Hey GOP – We’re Not Fooled!

By Evan Stahr, Communications Intern Following President Obama’s large wins among women voters in 2012, Republicans nationwide began to look in the proverbial mirror and ask what they could do to draw more women voters. They hit upon what they thought was a solution — moderate their words, but not their actions. Even as conservatives tone down their anti-woman rhetoric to the public, their harmful policy positions stay in place. Due to this shift, NOW launched the We’re Not Fooled campaign. It looks to highlight the gulf between the words of the GOP — many of whom are either in positions of power within their party or running for election — and their actions concerning women’s rights. The website covers a number of high-profile conservative personalities. We're Not Fooled Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has been trying to play on his women’s rights bona fides in his reelection campaign against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. His campaign claims that McConnell “was the original co-sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and continues to advocate for stronger policies to protect women.” While the first part of the statement is true, McConnell’s later actions undercut his original support. He co-sponsored the bill in 1991 – which failed. In 1993, when VAWA became law, he voted against its passage. McConnell also voted “no” on subsequent re-authorization attempts in 2012 and 2013. He also rejected an effort to expand access to women’s healthcare in the 2006 FY budget and supported the House of Representatives’ No Federal Funding for Abortion Act. Senator McConnell voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and other bills concerning equal pay. A Grimes spokesperson released a statement on the matter: “His actions read loud and clear: McConnell repeatedly voted against equal pay for equal work, the Violence Against Women Act, and now turns to lies to cover his shameful record.” Similarly, Ken Cuccinelli’s website writes that he has “worked to … improve health and safety standards to protect women’s health in abortion facilities across the Commonwealth.” A recent blog post trumpets his visit with a group of women voters in Northern Virginia. In a July debate, he denied that he was a proponent of banning contraception. Cuccinelli’s record, however, betrays him. During his time as Attorney General of Virginia, he championed the state’s infamous bill requiring transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. In the state legislature he pushed for defunding of Planned Parenthood, and has said that homosexuality does not “comport with natural law.” Cucinelli is notorious for his dedication to “TRAP” laws (targeted regulation of abortion providers). His 2007 fetal personhood bill, which he has not repudiated, would have kept many women from receiving contraception, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. It is clear that conservatives are attempting to conceal their anti-woman messages with moderate language. The launching of NOW’s We’re Not Fooled campaign is the first step in revealing what their beliefs really do to women in the United States.

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