War on Women
|Part of a series on|
War on Women is an expression in United States politics used to describe certain Republican Party policies and legislation as a wide-scale effort to restrict women's rights, especially reproductive rights. Prominent Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer, as well as feminists, have used the phrase to criticize proponents of these laws as trying to force their social views on women through legislation. The expression is used to describe Republican policies in areas such as access to reproductive health services, particularly birth control and abortion services; the prosecution of criminal violence against women; the definition of rape for the purpose of the public funding of abortion; and workplace discrimination against women.
While used in other contexts, and prior to 2010, it became a common message in American political discourse after the 2010 congressional elections. The term is often used to describe policies that reduce or eliminate taxpayer funding for women's health organizations such as Planned Parenthood, in attempts to restrict abortion subsidies. Other areas in dispute include public funding and/or mandatory employer insurance coverage of such matters as contraception and sterilization.
The phrase and the concept have been criticized by Republicans and some pro-life Democrats. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus described it as an over-simplified fiction advanced by Democrats and the media while other Republicans contended that such rhetoric was used as a distraction from President Barack Obama and the Democrats' handling of the economy. In August 2012, Todd Akin's controversial comments regarding pregnancy and rape sparked renewed media focus on the concept. Republicans have tried to turn the phrase against Democrats by using it to argue hypocrisy for not critiquing sex scandals of members within their Party, who have cheated, sexted, and harassed women; and for not supporting bills to combat sex-selective abortion.
- 1 Development of the term
- 1.1 Reproductive rights
- 1.1.1 Abortion restrictions
- 1.1.2 Birth control
- 1.1.3 Defunding Planned Parenthood
- 1.1.4 Defunding international family planning
- 1.2 Violence against women
- 1.3 Financial assistance
- 1.4 Workplace and pay discrimination
- 1.1 Reproductive rights
- 2 Public opinion
- 3 Reaction
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 Further reading
Development of the term
In 1989, radical feminist Andrea Dworkin wrote in a book introduction about "war on women" and, in 1997, she collected that and other writings in Life and Death, for which the subtitle was Unapologetic Writings on the Continuing War Against Women. Feminist Susan Faludi's 1991 book Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, argued that throughout the 1980s the media created a "backlash" against the feminist advances of the 1970s. Former Republican political consultant Tanya Melich's 1996 memoir, The Republican War Against Women: An Insider's Report from Behind the Lines, describes the incorporation of the pro-life movement and opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment by Republicans as a divergence from feminist causes.
George W. Bush's administration met with resistance from feminists and women's rights activists throughout his Presidency. In 2004 The Feminist Press published Laura Flanders' collection of essays The W Effect: Bush's War On Women. In 2006 economist Barbara Finlay's critique of the Bush administration's treatment of women was published by Zed Books under the title George W. Bush and the War on Women: Turning Back the Clock on Progress.
In the 2010 midterm elections, the Republican Party won the majority in the House of Representatives. On January 4, 2011, the day after Congress convened, Kaili Joy Gray of the liberal Daily Kos wrote an opinion piece titled "The Coming War on Women". In the article, she outlined many of the measures that Republicans intended to push through the House of Representatives, including personhood laws, fetal pain laws, and the effort to defund Planned Parenthood. In February 2011, an AlterNet article by Sarah Seltzer and Lauren Kelley entitled "9 New laws in the GOP's War on Women"  began to document state-level legislation restricting abortion access and rights. That same month, New York Representative Jerrold Nadler referred to the proposed No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, one of the Congress's first actions and one that would have changed policy to allow only victims of "forcible rape" or child sex abuse to qualify for Medicaid funding for abortion, as "an entirely new front in the war on women and their families". Florida Representative and Chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz began using the term "War on Women" in March 2011.
The "War on Women" expression was used often when describing the unprecedented rise in the passage of provisions related to women's health and reproductive rights in 2011 and 2012. In 2011, state legislatures across the United States introduced over 1100 provisions related to women's health and reproductive rights, and in the first quarter of 2012 an additional 944 provisions were introduced in state legislatures, half of which would restrict access to abortion. Legislation has focused on mandatory ultrasounds, narrowing the time when abortions may be performed and limiting insurance coverage of abortion.
Democratic strategist Zerlina Maxwell wrote an editorial for U.S. News & World Report in which she cited a Guttmacher Institute analysis showing state legislatures enacted 135 pieces of legislation affecting women's reproductive rights as evidence that the "Republican 'War on Women' is no fiction." The analysis found that between 2000 and 2011, the number of states hostile to abortion rights have increased markedly, and that in 2011 there was an unprecedented rise in the number of provisions passed by state legislatures restricting abortion.
