Over the next few months A New Wave will devote its blog posts to the battle for women's rights and those mobilizing and organizing to fight it.
Part I and II are an overview of what's happening nationally and around the country in state legislatures. None of this will come as a surprise to readers of this blog, but since extremists stay busy 24/7/365, what's happening changes almost daily. So stay tuned.
Let's start with Congress.
Example A: This year the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) came up for reauthorization, as it did in 2000 and 2005, after being introduced in 1994, when it passed both the House and Senate, and was signed into law by President Clinton.
But VAWA has become "a heavy lift" for Republicans to support: the party of the white male wants to rewrite this law to exclude Native American women, LGBTQ individuals and battered illegal immigrant women from its protections, in addition to watering down how the Act is funded.
So, two weeks ago the GOP-controlled House passed its own VAWA that eliminates these protections and sets up another battle with the Senate, which passed its version on April 26 - including these protections.
Example B: Although there are any number of examples that qualify as extremist "war on women" measures from the U.S. House, the most recent is symbolic of how laser-focused Republicans are on dismantling women's reproductive rights.
This time they've dressed it up as "nondiscrimination": The Prenatal Nondiscimination Act (PRENDA) seeks to ban sex-selective abortions by making it a federal crime to abort a fetus based on its gender and prescribing prison time for medical providers that engage in this practice.
The bill solves a problem that is almost non-existent in the U.S. and does not one thing to solve the many gender inequities that lead to male favoritism - even in the womb.
The rhetoric, however, is heavy with irony: The National Right to Life Committee, along with Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), chief sponsor of PRENDA, says this law is needed to "stop the war on baby girls." A truly heartwarming focus group phrase meant to soften the blow of how Republicans really feel about women - even "baby girls". See here, here and here for examples.
And, like so-called voter fraud that the GOP cites as reasons for voter ID laws that target minorities, poor, elderly, and college students, PRENDA targets Asian American women, who will risk "intense questioning" about the decision to seek an abortion if this bill becomes law.
Part II will look at the battle for women's rights in states. Here's a sneak peek at one major piece of that battle: Anti-choice bills.