Copyright © 2004 Henrietta W. Hay
Bush vs. Women
February 27, 2004
Bush vs. Women ; The Bush Administration's Assault on the Rights of
Women. This is our compassionate conservative President. Here is a
President with a strong, outspoken mother, a strong, intelligent wife
and two daughters. Wouldn't you think he would be trying to make the
world better for his daughters?
On his first day in the Oval Office, which was the anniversary of the
Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision in Roe vs. Wade, President Bush
re-instated the "Global Gag Rule." He confirmed his stand on the
abortion issue by issuing an executive order to bar federal funding for
international family planning groups that support abortion rights.
Current law already ensures that no U. S. taxpayers' funds pay for
abortions overseas. The family planning assistance funds are just that
-- help for family planning in desperately poor nations.
In 2003 Bush expanded the Global Gag rule to prohibit even foreign
organizations under their own laws from receiving any U. S. assistance
if they perform, counsel, refer or advocate safe abortions
In his first budget submitted to Congress, Bush tried to eliminate
contraceptive coverage for federal employees, although Viagra has been
covered since 1998. The House restored the coverage.
Bush's Secretary of Health & Human Services designated "unborn children"
as eligible for Children's Health Insurance Program while refusing to
provide health coverage to pregnant women.
Although stating that the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women was "generally desirable and should be
approved," the Bush Administration changed course and attempted to block
it in Congress.
The Bush Administration extended federal protections to embryos--
granting them the same protection as adults, children and fetuses -- by
changing the mission of the Advisory Committee on Human Research
Protections. This severely limits research into various diseases.
Bush urged and signed a law making what is known a "partial birth
abortion" illegal. A statement by the American College of Obstetricians
and Gynecologists says, "The ban violates the fundamental principle at
the very heart of doctor-patient relationship."
Title IX, the landmark law that has greatly expanded opportunities for
girls and women to engage in sports, is in danger of being watered down.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requires schools receiving
federal money to treat the two sexes equally, has helped to drive a
revolution, especially in sports. The Commission on Opportunity in
Athletics, appointed by Secretary of Education Rod Paige, approved
proposals that would create enough exceptions to undermine
significantly the women's equality in education that Title IX has
always stood for.
Bush's hand-picked head of the Food and Drug Administration, under heavy
Administration pressure, has announced a delay in authorizing the
recommendation of his own advisory committee. He has denied the
application allowing the emergency contraception RU-486 to be sold
over-the-counter at least until May.
In the name of budget cutting the Administration is quietly closing
women's offices in federal agencies, de-funding programs that monitor
discrimination and appointing people who oppose affirmative action.
They are doing this through regulations, policy changes and executive
orders and are appointing people who oppose the few gains women have
Bush nominated Dr. David Hager to chair the Reproductive Health Drugs
Advisory committee. He is the doctor who advocates prayer as a
treatment for PMS. He was removed as chair, but is still a member of
The Administration backed the act which increased from 30 to 40 the
number of hours that welfare recipients are required to work, while
providing $200 million annually to promote marriage and $50 million to
Bush slammed the door shut on the White House Office for Women's
Initiatives and Outreach, which worked with women's advocacy groups on
public policy. His 2004 budget eliminated funding for the Women's
Educational Equity Act to promote equity for girls and women in
Shall I go on? Nah. It hurts too much.