Many states have adopted model legislation written by Americans United for Life, a pro-life advocacy group. In June 2011, Charmaine Yoest and Denise M. Burke of Americans United, acknowledged the expression in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, writing that "Indiana is being threatened with the loss of federal funding for health care and being held up to scorn as having 'declared war on women.'"
In 2011 and 2012, "War on Women" was used to describe the legislation passed by many states requiring that women seeking abortions first undergo government-mandated ultrasounds. Some states require that women view the image of the fetus and others require that women be offered the opportunity to listen to the fetal heartbeat. Since many women's pregnancies are not far enough along to get an image via a traditional ultrasound, transvaginal ultrasounds, which involve the physician inserting a probe into the woman's vagina, may be required, but these requirements vary state to state. Critics have questioned the value of having a medically unnecessary procedure, and characterized it as similar to some states' legal definition of rape. Writer Megan Carpentier underwent the procedure and indicated that although it was not comparable to being raped, the process was "uncomfortable to the point of being painful, emotionally triggering... and something that no government should force its citizens to undergo to make a political point." However, in an article critical of the assumptions of those on both sides of the issue, sociologist Tracy Weitz, who opposes mandatory ultrasound, notes that "the use of trans-vaginal ultrasounds is routine among abortion providers."
Virginia State legislators passed a bill in 2012 requiring women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion. The legislation, signed by Governor Bob McDonnell, would require that the provider of an abortion make a copy of the fetal image and include it in the file of the patient. In Louisiana, where pregnant women are already required to view ultrasounds of their fetuses before receiving an abortion, lawmakers proposed a bill that would require them to listen to the embryonic/fetal heartbeat as well. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett drew criticism when he said of his state's new mandatory transvaginal ultrasound law that "You can't make anybody watch, okay? Because you just have to close your eyes. As long as it's on the exterior and not the interior."
Gestational limits on abortion
In June 2013, Representative Trent Franks of Arizona, passed a national bill in the House Judiciary Committee that would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. The bill did not include exceptions for rape, incest or health of the mother. In responding to the bill's lack of exception for rape victims, Franks stated that "the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low," which was compared to the controversial statements made by Todd Akin; studies show that the incidence of pregnancy from rape is approximately equal to or higher than the rate from consensual sex. Afterwards, the House Rules Committee added exceptions for rape and incest. Georgia legislators passed HB 954, a "fetal pain bill" criminalizing abortions performed after the 20th week of pregnancy. The bill, which does not contain exemptions for rape or incest, has been referred to as the "women as livestock bill" by opponents after Representative Terry England made a comparison between women seeking abortions for stillborn fetuses to delivering calves and pigs on a farm.
In April 2012, Arizona passed legislation banning abortions occurring 20 weeks after a woman's last menstrual period. A judge from the District Court initially upheld this ban, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August 2012 that the ban could not be enforced until an appeal on the law had been decided. The Ninth Circuit then struck down the law as unconstitutional in May 2013. Eight other states, including Nebraska, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho and Oklahoma, have passed such bills; unlike Arizona, the gestational age in these states is calculated from fertilization (20 weeks post-fertilization-which means 22 weeks LMP). In 2013, Idaho's ban was struck down as unconstitutional by a federal judge. States such as Ohio have proposed so-called "heartbeat bills" that would prohibit abortions when the heartbeat of the fetus can be detected. Fetal heartbeats can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
Defining the beginning of human personhood
In 2011, voters in Mississippi rejected Initiative 26, a measure that would have declared that human life begins at fertilization, which had drawn support from conservative Republicans and Democrats. Critics of the initiative indicated that the law would have made abortion illegal even in cases where the mother's life is in danger.
Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers
In February 2011, South Dakota state legislators considered a bill that would expand that state's definition of justifiable homicide to include killings committed by a party other than a pregnant woman for the purpose of preventing harm to a fetus, a measure interpreted by critics as allowing the killing of abortion providers. Similar legislation was considered in Iowa.
Several state legislatures have passed or are considering legislation to prevent parents from suing doctors who fail to warn them of fetal problems, which are sometimes known as wrongful birth lawsuits. Some of the laws, such as one proposed in Arizona, make exceptions for "intentional or grossly negligent acts", while others do not.
In April 2012, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law a bill requiring doctors who prescribe the medical abortion pill to have three meetings with patients or be subject to felony charges. Planned Parenthood suspended non-surgical abortions in the state.
