'War on Women'
Briefing with Dr Leslie Cannold and Dr Rebecca Sheehan
31 October 2012
The ‘War on Women’ briefing featured Academic and writer Dr Leslie Cannold, Dr Rebecca Sheehan, Lecturer in US history at the United States Studies Centre at Sydney University, alongside senior representatives from CARE Australia and Marie Stopes. They explored the rhetoric in the US election campaign and the attempts by some legislators to place restrictions on women's sexual and reproductive health rights, and what this means for women around the world.
The 'War on Women' represents the unprecedented assault by US Republicans on women’s rights. These attacks have focused on a woman’s right to be free of gender discrimination, including at work and in receiving healthcare. To date, Republicans have pushed more than 1100 bills seeking to restrict what women can do with their bodies through state legislatures.
The last 12 months have seen a record-breaking raft of anti-choice legislation proposed and, in some cases, passed in legislatures across the United States. Fortunately, some of the more extreme attacks passed by the Federal Republican-controlled house have been blocked by the Democrats in the Senate. However, this has not stopped Republican-controlled State legislatures from passing extreme restrictions on women’s reproductive rights, as well as making strident efforts to end financial support for other vital health services that women rely on.