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Dick Armey Declares War on Choice

Dick Armey Declares War on Choice

It was nothing short of a declaration of war on women’s health and reproductive choice from a man accustomed to making such declarations.

Not that Republican operative Dick Armey has ever been known for being subtle, but his latest pronouncement that, if Republicans take over Congress in November, they plan on taking on abortion rights shows just how little Republicans truly care about any economic recovery despite what their talking points may be.  The Republicans of the Dick Armey brigade remain dedicated, even in times of economic struggle, of undoing decades of reproductive health advances on both a national and international level.

Armey’s statements also threaten to expose the Tea Party for what it truly is–a well-funded astroturf campaign run by the likes of Armey and other wealthy operatives such as the Koch brothers with one goal in sight–returning hard-right social conservatives to political leadership.

The statements came in response to a suggestion made by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2012.  Daniels had said that the next president would have to call a truce on social issues in order to properly focus on the debt and deficit issues.  It was a statement that showed a tremendous amount of self-awareness at the recent defeats Republicans had faced on issues such as gay-marriage and an acknowledgement that the public is growing weary of these kinds of policy “distractions.”  

Armey, always the antagonizer, dismissed the notion of a truce on social issues outright and said that if the country was insolvent social issues would become irrelevant, but until then, there was no need nor any desire for the kind of truce (or focus perhaps) called for by Daniels.

This places the Tea Party Republicans in an interesting place going into the November elections.  The true libertarians in the movement do not line up with Armey (and Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin or Rand Paul for that matter) on the abortion issue.  If push comes to shove will they be willing to step out of the way, or worse, support, an enormous government assault on individual reproductive health and choice?

If they do not, what happens to those politicians who are part of the hard-right on social issues that have wrapped themselves up in the libertarian rage and funded it via Armey’s Freedom Works?  It’s a question that makes the group skittish.  Freedom Works CEO Matt Kibbe admitted there was no official tea party position on social issues and indeed crafting one would be next to impossible given the fact that the movement currently embraces both individual liberty espousing libertarians and hard right social conservatives.

And for those of us who deeply believe in respecting women and trusting them to make the most appropriate health choices for themselves, we’ve been warned.  We may have been caught of guard with Hyde and the anti-choice push in health care reform but we can no longer say we didn’t know this next assault on our ability to make our own health care choices was coming.

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photo courtesy of infowidget via Flickr

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84 comments

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8:44AM PST on Jan 11, 2012

Dear Shawn,
Yes, we should have all the freedoms we desire. Freedom to kill anyone we so choose to. Just because a person is still in the womb... does that make them less a person??? Strange concept. Some freedoms are just not allowed, right?

8:33AM PDT on Oct 5, 2010

Out of all of these arguments, I think that the one that makes the most sense is that in this country we have the freedom to express which ever religion that we believe in.
We have that right that is an integral part of our Constitution, but it doesn't give us the right to force others to believe the way that we do.
If abortion is morally wrong according to your religious beliefs that you have that right to not have one.
If someone else believes that they have the moral right to do so, then you cannot take that right away from them!

4:41AM PDT on Sep 22, 2010

Thank you Charles Wallace!!!

10:06PM PDT on Sep 21, 2010

To Dan O.
One more thing, in addition to getting mad at women who choose to get an abortion, why don't you also get mad at the men who have or will hurt or kill a female/woman that he has gotten pregnant and she refused to get an abortion against his will. I find it so funny how people like you don't even mention about the women who have been killed or hurt by their partner because she refused to get an abortion. If you can condemn the female/woman for her "killing," PLEASE, BE FAIR AND CONDEMN THE MAN FOR HIS!!

9:58PM PDT on Sep 21, 2010

To Dan O.
How can you relate slavery to a woman having an abortion? Under slavery, despite the 13, 14, and 15th Amendments, whites still believed that African-Americans were neither human nor citizens. African-Americans were forced into servitude WITHOUT their consent. True enough, if a woman did not want to become pregnant she should not have sex or used protection. But does this logic NOT also apply to men? If men don't want to get a woman or any female pregnant, then why don't HE stop having sex, stop raping women/females, or use protection himself. Birth control IS the responsibility of BOTH the male and female, NOT just the female. All I have to say is if a man can decide that it is okay for him not be a parent by walking away from his responsibilty when he sees fit and without consequence, then women and females ARE allowed to have an abortion (especially for raped, molested, incest) without consequence as well.

1:03PM PDT on Sep 21, 2010

Irritatingly enough, the comment that I posted 24 hours ago never appeared, so here's rendition #2:

Thank you, Charles Wallace for defending women's rights the way you do. The world needs more people like you.

I sure am glad I don't live in the States. Abortion rights are still threatened here in Canada, but the number of anti-woman wingnuts vying for power in America is frightening. It's almost funny, the way antis compare OB/GYNs to Hitler without realizing that what they believe in is, in fact, fascism.

1:48PM PDT on Sep 19, 2010

@Dan O: "Charles, there is no disease that can be cured by having an abortion. Abortion is a medical procedure that also involves serious risks, especially to the defenseless , unique, seperate , human being known by you as the fetus."

Medical procedures don't just cure diseases, Dan. A broken bone is not a disease, but there are medical procedures for fixing one. The fallacy in your argument is that the fetus is NOT "separate". It can ONLY survive by attaching to another person's body. That person has every right to refuse to allow it to do so. Just as YOU have every right to refuse to allow me access to your bone marrow, even if I'll die without it.

"Until January 22,1973 a fetus enjoyed the same right to life expressed in our country's founding document as you or I."

No, Dan. Until January 22, 1973, a fetus was given MORE rights than you or I. The fetus was granted the right to use another person's organs (i.e., uterus, blood nutrients, etc.) against their will, a right NOT granted to anyone else. The woman could be forced into involuntary servitude of that fetus, which violated the 13th Amendment of the Constitution. Even if my life depended on it, I was not allowed to force you into involuntary servitude for me. Roe v Wade affirmed equal protection for women.

10:16AM PDT on Sep 19, 2010

KUDOS to Charles Wallace!

9:26AM PDT on Sep 19, 2010

but Dan, you have no problem looking a woman in BOTH her eyes and telling her a FETUS (yes, Dan it really is a FETUS) has more rights over her body than she does. And the only reason for using slavery and civil rights as a metaphor for abortion is to sentimentalize it!!

8:57AM PDT on Sep 19, 2010

Charles, there is no disease that can be cured by having an abortion. Abortion is a medical procedure that also involves serious risks, especially to the defenseless , unique, seperate , human being known by you as the fetus.

Until January 22,1973 a fetus enjoyed the same right to life expressed in our country's founding document as you or I. It took a civil war and an act of congress for you to gain that right. Why? Because your skin is a different color that's why. It amazes me that in this day and age a person like you can peer into the womb of a six week pregnant mother, look that fetus in the eye, and tell it it has no rights.

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