On January 20, 2012, Health and Human Services' Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a mandate requiring that all health plans provide coverage for all contraceptives approved by the FDA as part of preventive health services for women. Following complaints from Catholic bishops, an exception was created for religious institutions whereby an employee of a religious institution that does not wish to provide reproductive health care can seek it directly from the insurance company at no additional cost. Missouri Senator Roy Blunt proposed an amendment (the Blunt Amendment) that would have "allowed employers to refuse to include contraception in health care coverage if it violated their religious or moral beliefs", but it was voted down 51-48 by the U.S. Senate on March 1, 2012. A bill passed by the Arizona House would allow employers to exclude medication used for contraceptive purposes from their health insurance plans.
In February 2012, Republican Congressman Darrell Issa convened an all-male panel addressing contraceptive mandates for health insurers. He did not allow Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University Law Center student, to participate in the hearing. Democratic Representatives then staged a separate panel where Fluke was allowed to speak. Later that month, American conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh controversially called Sandra Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute" and continued in similar fashion for the next two days. Foster Friess, the billionaire supporting the candidacy of Rick Santorum, suggested in February 2012 that women put aspirin between their knees as a form of contraception. Limbaugh echoed the sentiment, saying he would "buy all of the women at Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as they want." Nancy Pelosi circulated a petition and asked that Republicans in the House of Representatives disavow the comments by Friess and Limbaugh, which she called "vicious and inappropriate".
Defunding Planned Parenthood
Several Democrats used the phrase War on Women to criticize the Republican Party after House Republicans passed legislation to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood in February 2011. Texas, Indiana and Kansas have passed legislation in an effort to defund the organization. Arizona, Ohio and New Hampshire are considering similar legislation. In Texas, lawmakers reduced funds for family planning from $111M to $37M. The future of the Women's Health Program in Texas, which receives 90% of its funding from the federal government, is unclear. The Indiana legislature passed a bill restricting Medicaid funds for Planned Parenthood. Indiana Representative Bob Morris later referred to the Girl Scouts of the USA as a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood. A 2011 Kansas statute cut funding to Planned Parenthood.
On January 31, 2012, breast cancer organization Susan G. Komen for the Cure stopped funding Planned Parenthood, citing a congressional investigation by Rep. Cliff Stearns and a newly created internal rule about not funding organizations under any federal, state or local investigation. Four days later, Komen's Board of Directors reversed the decision and announced that it would amend the policy to "make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political". Several top-level staff members resigned from Komen during the controversy.
Defunding international family planning
The National Organization for Women (NOW), in the U.S., in 2011, stated its opinion that "the 'war on women' isn't restricted to U.S. women", saying that the House of Representatives planned to "cut ... international family planning assistance.... [to] include the elimination of all U.S. funds designated for UNFPA" (now known as the United Nations Population Fund).
Violence against women
In January 2011, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act moved to change how rape is treated when used to determine whether abortions qualify for Medicaid funding. Under the language of the bill, only cases of "forcible rape" or child sexual abuse would have qualified. Political activist groups Moveon.org and Emily's List charged that this constituted a Republican attempt to "redefine rape".
In 2014, Michigan law prohibited all public and most private insurers from covering abortions including in cases of rape and incest. It requires women to buy separate insurance and has been called "rape insurance" by opponents because of the possibility that a women will need to have separate insurance for an abortion resulting from rape.
Unsuccessful Missouri Republican candidate to the U.S. Senate Todd Akin made controversial comments in August 2012 asserting (falsely) that women who are victims of "legitimate rape" rarely experience pregnancy from rape. While he issued an apology for his comments, they were widely criticized, and they sparked a renewed focus on Republican attitudes towards women and "shift[ed] the national discussion to divisive social issues that could repel swing voters rather than economic issues that could attract them".
There were multiple calls from Republicans for Akin to step down as nominee. The Washington Post reported a "stampede" of Republicans dissociating from Akin. NRSC chairman John Cornyn said the GOP would no longer provide him Senate election funding. A campaign spokesman for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan said both disagreed with Akin's position and would not oppose abortion in instances of rape. Ryan reportedly called Akin to advise him to step aside. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus warned Akin not to attend the upcoming 2012 Republican convention and said he should resign the nomination. He described Akin's comments as "biologically stupid" and "bizarre" and said that "This is not mainstream talk that he's referring to and his descriptions of whatever an illegitimate rape is."
Other Republican candidates in the 2012 election also created controversy with their comments on rape. Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, when discussing his opposition to exceptions on abortion bans in cases of rape, said, "I think even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen." Tom Smith, the Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, compared pregnancy from rape to pregnancy out of wedlock. Akin, Mourdock, and Smith all lost their races due to backlash from women voters.
Military sexual assault
Columnist Margery Eagan has said that opposition to reforming the military in order to better prosecute sexual assaults constitutes a war on women. Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia was criticized for saying that part of the cause of the sexual assault was young officers' "hormone level created by nature".
The renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, which provides for community violence prevention programs and battered women's shelters, was fiercely opposed by conservative Republicans in 2012. The Act was originally passed in 1994 and has been reauthorized by Congress twice. Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, who has previously voted against renewal of the Act, said the bill was a distraction from a small business bill. However, in 2013 a strengthened version of the act was passed by Congress with bipartisan support.
In February 2011, Ms. magazine charged House Republicans with launching a new "War on Women" for their proposal to cut the WIC budget by 10%. The WIC program, which President Barack Obama has called a spending priority, is a federal assistance program for low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and infants and children under the age of five. The program had been running a surplus, primarily due to decreases in the cost of milk, which make up 20% of WIC expenditures, and lower participation than expected. WIC's budget was later cut by 5.2% as part of the bipartisan budget sequestration in 2013.
Workplace and pay discrimination
In April 2012, Governor Scott Walker's repeal of Wisconsin's Equal Pay Enforcement Act was described by opponents as furthering the "War on Women", which became a big issue in his recall election. The Equal Pay Enforcement Act was passed in 2009 in response to the large gap between the wages of men and women in Wisconsin. Among other provisions, it allowed workplace discrimination victims redress in the less costly and more accessible state court system, rather than in federal court. Defending the repeal, Walker stated that the Act had essentially been nothing but a boon for trial lawyers, incentivizing them to sue job creators, including female business owners, and that the law was being used to clog up the legal system in his state. While it is still illegal in Wisconsin to pay women less on the basis of their sex, the repeal was criticized for reinforcing the gender pay gap, a recurrent theme in the struggle for women's rights. Republican State Senator Glenn Grothman said of the repeal, "You could argue that money is more important for men. I think a guy in their first job, maybe because they expect to be a breadwinner someday, may be a little more money-conscious." Law student Sandra Fluke, criticized Grothman's comment, highlighting legislation that supports equal pay for equal work, such as the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.
A May 2012 Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 31 percent of women and 28 percent of men believed there was an ongoing and wide-scale effort to "limit women's reproductive health choices and services". 45 percent of women and 44 percent of men responded that some groups would like to limit these choices and services, but it's not wide‐scale. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to say there is a movement, but the largest gap was between liberal and conservative ideologies. Among those women believing these efforts to be wide-scale, 75 percent saw this as "a bad thing" against 16 percent who saw this as "a good thing". In the same poll, 42 percent of women and men have said they have taken some action in response to what they heard regarding reproductive health issues.
Response from Republicans
Critics of the term have said that the War on Women does not exist and some have suggested that it is a ploy to influence women voters. Reince Priebus, the Chairman of the RNC, referred to the War as a "fiction", saying "If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we'd have problems with caterpillars." Republican Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers called the war a myth, saying "It's an effort to drive a political wedge in an election year." Referring to the 2010 elections and Nancy Pelosi, she said that "It could be argued that the women actually unelected the first woman Speaker of the House." Republican Representative Paul Ryan mocked the idea of a Republican War on Women, saying "Now it's a war on women; tomorrow it's going to be a war on left-handed Irishmen or something like that."
Senator John McCain, when asked by journalist David Gregory if there was a Republican War on Women, said "I think that there is a perception out there because of how this whole contraception issue played out — ah, we need to get off of that issue, in my view."
Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski countered the criticism from her fellow party members, challenging them to "go home and talk to your wife and your daughters" if they did not think there was a war on women, saying "It makes no sense to make this attack on women."
Texas Senate Bill Five filibuster
Reacting to abortion restrictions in Texas Senate Bill Five, Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis created a 13 hour filibuster to successfully block its passage before a legislative deadline in June 2013. It was estimated that up to 5,000 people came to the Texas capitol in order to stop the bill. Texas Governor Rick Perry called another session of the state senate in July and the bill passed by a vote of 19 to 11 and was signed into law by Perry.
Democratic sexual harassment scandals
Members of the Democratic Party, both prominent and local, have been accused of participating in the war on women. In a column for USA Today, Glenn Reynolds wrote in July 2013 that "most of the action in the war on women seems to be coming from the Democratic front," referring to the allegations of sexual harassment against San Diego mayor Bob Filner, the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, and the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal. The Republican National Senatorial Committee has also used these scandals in press releases, tying Democratic Senators in Iowa and New Hampshire to the allegations.
The messaging from Republicans was described as unlikely to be effective by Garance Franke-Ruta in The Atlantic because "[the War on Women] was an argument about Republican policies on women ... rather than about reprehensible individual behavior." Noting that many of the targets are not on upcoming ballots, Franke-Ruta continued by saying the Republican Party "is going to need its own pro-active framework for thinking about what is happening in America and why women have been drawn to Democrats in numbers that matter in key elections."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Women's rights.|
- "War On Women". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 2013-09-23.
