GOP Women Shamelessly Accuse Dems Of Being Anti-Woman

November 13, 2009 11:52 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

Last weekend on the House floor, unruly Republicans literally shouted down members of the Democratic Women's Caucus who were attempting to speak in support of health care reform.  It was a shameful display, which Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH) condemned as "rude," "disrespectful," and "sexist."  Watch a mash-up video of the incident here

Yet, writing in the Washington Times today, Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) had the audacity to complain that pro-reform Democrats don't care about women:

As congresswomen, we think we should be listening to and speaking out for women.

If Democrats in Congress and the administration had been listening to women, they would not have drafted and passed a reform bill that takes power away from women and gives it to federal bureaucrats. Today, we, women - working with a trusted medical professional - guide which treatments are best for our family, from flu shots and hormones to heart stents and long-term care facilities. If H.R. 3962 ultimately becomes law, these decisions will increasingly be made by bureaucrats, statisticians and actuaries.

The Pelosi health care plan aims to have an impartial, all-knowing federal government make decisions that cannot be trusted to mere housewives (and their greedy, small town doctors).

For McMorris Rodgers and Jenkins to gripe about anyone disrespecting women is laughable.  In addition to last weekend's theatrics, every single Republican member of the House voted for the so-called Stupak amendment, which will impose extreme restrictions on a woman's right make reproductive choices.  The vote came a day after one of their conservative colleagues actually compared women to smokers in order to justify gender-based discrimination on the part of insurance companies.    

As for the merits of their complaint, it has been made before and it's just not true.  Under reform, there will not be an "all-knowing federal government making decisions" that would normally be made by patients.  (The claim comes from a distortion of comparative effectiveness research, an existing practice that will not take choices away but rather will lead to better options.)

Later in the column, McMorris Rodgers and Jenkins cite problems with the H1N1 vaccine as evidence that the government can't "make good medical decisions." However, both women -- and all but 5 of their Republican colleagues -- voted against funding the vaccine. 

Despite all evidence to the contrary, McMorris Rodgers and Jenkins want us to believe that Republicans are sticking up for women.  But the fact is, the congresswomen and their party have consistently opposed providing families with better health care options.  Why would anybody trust them now?