Home Opinion Letters GOP has double standard when it comes to women

GOP has double standard when it comes to women

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Dear editor,

The Republican Party of Louisiana.

They control the governor’s mansion.  They control the state House of Representatives.  They control the state Senate.  The majority of Louisiana’s Congressional delegation are members of the Republican Party of Louisiana.

Unfortunately, none of these political “leaders” has ever read the Louisiana GOP party platform.

Following is an excerpt from the preamble of their party platform:

“The pursuit of opportunity has defined America from our very beginning. This is a land of opportunity. The American Dream is a dream of equal opportunity for all. And the Republican Party is the party of opportunity.”

“….any American who works hard, dreams big and follows the rules can achieve anything he or she wants…We will lift the torch of freedom and democracy to inspire all those who would be free.”

“Trust the people. Limit government. Respect federalism. Guarantee opportunity, not outcomes. Adhere to the rule of law. Reaffirm that our rights come from God, are protected by government, and that the only just government is one that truly governs with the consent of the governed.”

Now, let’s apply their Republican logic to Louisiana’s 2014 legislative session.

Louisiana Right to Life lobbyists purchased Rep. Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe) early on in the session.  Her proposed HB 388 – which is copycat legislation declared unconstitutional in Mississippi, Texas and other GOP-led states – demanded hospital admitting privileges of doctors providing comprehensive, legal healthcare services to women.  The bill was celebrated by Louisiana’s GOP-led legislature….but many of our esteemed elected officials walked out on expert testimony and neglected their final voting responsibility.  Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the bill into law at a Baptist church, along with the imprecise HB 1274 which dictates that a dead woman shall be kept alive by the State if she happens to be pregnant. In fact, the State’s dictate supersedes the wishes of her family, the recommendation of her doctor, and possibly her own advance directive (DNR).

“Trust the people. Limit government…the only just government is one that truly governs with the consent of the governed….We will lift the torch of freedom and democracy…”

Our Republican governor refused Medicaid expansion, eliminating access to basic affordable healthcare for over 200,000 working families, women and children in Louisiana. Our GOP-led Senate rejected equal pay for all women in our state, watering down the bill to restrict fair compensation to only those who work for the government.  Republicans in the Senate never bothered to vote on SB 334, which would have reduced Louisiana’s gender pay gap –the second worst in the U.S.  The GOP also shot down all six bills that would have allowed for an increase in the minimum wage in Louisiana – and 2/3 of minimum wage workers are women.

“This is a land of opportunity…any American who works hard, dreams big and follows the rules can achieve anything he or she wants….”

Republican-led efforts defeated every comprehensive sex-ed initiative for Louisiana’s teens. As most Americans know, our state leads the country in STI’s, teen pregnancy rates, and HIV/AIDS case rates among young people under 24 years of age.

Then, Louisiana’s GOP House members killed a bill to protect domestic violence victims from eviction.

Young women in Louisiana have to face facts.

As long as Republicans control our state government, we will not have access to comprehensive sex education in public schools, we will not earn equal (or even fair) pay, we will not have access to adequate healthcare, and we will be denied opportunity after opportunity simply because WE ARE NOT MEN.  Republicans don’t even want women to have fair housing if they are abused, or die on their own terms!

“The American Dream is a dream of equal opportunity for all. And the Republican Party is the party of opportunity…”

LOUISIANA WOMEN: DON’T FORGET TO VOTE – YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!

Debbie Lynn Hollis

President, NOW Shreveport/Bossier

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