- Rosalsky, Greg (2012-05-31). "'War On Women' Only Seen By Third Of Female Poll Respondents". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
- Johnson, Luke (April 5, 2012). "Lisa Murkowski: 'It Makes No Sense To Make This Attack On Women'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Talbot, Margaret (19 March 2012). "Taking Control". The New Yorker. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Bendery, Jennifer (March 1, 2012). "House Democrats Raise $1.1 Million In 'War On Women' Campaign". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
- Boxer, Barbara (April 15, 2012). "Foul play: War on women is real". Politico. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
- Zengerle, Patricia (September 2012). "Democrats charge Republicans with "war on women" at convention". Employee Benefits News.
- On International Women's Day NOW Calls for End to the "War on Women": Statement of NOW President Terry O'Neill (National Organization for Women), March 8, 2011, as accessed December 12, 2013 (probably press release).
- Maxwell, Zerlina (April 10, 2012). "Reproductive Health Laws Prove GOP 'War on Women' Is No Fiction". U.S. News & World Report.
- Weigel, David (April 12, 2012). "The "War on Women" Is Over - The life cycle of a political talking point, from birth to adolescence to death. Hilary Rosen Just Killed the Democrats' "War on Women" Talking Point". Slate. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
- Crary, David (November 8, 2012). "Election won't end abortion /contraception debate". Associated Press. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
- Feldmann, Linda (February 3, 2011). "Did bill try to redefine rape? GOP backs down after public outcry.". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Weisman, Jonathan (March 14, 2012). "Women Figure Anew in Senate's Latest Battle". The New York Times.
- "Arizona Might Curb Birth Control Coverage". The New York Times. March 17, 2012.
- Marlowe, Lara (March 16, 2012). "Romney enters fray in Republican 'war on women'". The Irish Times.
- "Why Women Are Angry". Newsweek. October 20, 1991.
- "The Republican War Against Women by Tanya Melich". Kirkus Book Reviews. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- The Atlantic: The GOP's Totally Reactive Reaction to the War on Women. Garance Franke-Ruta, August 2013.
- Epstein, Jennifer (April 8, 2011). "Nancy Pelosi calls GOP budget 'a war on women'". Politico. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
- Sarah Boesveld (September 4, 2012). "Pro-life Democrats 'don't buy the line into the war on women'". National Post (Canada). Retrieved February 13, 2014.
- K Jensen, Priebus Says Gender Battle Fictional as Caterpillar War  in Bloomberg
- "Democrats double down in ' War on Women :' Goal here is to rescue Inslee". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. May 5, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
- Haberman, Maggie (2013-03-11). "Next 'war on women' front: Pennsylvania governor race?". Politico. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- [dead link]
- Poor, Jeff (2013-08-14). "George Will: Obama's 'war on women trope' offensive to 'professional educated women'". Daily Caller. Retrieved 2013-08-20.[dead link]
- Maxwell, Zerlina (August 20, 2012). "Todd Akin, Paul Ryan and the very real war on women". Daily News (New York).[dead link]
- "Akin's comments reignite war on women". NBC News. August 20, 2012.
- "Despite Denials Akin's Comments Are Part GOP War On Women". CBS. August 20, 2012.
- Metzler, Rebekah (August 2, 2013). "GOP Turns 'War on Women' Back on Democrats". U.S. News. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- Rachel Weiner and Sean Sullivan (July 31, 2013). "GOP finds its own 'War on Women'". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- Joseph, Cameron (August 2, 2013). "GOP committees unite to push 'Democrats' war on women' attack". The Hill. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- The Nation: Seeing Eye to Eye; A Radical Feminist Who Could Dine With (Not On) Conservatives, in The New York Times, § Week In Review, Apr. 17, 2005, as accessed May 9, 2010.
- Dworkin, Andrea (1989). Beaver Talks. In Dworkin, Andrea (1997 (ISBN 0-7432-3626-2)). Life and Death: Unapologetic Writings on the Continuing War Against Women (New York: Free Press), p. 89.
- Dworkin, Andrea. Life and Death: Unapologetic Writings on the Continuing War Against Women, op. cit., cover I.
- Williamson, Elizabeth (April 25, 2004). "Abortion Rights Advocates Flood D.C.". The Washington Post.
- "Abortion activists on the march". BBC News. April 26, 2004.
- Flanders, Laura, ed. (2004). The W Effect: Bush's War On Women. New York: The Feminist Press. ISBN 978-1-55861-471-0.
- Esterchild, Elizabeth (2008). "Book Review: George W. Bush and the War on Women. By Barbara Finlay.". Gender & Society (SAGE Publications) 22 (6): 824–826. doi:10.1177/0891243207312133.
