Michigan Republicans, War on Women, Women — September 29, 2014 at 2:18 pm

The anti-women strategies the Michigan GOP didn’t want you to hear


The War on Women is alive and well in Michigan. Don’t let Republicans try to tell you otherwise.

Hot on the heels of the successful pro-women V to Shining V event in Detroit, the Michigan Democratic Party has released shocking recordings of Michigan Republicans saying what they really think about women.

Well, it’s honestly not all that shocking. But the recordings reveal lawmakers saying how they really feel — and how far they’ll go to deny women their rights. And that should concern everyone.

Michigan Republicans are keen on making “personhood” the law of the land, a move even Mississippi voters rejected in 2011, and that would make many popular forms of birth control illegal. What’s more, personhood would declare that life begins at fertilization, which would overturn the right to an abortion protected by Roe v. Wade.

The recordings, obtained by the Michigan Democratic Party, appear to reflect the views of a large, core group of GOP lawmakers, including two incumbent State Senators — Mike Green and Patrick Colbeck — who are heard voicing strong support for personhood legislation for Michigan.

Oh, and they’re not fans of equal pay for women, either. Here’s what the MDP said in a release:

In one recording, Sen. Colbeck responds to a question about whether he’d support legislation that mirrored the Mississippi personhood proposal, by saying, ‘oh yeah… I would love anything we can do in that vein to get going.’ Sen. Green, in a separate recorded conversation with a citizen, voices similar support for the controversial proposal, which would define life as beginning at the moment of fertilization and would make it a crime for women to take widely used forms of birth control.

Meanwhile, Green is also heard dismissing pay inequality for women as a ‘misnomer’ and state Rep. Pat Somerville brands as ‘a terrible idea’ pay equity legislation, insisting that ‘when you compare (pay) side by side they (women) actually get more than the men.’ Not to be outdone, State House candidate Jason Sheppard said equal pay legislation ‘creates huge problems’ and would actually discriminate against men.

Green, Colbeck and Somerville are all seeking re-election and would likely be poised for leadership positions within their Republican caucuses, says the MDP. In the recordings, Somerville is heard suggesting that life begins at the moment a sperm is united with an egg and expresses hope that Michigan might be able to accomplish what Mississippi voters rejected: a ban on birth control.

Rep. Martin Howrylak added: “morally that’s where I am, legally that is where we should be.”

These officials’ moral beliefs have no place entering into our state’s legislation, but they don’t seem to think a little thing like the separation of church and state should stop them from pushing their extremist agenda on everyone in Michigan.

Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer says at least 27 Republican lawmakers supported Mississippi-style personhood legislation in recent years, including Republican Leader Randy Richardville and Speaker Jase Bolger.

From Senator Whitmer:

When you actually hear what these Republican men are saying in their own words at town halls, tea party events and coffee hours you can’t help but believe that rape insurance is just the tip of the iceberg for what’s to come. This isn’t just about a few outliers saying dumb things that aren’t true. This is an agenda that threatens every working family in Michigan.

Links to the recordings are posted online in the press release issued by the Michigan Democratic Party.

So you don’t have to take my word for it. Hear for yourself what these and other Michigan Republicans have to say when they don’t think someone is listening. If we don’t vote them out of office on November 4th, they’ll have plenty of tricks like these behind their backs to continue pushing for an agenda that includes laws a majority of Michiganders don’t want.

Every vote counts. It’s time to stand up to extremists and tell them this is not the Michigan we want to live in.