The absurdity built into this bill is the implication that women can’t think on weekends and holidays–the reality, of course, is to add another hurdle along the way for women who seek to terminate their unwanted pregnancies. The simple political math is that when you add the absurdity to the problem, your sum is all about the reason that the GOP has lost a substantial share of the female vote.
Last November, Barack Obama captured an astounding 67% of the unmarried female vote—and those numbers were enough to explain the popular vote margin. “Unmarried women were the drivers of the president’s victory,” said Page Gardner, the president of Women’s Voices Women’s Vote Action Fund. And to what political forces did so many of those younger unmarried women respond? Utterances during the campaign that seemed to be adopting extreme and retrograde positions birth control and abortion—which the Democrats were quick to exploit, successfully, as a Republican “war on women.”
Unhappily for the GOP, bills like South Dakota’s HB 1237 are easily lifted from news wires and disseminated by national media and used as yet another example of Republican antipathy to women. I know that many well-educated, young, single professional women are uniformly rolling their eyes at the news of this pending legislation, and it only reinforces a built-in disgust with what they perceive to be condescending and demeaning Republican attitudes toward women. Given that the GOP’s roots go down to the bedrock principles of self-reliance and freedom from government intrusion into our personal lives, bills like HB 1237 are a rejection of what Republicanism is all about.
This has to change or I fear that the GOP will suffer a long succession of losses in national elections, giving us the specter of quasi-socialists like Barack Obama for many years to come. I’m John Tsitrian, I’m chairman of Common Sense Republicans PAC, and I’m determined to bring my Party back to its roots as a truly conservative organization that trusts individuals to make their own decisions about their bodies and their private lives.