- Finlay, Barbara (2006). George W. Bush and the War on Women: Turning Back the Clock on Progress. London: Zed Books. ISBN 978-1-84277-784-8.
- Gray, Kaili Joy (January 4, 2011). "The Coming War on Women". Daily Kos.
- Seltzer, Sarah; Kelley, Lauren (February 1, 2011). "9 New Laws in the GOP's War on Women". AlterNet.
- Weigel, David (April 12, 2012). "The "War on Women" Is Over". Slate.
- "States Enact Record Number of Abortion Restrictions in 2011". Guttmacher Institute. January 5, 2012.
- "State Policy Trends: Abortion and Contraception in the Crosshairs". Guttmacher Institute. April 13, 2012.
- Gold, Rachel Benson; Nash, Elizabeth (Winter 2012). "Troubling Trend: More States Hostile to Abortion Rights as Middle Ground Shrinks". Guttmacher Policy Review 15 (1).
- Lithwick, Dahlia (April 20, 2012). "The Faux Mommy Wars". Slate.
- Eckholm, Erik (March 1, 2012). "Poll Finds Wide Support for Birth Control Coverage". The New York Times.
- Bazelon, Emily (May 27, 2011). "The Reincarnation of Pro-life". The New York Times.
- Yoest, Charmaine; Burke, Denise M. (June 27, 2011). "Planned Parenthood Takes on the States". The Wall Street Journal.
- O'Neill, Terry (Feb 2, 2012). "Mandatory Ultrasound Laws Violate Women's Rights and Bodies". The Huffington Post. Retrieved Dec 12, 2013.
- "State Policies in Brief: Requirement for Ultrasound". Guttmacher Institute. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
- "Laws Affecting Reproductive Health and Rights: Trends in the First Quarter of 2012". Guttmacher Institute. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
- Kristof, Nicholas D. (March 3, 2012). "When States Abuse Women". The New York Times.
- Carpentier, Megan (April 17, 2012). "I had a transvaginal ultrasound: My perspective on the mandate that touched off 2012′s War On Women". The Raw Story.
- Lowder, J. Bryan (April 18, 2012). "What's It Like To Undergo a Transvaginal Ultrasound?". Slate.
- Madison, Lucy (March 7, 2012). "Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signs Virginia ultrasound bill". CBS News.
- Kumar, Anita (February 1, 2012). "Virginia Senate passes bill requiring women to undergo ultrasound before abortion". The Washington Post.
- "Bill would require woman hear heartbeat before abortion". WWL. April 18, 2012.
- Bassett, Laura (2012-03-15). "Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania Governor, On Ultrasound Mandate: Just 'Close Your Eyes'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- Milbank, Dana (June 12, 2012). "Trent Franks's abortion claim and the manly Republican Party". Washington Post.
- Terbush, Jon (June 12, 2012). "The War on Women is back". The Week.
- Cottle, Michelle (June 14, 2013). "Rep. Trent Franks: Just Another Idiot When It Comes to Abortion". The Daily Beast.
- The claim that the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy is 'very low' : Washington Post Fact Checker
- Bassett, Laura (June 14, 2013). "Rape, Incest Exceptions Quietly Added To Trent Franks' Abortion Bill". The Huffington Post.
- "Lindsay Beyerstein - Profile". In These Times. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- Peck, Adam (March 12, 2012). "Georgia Republican Compares Women to Cows, Pigs, And Chickens". Think Progress.
- "Ninth Circuit Blocks Arizona's 20-Week Abortion Ban". Christian Post. 2012-08-03. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- Santos, Fernanda (May 21, 2013). "Arizona Law on Abortions Struck Down as Restrictive". The New York Times.
- "LB1103 - Adopt the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act". Nebraska Legislature. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- "Legislative Detail: AL House Bill 18 - Regular Session 2011". LegiScan. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- "House Bill 954". Georgia General Assembly. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- "HOUSE BILL No. 1127". in.gov. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- "Senate Bill 1148". Idaho Legislature. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- "Bill Information for SB 1274". Oklahome State Legislature. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- Eckholm, Erik (July 12, 2012). "Lawsuit Tries to Block New Arizona Abortion Law". The New York Times.
- Zuckerman, Laura (2013-03-07). "Federal judge strikes down Idaho ban on late-term abortions". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- McCartney, Hannah (April 19, 2012). "Ohio's Heartbeat Bill Drawing National Attention". CityBeat.
- Seelye, Katharine Q. (November 8, 2011). "Mississippi Voters Reject Anti-Abortion Measure". The New York Times.
- Yeoman, Barry (September–October 2001). "The Quiet War on Abortion". Mother Jones.
