Stop the Gynoticians
In just the first three months of 2013, 694 provisions that relate to reproductive health were introduced, nearly half to restrict or limit access to abortion. And that’s not including a number of other measures which could make it harder for women to get birth control, cut women off from cancer screenings, or prohibit sex education programs that help prevent teen pregnancy.
The result? Legislators have passed a wave of restrictions that will significantly impact millions of women.
Decisions about women’s health should be made by a woman, her faith, and her family in consultation with her doctors. Unfortunately, more politicians seem to want to be playing the role of doctor—acting as “Gynoticians.”
These politicians are doing their darndest to insert themselves into the exam room. Meet the Gynoticians who are trying to control women’s health care and tell them enough is enough!
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Meet the Gynoticians
Indiana Governor Mike Pence
In Congress, he voted against expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to provide coverage to 6 million more children. He voted against the Affordable Care Act—that’s already helped more than 45 million women. And of course, he made a name for himself when he proposed a bill (less than 48 hours into the new year) that would have barred Planned Parenthood from receiving the federal funds needed to provide essential and lifesaving services to nearly three million women each year.
Bachelor of Arts in History from Hanover College; Juris Doctor from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback
Brownback recently suggested that women should “go work somewhere else” if they want to get birth control and their boss didn’t want to abide by the law requiring coverage. So it was hardly a surprise when he signed a bill allowing pharmacists, physicians, and other medical providers to refuse to provide birth control and medical referrals to women if they “reasonably believe” the use of a drug would end a pregnancy. Brownback has repeatedly fought to insert himself into the exam room and play the role of Gynotician.
Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University; Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas Law School.
North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple
After signing the most restrictive abortion ban in the country, which bans abortion as early as six weeks, Governor Dalrymple said lawmakers had the right to “discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade” (spending a significant amount of taxpayer money—to the extent they had to increase the budget of the attorney general’s office). He admitted the bill was a direct challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court case which legalized abortion. He’s not just interfering with women’s health in North Dakota, but women’s health care decisions across the entire country.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is actually a medical doctor—but not the kind you want to be making women’s health care decisions—he’s a dermatologist. So why does he think it’s ok to play politics with a woman’s personal and private medical decisions? As Governor, Bentley signed some of the most severe restrictions of abortion providers in the country. Considering the fact that he opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest, it’s no surprise that he would support an extreme and dangerous law designed to limit abortion in the state. But that’s not all, Bentley has also worked to resist the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (which has already helped 45 million women) because he claims the law “negatively affects consumer choice.”
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biology, University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
M.D. from the University of Alabama Medicine. Practicing Dermatologist.
Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert
Despite vetoes by the governor, the Arkansas Legislature voted to make two unconstitutional abortion bans law. State Senator Jason Rapert led the charge on a 12-week abortion ban. Speaking on the issue, it’s clear he wants to act as a doctor and make personal medical decisions for other women.
“Roe v. Wade was as bad a decision for the 20th century as Dred Scott was to the 19th century,” he said, referring to the pre-Civil War case that found that African-Americans were not citizens. He said that lawmakers have “the opportunity to correct the 1973 court just like the 1857 court was corrected” during and after the Civil War.
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Sociology from the University of Central Arkansas.
Ohio Governor John Kasich
Last session, Governor John Kasich signed 4 bills into law that restricted a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions. In fact, his support of these bills led state Senator Randy Gardner to declare the last two years—since Governor Kasich was elected—as having "probably been the most significant pro-life legislative victories in Ohio history.” This session, Governor John Kasich signed his state budget—which included a number of anti-women’s health provisions including language designed to defund Planned Parenthood, TRAP restrictions, and a mandatory ultrasound requirement for women seeking an abortion.
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Ohio State.
North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis
Even before he assumed the role as House Speaker, Thom Tillis made clear that limiting a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions was a top priority. His priorities became more than clearwhen he played an integral role in maneuvering two bills, both originally unrelated to women's health, amended with some of the most dangerous and extreme abortion restrictions in the country and rushed through with every trick in the book.
Earlier in his career, when North Carolina Right to Life wanted to push an extreme and dangerous mandatory ultrasound bill, Tillis helped lead the charge. The bill (which passed in July 2011) would have required abortion providers to perform an ultrasound and place the image in the woman’s line of sight—even if she asked not to view it. These are the type of wrong-headed bills that Tillis has helped to craft.
Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland.
North Carolina Senate
President Pro Tempore Phil Berger
For nearly 15 years, State Senate President Phil Berger has been working to roll back women’s health and rights by introducing a barrage of bills designed to restrict a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions. An early pioneer of refusal bills, Berger introduced (in his very first session in office), a bill designed to allow bosses to deny women insurance coverage for birth control based on a moral conviction. Berger’s bill removed language that would have protected coverage even for “prescription contraception that is necessary to preserve the life or health of a person covered under the plan.”
Bachelors in Sociology from Averett University, Juris Doctor from Wake Forest.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli
First, as a Virginia state senator and now in his current role as attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli has led the charge trying to turn back the clock on women’s health and rights.
He opposes abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, and once co-sponsored an extreme and dangerous “personhood” bill that could ban all abortion and some forms of birth control. Cuccinelli pushed for targeted restrictions of abortion providers (TRAP) designed as a backdoor ban to eliminate access to safe and legal abortion in the state, and introduced an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood in Virginia.
To top it all off, he supports letting your employer decide whether you get access to affordable birth control, even suggesting people should “go to jail” rather than provide access.
Bachelor's degree, University of Virginia in mechanical engineering, J.D. George Mason University School of Law, master's degree, George Mason University in International Commerce and Policy