Up and down the ticket, a field of right-wing extremists is on the ballot this fall, all representing Scott Walker’s radical War on Women.
But while Walker tries to dismiss his War on Women, writing off women and their concerns about access to reproductive healthcare, pay equity protections, and education, he fails to understand that these aren’t “sidebar” issues; issues critical to women’s rights are economic issues as well.
From the attack on women’s access to reproductive health care and contraception to the gutting of the Pay Equity Enforcement Act, Scott Walker’s policies not only treat women like second-class citizens, but also take away the most fundamental rights and choices women need to fully participate in our society and make critical decisions about their lives.
Discriminatory insurance policies, like the ones Scott Walker would return to, place a higher financial burden on women when they refuse to cover birth control and routine preventive care like breast and cervical cancer screenings.
Equal pay for equal work would be the biggest economic stimulus our country could have. If women were paid equally to men for comparable work, there would be $200 billion more circulating in the national economy. Wisconsin women would spend money here in Wisconsin communities, helping to stimulate our floundering economy, and improve our dead last in the Midwest ranking on job creation.
So besides being deeply restrictive and out-of-touch social policy, Walker’s shameless War on Women endangers the economic security of the middle class.
It’s anyone’s guess why Scott Walker fails to understand that women’s issues are fiscal issues that affect everyone. Maybe it’s because Walker Republicans like 6th Congressional District candidate state Sen. Glenn Grothman, a standard bearer for Walker’s War on Women, think that it is OK for women to get paid less because, "money is more important for men." Maybe it’s because Scott Walker thinks he knows better than women and their doctors how to make personal healthcare decisions – he did, after all, sign a bill into law requiring medically-unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds despite opposition from medical professionals in organizations like the Wisconsin Medical Society, WI Academy of Family Physicians, Wisconsin Public Health Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Or maybe it’s because Scott Walker simply doesn’t view women as equal partners in society and is willing to write off the female vote as he courts money and influence from far-right special interests.
Whatever the reason, Scott Walker’s extreme views are more than out of touch – they are dangerous, they’re a monumental step backward, and they threaten to undermine women’s opportunities to prosper economically.