Political Animal


October 13, 2011 4:45 PM That’s not what ‘misogyny’ means

By Steve Benen

As promised, the House of Representatives devoted the day to ignoring the jobs crisis working on abortion legislation that can’t pass the Senate. At issue is the so-called Protect Life Act, which would allow hospitals to refuse to perform abortions, even if a woman’s life depended on it.

House Democrats railed against the bill as an attack on women’s health, prompting Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) to offer what Kate Conway described as “warped thinking.” Here’s Foxx’s argument from the House floor:

“[F]or my colleagues across the aisle who say that this is a misogynist bill, nobody has ever fought more for the rights of women than I have. But 50 percent of the unborn babies that are being aborted are females. So the misogyny comes for those who promote — promote the killing of unborn babies. That’s where the misogyny comes in, Madam Speaker, it doesn’t come in from our trying to protect taxpayers’ money from being spent on killing unborn children.”

Foxx keeps using that word, misogyny, but I don’t think it means what she thinks it means.

In Foxx’s mind, do Democrats oppose this legislation because they secretly hope fewer girls will be born? We’re talking about legislation that would allow pregnant women to die. A right-wing Republican lawmaker seriously wants to argue that opposing that bill is misogynistic?

Is that really where the debate over productive rights is headed?

For what it’s worth, the House voted earlier to approve the rule allowing the legislation to reach the floor. Literally every Republican in the chamber supported it.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


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  • Crissa on October 13, 2011 4:52 PM:

    Why do hospitals need the right to block medical procedures from being performed there? Hospitals aren't people. People who don't want, or don't want to do, won't have abortions or won't perform them.

    Hospitals don't need to be picking and choosing patients.

  • kevo on October 13, 2011 5:08 PM:

    Hey Foxx - no such thing as an "unborn baby"! An embryo, to a fetus, to a birth which produces a baby! There are live babies at birth, and sadly, still born babies, madam, but "unborn babies" is a nightmarish, raw meat, dog whistle piece of rhetoric that works to give state-sponsored policy to only one religious belief - evanglical Christianity!

    Abortion, a Constitutional right for adult women, has already been conditioned, and this recent piece of proposed legislation is an affront to our common senses. The agonizing that a woman must face in a potential abortive situation is never, never considered by the likes of Foxx and her myopic colleagues.

    Remember, Virginia, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, . . . "

    Virginia, that means your evanglical beliefs should not be the basic premise you use when offering potential legislation attacking an established Constitutional right, even though you may be repulsed by the fact that women do exercise their Constitutional right in this regard, and you take offense when your religious beliefs are threatened by others who have no connections to your flavor of worship!

    WTF Virginia! -Kevo

  • paul on October 13, 2011 5:19 PM:

    Let's review the options: 1) terminate the pregnancy, leaving a live woman (who can care for any existing children and may be able to bear more) and a dead fetus. 2) Let the woman die, resulting in a dead woman, a dead fetus, a bereaved spouse and/or orphan children. Obviously 2 is more "pro-life".

    Foxx is also, of course, lying about the federal funds involved. The bill isn't about federal funds used to subsidize the procedure itself, but rather about continuing to shovel taxpayer money at hospitals that let women die rather than saving their lives or transferring them to another hospital that will.

    And here we thought the conflict between reality-based and non-reality-based had gone out with GWB.

  • Danp on October 13, 2011 5:30 PM:

    This is the kind of thinking that might have led to that 16th Century revolution Perry was imagining.

  • newtons.third on October 13, 2011 5:42 PM:

    This is the real death panel. They would prescribe death as the preferred treatment option.

  • cmdicely on October 13, 2011 6:07 PM:

    And here we thought the conflict between reality-based and non-reality-based had gone out with GWB.

    Who is we?

  • Trollop on October 13, 2011 6:33 PM:

    Virginia is another reason abortion should remain absolutley legal to the end of time! Imagine (men) if you were a pregnant woman; would you want to have Virginia Foxx??!

    We need a retroactive abortion bill brought to the Senate floor..

  • KarenJG on October 13, 2011 7:05 PM:

    I must ask again (as I have been for years), what makes anti-choicers so special? How come they're the only ones who get their moral preferences written into law?

  • Bernie Latham on October 13, 2011 7:56 PM:

    Any military action against any town or city would, by here idiotic use of the term, be an example of misogyny.

  • Cas on October 13, 2011 10:47 PM:

    "As promised, the House of Representatives devoted the day to ignoring the jobs crisis, working on abortion legislation that canít pass the Senate."

    I would just point out that the Senate worked, a few days earlier, on a jobs bill that had zero chance of passing out of the Senate (or passing in the House of Reps, for that matter). So, I think it is OK to say that both parties are playing to their base... and positioning for the general election in a tear and a bit. I have sympathy for the Dems' work since I think it is more important in getting this country moving, but, importance (as in beauty), lies in the eyes of the beholder...