New Report on the Anti-Women Voting Record of the 112th Congress Identifies 55 Anti-Women Votes by House Republicans

Sep 5, 2012

Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman, Subcommittee on Health Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr., Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Ranking Member Anna G. Eshoo, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Ranking Member Diana DeGette, and Committee members Lois Capps, Jan Schakowsky, Tammy Baldwin, Doris O. Matsui, Donna Christensen, and Kathy Castor released a new report on the extreme anti-women agenda of the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress.  Since the beginning of the 112th Congress in January 2011, the Republican-controlled House has cast 55 votes for anti-women policies that undermine women’s health, roll back women’s rights, and defund programs and institutions that provide support for women.

“House Republicans have voted repeatedly for legislation that would be harmful to women’s health and women’s rights,” said Rep. Waxman.  “I have worked for decades to promote equality for women, but the bipartisan support for women’s programs that used to exist in Congress has been shattered by tea party extremism.  The Republican-controlled House has become the most anti-women House in modern history.”

The report, prepared by the Democratic staff of the Energy and Commerce Committee, found that the House passed an average of one anti-women vote for every week that it has been in session for the 112th Congress.  These votes constitute almost 5% of all House legislative votes taken since January 2011. 

The 55 votes have targeted women in a multiple ways:  17 votes have allowed health insurance companies to discriminate against women; 11 votes have cut women’s access to preventive care; 10 votes have restricted or rolled back abortion rights or access to legal abortion; 7 votes have cut funding for key nutritional votes for women; 3 votes have blocked access to reproductive and maternal care services; 3 votes have undermined the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and 14 votes have weakened environmental laws that protect pregnant women from toxic chemicals.  The Republican budget drafted by Rep. Ryan further weakens many existing programs and institutions that support and protect women.

The full report is available here.

 

National Organizations

Statement of Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

“Representative Waxman’s report demonstrates just how out of touch House Republicans are with the needs of American families.  Rather than passing legislation to create jobs or address the economic downturn, House Republicans have focused relentlessly on attacking women’s access to healthcare.  Eliminating vital preventive programs like the national family planning program and cutting off funding to women’s health care providers would mean that millions of women would lose access to basic, preventive health services, and those are economic issues for millions of American families.”

Statement of Nancy Keenan, President, NARAL Pro-Choice America

“From the ‘Let Women Die’ bill to IRS rape audits to attempts to defund family-planning programs, Americans have seen an unprecedented number of attacks on women’s health in recent months.  Rep. Waxman’s report documents the lengths to which this Congress has gone in trying to dismantle reproductive freedom – and will serve as a clarion call to every American woman who cares about her rights.”

Statement of Debra Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

“The record amassed by the U.S. House of Representatives this year constitutes an unrelenting attack on women's health and economic security.  It is nothing less than deplorable, and not in the best interest of our nation.  It’s time for members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to reject these tactics and stand up for the policies America’s women and families need.”

Statement of Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President, National Women’s Law Center

“Representative Waxman’s report performs a valuable service, detailing the broad-based, unrelenting assault on essential programs that provide basic support for women and families.  Even such bedrock programs as nutrition assistance for low-income families, Medicaid and Medicare and expanded access to health care for children with pre-existing condition have not been spared.

“Rather than working to meet the great need for health care, education, child care and other programs that improve the lives of women and their families, these assaults could pull the rug out from under so many.  Women’s ability to protect themselves and their families is on the line.”

 

California-based Organizations

Statement of Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary–Treasurer, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

“I am outraged by the treatment of women in this Republican-controlled House of Representatives.  As a labor leader, I am particularly disturbed by the votes against passing, improving, and funding important programs like the Paycheck Fairness Act, which addresses the pay disparity between men and women.

“The AFL-CIO is grateful for the continued advocacy and leadership of Congressman Waxman.  He is a true partner to make sure that women workers are treated fairly.”

Statement of Sue Dunlap, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County

“From Rep. Akin’s offensive comments to votes on the House floor to restrict contraceptive access, it is clear that too many politicians share a fundamental disregard for women’s health.  Attempts to limit access to life-saving cancer screenings, STD testing and birth control are dangerous and misguided.  Women and their doctors—not politicians—are in the best position to understand the care they need to stay healthy.”