- Carmon, Irin (April 12, 2012). "Abortion options fade in South". Salon.
- Sheppard, Kate (February 15, 2011). "South Dakota Moves To Legalize Killing Abortion Providers". Mother Jones.
- Sheppard, Kate (February 24, 2011). "Iowa Bills Could Also Allow for "Justifiable Homicide" Defense Against Abortion Docs". Mother Jones.
- "Senate approves bill on 'wrongful births'". Arizona Capitol Times. The Associated Press. 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- "Should Parents Be Able To Sue For 'Wrongful Birth'?". NPR. 2012-05-15. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- Durden, Chris (March 16, 2012). "House panel approves changes to abortion regulations". KWCH 12.
- Celock, John (February 6, 2012). "Kansas Abortion Bill Would Impose Sweeping Restrictions". The Huffington Post.
- Celock, John (March 17, 2012). "Kansas Abortion Bill To Ban Procedure By State Workers Passes House". The Huffington Post.
- Bauer, Scott (April 20, 2012). "Planned Parenthood suspends pill abortions in Wis.". The Kansas City Star.
- Hicks, Josh (March 8, 2012). "A whopper ad for John Boehner's GOP opponent". The Washington Post.
- "FACT SHEET: Women's Preventive Services and Religious Institutions". White House Office of the Press Secretary. 10 February 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
- Parkinson, John (March 1, 2012). "Women's Health vs. Religious Freedom: House Leaders Debate Birth Control Mandate". ABC News.
- Negrin, Matt; Miller, Sunlen (March 1, 2012). "Senate Blocks Blunt's Repeal of Contraception Mandate". ABC News.
- "Rep. Darrell Issa Bars Minority Witness, a Woman, on Contraception". ABC News. February 16, 2012.
- Portero, Ashley (March 22, 2012). "MoveOn Ad Uses Conservatives' Own Words In 'War On Women'". International Business Times.
- James, Frank (February 16, 2012). "Santorum Ally Friess Praises Old-School 'Contraceptive': Aspirin Between Knees". NPR.
- Bassett, Laura; Bendery, Jennifer (March 1, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh: I'll Buy Georgetown Women 'As Much Aspirin To Put Between Their Knees As They Want'". The Huffington Post.
- Geiger, Kim (March 2, 2012). "Rush Limbaugh's 'slut' comment draws rebukes from all sides". Los Angeles Times.
- Nather, David; Nocera, Kate (February 18, 2011). "House votes to defund Planned Parenthood". Politico.
- Falkenberg, Lisa (February 14, 2012). "Dumping Planned Parenthood may be expensive". Houston Chronicle.
- Tomlinson, Chris (April 15, 2012). "Women's health fight over politics, not health". Star-Telegram.
- Guarino, Mark (April 29, 2011). "Indiana governor vows to block federal funds for Planned Parenthood". Christian Science Monitor.
- Guarino, Mark (February 22, 2012). "Indiana lawmaker slams 'radicalized' pro-abortion group. Yes, Girl Scouts.". Christian Science Monitor.
- "Judge blocks Kansas law aimed at Planned Parenthood". Reuters. August 1, 2011.
- Goldberg, Jeffrey (February 2, 2012). "Top Susan G. Komen Official Resigned Over Planned Parenthood Cave-In". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
- "Statement from Susan G. Komen Board of Directors and Founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker". Susan G. Komen for the Cure. February 3, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
- "Komen Foundation VP resigns, blasts Planned Parenthood". CNN. February 7, 2012.
- Baumann, Nick (January 28, 2011). "The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape". Mother Jones.
- "Sign the Petition: "Bruises and broken bones do not define rape - a lack of consent does. Stand up and oppose the dangerous GOP legislation to redefine rape."". Moveon.org. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- "EMILY’s List Takes Action Against Boehner’s Radical Anti-Woman Agenda". Emily's List. February 2, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Abcarian, Robin (December 12, 2013). "'Rape insurance,' a new front in the GOP's clueless 'war on women'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Woods, Ashley (13 March 2014). "Michigan's 'Rape Insurance' Abortion Rider Law Goes Into Effect Today". Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Carroll, Linda (21 August 2012). "Doctors appalled over Rep. Akin's comments that 'legitimate rape' prevents pregnancy". NBC News. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Belluck, Pam (2012-08-21). "Health Experts Dismiss Assertions on Rape". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
- Danielle Dellorto, Experts: Rape does not lower odds of pregnancy, CNN Health (22 August 2012)
- Sharon Begley and Susan Heavey, Rape trauma as barrier to pregnancy has no scientific basis, Reuters (20 August 2012).
- Robinson, Eugene (August 20, 2012). "Todd Akin's comment brings 'war on women' back to prominence". The Washington Post.
