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PFAW Report: How the War on Women Became Mainstream: Turning Back the Clock in Tea Party America

WASHINGTON - Swept into power by Tea Party victories in 2010, Republicans in state legislatures and the U.S. Congress are waging an unprecedented assault on women’s rights. A new report from People For the American Way details the recent developments in the Right’s War on Women and outlines ways that progressives can fight back against it.

The full report, How the War on Women Became Mainstream: Turning Back the Clock in Tea Party America, is available here.

“While voters are concerned with moving our economy forward, right-wing politicians have been focusing on setting women back,” said Michael Keegan, president of People For the American Way. “Tea Party politicians in Washington and the states have in just two years launched an unprecedented assault on women’s rights and women’s freedoms. From attacking birth control to blocking the Violence Against Women Act to insulting single mothers to legislating away the right to choose, the GOP is systematically rolling back years of advancement for women. These dangerous policies, if not countered with strong progressive voices, threaten to turn back the clock on women throughout the country.”

The report details right-wing attacks on women at the federal level and in the states, and the inflammatory rhetoric that has become common in the War on Women, including:

  • “Can someone please explain to me how and why a woman’s ‘right’ to be promiscuous is my financial responsibility?” – Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber
  • Birth control is “unrelated to the basic needs of health care.” – Rep. Jeff Fortenberry
  • “You could argue that money is more important for men.” – State Rep. Glenn Grothman
  • The contraception coverage mandate is “an assault on religion unlike anything we have seen” – Presidential candidate Mitt Romney
  • “The real scandal here is that this woman could, without any trace of shame, without any trace of embarrassment, give open testimony before the entire United States of America about how much promiscuous sex she and her classmates are having.” – The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer
  • “Obama cited Fluke’s ‘bravery’ when he spoke about her. But a more apt word is ‘shamelessness.” – Religious Right activist Gary Bauer

The full report is available online at:


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People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.

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