Statement of Amy Everitt, State Director, NARAL Pro-Choice California

“From day one, the anti-choice leadership in this Congress has done nothing but attack women and their families.  Maybe they don’t think that women are paying attention, or perhaps they thought that we wouldn’t notice when they tried to take our rights away.  But they were wrong.  We are paying attention.   NARAL Pro-Choice California applauds Rep. Waxman for publishing this report which documents the last two years of Congressional attacks on women.  Decisions about birth control, abortion and women’s health care should be made by women and their families, not by politicians in Washington DC.  Congress needs to learn what women already know:  politicians make crappy doctors.”

 

Congressional Support

Statement of Congressman Frank Pallone

“Rather than focusing on jobs and the economy, the Republicans have instead used their time in the majority to vote 55 times to undermine women’s health and roll back women’s rights.  Women deserve to know the true priorities of the Republican-led House of Representatives, and this report provides the facts about their extreme anti-women voting record.”

Press Contact:  Ray Zaccaro, 202-225-4671

Statement of Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo

“It’s the year 2012, yet American women are still disproportionately hurt by Republican stonewalling on basic issues, such as family planning, protection against domestic violence, reproductive rights, and nutrition assistance for pregnant women and children.  We’ve had a long, bipartisan tradition of Congressional support for these programs. For the sake of our nation’s continued progress, it’s imperative we keep up with this tradition.”

Press Contact:  Charles Stewart, 202-225-8104

Statement of Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Co-Chair of the Bi-partisan Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus

“The Republicans in Congress have a terrible record on women’s issues.  Republicans have passed dozens of votes on issues that hurt women –votes against women’s health care, votes that allow health insurers to discriminate against women, votes that roll back access to legal abortion, votes that allow pregnant women to be exposed to hazardous chemicals, and many more.   This new report clearly shows how  the Republican agenda is bad for women.”

Press Contact:  Juliet Johnson, 202-225-3041

Statement of Congresswoman Lois Capps, Co-Chair of the Women’s Health Task Force of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues

“This report highlights an unfortunate truth about this Congress—that instead of focusing on jobs and the economy, the Republican Majority has re-opened the culture wars, with the safety and wellbeing of women bearing the brunt of this effort.  Whether one looks at votes to roll back protections for women from health insurance companies, block pay equity legislation, and gut landmark clean-air protections from mercury pollution, the negative effects on women and their families from these policies is clear.  We need to stop these partisan attacks on women’s health and work together on legislation to support working women and strengthen the economy.”

Press Contact:  Ashley Schapitl, 202-226-7747

Statement of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Co-Chair of the Task Force on International Women’s Issues for the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues

“In case anyone had any question, this report provides the detailed evidence – vote after vote after vote –of the House Republican majority’s repeated attacks on women’s health and economic wellbeing.  Where we have made progress, they would take us backward – once again allowing being a woman to be considered a pre-existing condition, raising prescription drug prices to senior women, and threatening the health of our children by increasing exposure to toxic chemicals.  Women deserve a Congress that responds to their needs – not wages war against them.”

Press Contact:  Adjoa Adofo, 202-225-2111

Statement of Congresswoman Doris Matsui

"Whether working to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its many benefits for women, or proposing a budget plan that would end Medicare as we know it and slash the Medicaid safety net, House Republicans have consistently demonstrated a complete disregard for the needs of women and seniors in this country.”

Press Contact:  Jonelle Trimmer, 202-225-7163

Statement of Congresswoman Donna Christensen, the first female physician ever elected to the U.S. Congress

“It is extremely disturbing that roughly 9 in 10 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have not only supported, but championed legislation that will not only compromise, but – in many cases – completely devastate the health, life opportunities and thus lives of American women.   The extremely unjust, unfair and thoughtless measures that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have consistently taken against women – like voting against dozens of bills that would protect women against violence and discrimination;  strengthen environmental laws to protect pregnant women; ensure that our nation’s most vulnerable women had access to nutrition programs to feed themselves and their children; and ensure that all women in this nation have reliable access to preventive health care services –  are not only anti-woman; they are anti-family; they are anti-community; and they are un-American.”

Press Contacts: Monique Clendinen, 202-225-1790

Statement of Congresswoman Kathy Castor

“Republicans in control of the Congress have exacted a harsh toll on American women and families, including restrictions on family planning, birth control and basic health services.  Republicans want to turn the clock back on equal rights and economic opportunity for women.  Instead, they should trust women to make their own decisions relating to their health and families.”

Press Contact: Ellen Gedalius, 813-871-2817