- Akin imbroglio is bad news for Republicans Tom Cohen, CNN updated 3:23 PM EDT, Wed August 22, 2012
- Nia-Malika Henderson & Paul Kane (2012-08-20). "National GOP pulls funding from Todd Akin's Missouri race". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "Reports: Paul Ryan called Todd Akin — Tim Mak". Politico.Com. 2012-08-08. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
- Killough, Ashley (August 20, 2012). "GOP chair: Akin should drop out, skip convention". CNN. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "PICKET: RNC Chair wants Akin to 'step aside' and not come to convention". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
- Green, Joshua (November 6, 2012). "Obama Wins, Big Time". Business Week.
- Raju |, Manu. "Richard Mourdock under fire for rape remarks". Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- "Richard Mourdock's response to abortion question provokes controversy in Indiana Senate debate". Indianapolis Star.
- Couloumbis, Angela (2012-08-29). "Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith tangled up over rape and abortion". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- Haberkorn, Jennifer (November 6, 2012). "Abortion, rape controversy shaped key races". Politico.
- Eagan, Margery (June 16, 2013). "Eagan: Lawmakers in real war on women". Boston Herald.
- Bassett, Laura (June 6, 2013). "DSCC Compares Saxby Chambliss, Erick Erickson To Todd Akin". The Huffington Post.
- Miller, Sunlen (March 16, 2012). "Politics vs. Policy: Violence Against Women Act Dustup in Senate". ABC News.
- Hunter, Kathleen (March 16, 2012). "Senate Democrats Aim to Extend Violence Against Women Act". Businessweek.
- Kellman, Laurie (March 16, 2012). "Democrats raise violence against women act". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
- Henderson, Nia-Malika (7 March 2013). "Obama signs a strengthened Violence Against Women Act". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- "Republican House Leaders Launch New War on Women". Ms. Magazine. February 14, 2011.
- "House Republicans want to cut WIC by 10%". CNN. February 25, 2011.
- "The Sequester: Absolutely everything you could possibly need to know, in one FAQ". The Washington Post. March 1, 2013.
- Terkel, Amanda (April 17, 2012). "Scott Walker Recall: 'War On Women' Fight Becomes Big Issue In Election". The Huffington Post.
- Goldberg, Michelle (April 7, 2012). "Wisconsin’s Repeal of Equal Pay Rights Adds to Battles for Women". The Daily Beast.
- Wyler, Grace (April 9, 2012). "Wisconsin Republican: Women Are Paid Less Because 'Money Is More Important For Men'". Business Insider.
- Terkel, Amanda (April 23, 2012). "Scott Walker Pressed For Answers On Wisconsin Equal Pay Law Repeal". The Huffington Post.
- Shahid, Aliyah (April 11, 2012). "Wisconsin GOPer: Women make less because 'Money is more important for men'". New York Daily News.[dead link]
- Fluke, Sandra (April 17, 2012). "Who says women don't care about wages?". CNN.
- "Kaiser Health Tracking Poll". Kaiser Family Foundation. May 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
- Edwards, David (April 5, 2012). "RNC chair: GOP 'war on women' fictional like 'war on caterpillars'". The Raw Story.
- Benen, Steve (April 5, 2012). "RNC chairman reflects on women, caterpillars". The Maddow Blog.
- Jensen, Kristin (April 5, 2012). "Priebus Says Gender Battle Fictional as Caterpillar War". Businessweek.
- Dennis, Steven T. (April 20, 2012). "Hill Women Play Starring Role in 'Mommy Wars'". Roll Call.
- The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2012/10/18/at-fla-fundraiser-paul-ryan-mocks-war-on-women/. Missing or empty
- Gilbert, Kathleen (March 22, 2012). "McCain decries GOP fight against Obama mandate: 'we need to get off that issue'". LifeSiteNews.com.
- "Texas state senator Wendy Davis filibusters her way to Democratic stardom". The Washington Post. March 14, 2012.
- Root, Jay (March 14, 2012). "For Perry, Setback in Texas May Propel Him Nationally". The New York Times.
- USA Today: The latest in the war on women. July 29, 2013.
- NRSC Press Release: Republican Party of Iowa.
- NH Journal: NRSC dings Shaheen over 'war on women'. July 23, 2013.
- Alter, Jonathan, The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed. 2013 (ISBN 978-1-4516-4607-8)), p. 281 (author columnist, Bloomberg Voice, analyst & contributing ed., NBC News & MSNBC, & former sr. ed. & columnist, Newsweek).
- Rich, Frank (March 25, 2012). "Stag Party: The GOP's woman problem is that it has a serious problem with women". New York Magazine.