Hillary Clinton was expected to make women’s issues a central focus of her campaign for president; after all, it would look a little strange if she didn’t. Unfortunately for the rest of us, though, it means that the tired “war on women” trope will be trotted out for yet another election cycle. Republicans are the villains in this political play, always scheming to find new and exciting ways to keep women barefoot and pregnant.
If Clinton is fighting back against this war on women, she unleashed the heavy firepower on Thursday. Speaking at a campaign stop in Cleveland, she said, “Extreme views about women? We expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States. Yet they espouse out-of-date and out-of-touch policies.”
Clinton was specifically talking about Republican candidates who have advocated stripping Planned Parenthood of its federal funding in the wake of an undercover investigation. Videos produced by a pro-life organization have shown Planned Parenthood officials talking casually about crushing fetal heads, scooping out brain tissue, and profiting from the sale of organs.
The counterpunch to this, for Democrats, is to pretend that Planned Parenthood is an indispensable resource for women’s healthcare. “I would like these Republican candidates to look the mom in the eye who caught her breast cancer early because she was able to get a screening for cancer, or the teenager who didn’t get pregnant because she had access to contraception, or anyone who’s ever been protected by an HIV test.”
Look them in the eyes and say what? That they oppose federal funds being used to support a national abortion industry? Why would that be difficult? Earth to Democrats: Planned Parenthood is not the only health clinic in the nation.
Republicans struck back immediately. Jeb Bush said on Twitter, “Hillary Clinton compares pro-life Americans to terrorists, but defends despicable PP treatment of unborn? Her priorities are totally wrong.” His sentiments were echoed by Tennessee Rep. Diane Black, who said, “Democrats are engaging in gutter politics of the worst kind.”
Yes, but what else is new? If you can’t engage the issues, resort to name-calling. All’s fair in love and war, right? And there is a war, to be sure. It’s not a war on women, though; it’s a war for the soul of the United States. And every day that we keep funneling tax dollars into this evil empire called Planned Parenthood, we are losing that war. Maybe if we diverted that money into health clinics that have a basic respect for human life, we could revive the America that once believed in higher ideals. We could see, for the first time in a long time, that there really is a difference between right and wrong.
And then maybe we would be able to see, with clear eyes, who the terrorists really are.