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Opinion | Why are women still voting for Republicans?

Time after time, Republicans have proven that they do not care about women’s rights or women’s health care. Why are women still voting for them?

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Pardon me, ma’am, but why are you voting for Republicans? 

No, seriously, I’m asking you. I’d really like to understand it, because right now, I so clearly do not. Not at all. Not even a little bit. 

I simply cannot fathom how any petty social issue, like which bathrooms people use or whether library books are moved to a higher shelf, might somehow trump the fact that Republicans – at every single level – have absolutely zero respect for you. 

That is not hyperbole. 

We know well the national issues surrounding abortion rights, and we have seen firsthand the devastating effects of those ignorant, poorly-thought-out policies. With women facing death in ERs that refuse to treat them because doctors fear prosecution if they abort a fetus to save a woman. 

The response to these nightmare situations from Republicans has been a collective yawn. Because they do not care. They do not pretend to care. 

I was reminded of those facts last week, as I listened to the Alabama Senate debate a bill that would have provided teachers with eight weeks of maternity leave. 

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That bill was sponsored by Sen. Vivian Figures, and it was essentially a compromise bill. The eight weeks was down from 12 in the original bill, but up from six in a House version. Currently, Alabama teachers must accrue paid time off (PTO) and sick leave in order to be compensated while away from work after having a child, or adopting one.  

Now, if a man ever was forced to shove another human out of one of his orifices, you can bet top dollar that the following legislative session there would be a bill for eight years of paid maternity leave, and it would pass in about 15 seconds. But that ain’t life now, and since a Republican can never, ever hold compassion for anything that he doesn’t experience firsthand, the talk quickly turned to the one thing that Republicans care about most:


Those eight weeks would simply cost too much, Figures was told. Figures’ bill essentially failed, because Senate President Greg Reed blocked it from being transmitted to the House. Sen. Arthur Orr said it might cost as much as $50 million, and well, golly gee, we just can’t take that much from the Education Trust fund.

This is the same Alabama Senate and the same Arthur Orr, mind you, that passed with glee and press releases a bill that diverts at least $100 million annually from the education budget and sends it to private schools and private individuals. The “CHOOSE” Act, they called it. 

If only women could choose. 

Except, well, in one way, you can.

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Because while we have a tendency to lump the entire “Alabama Legislature” together whenever something bad happens within the State House, that’s not actually the reality. Because inside that chamber there was actually one group of people who consistently took a stand for women and women’s rights and women’s health care. That group has been standing up for those rights for years now. 


Check the record. Check the votes. Check the bills. Check the comments. 

When Alabama Republicans wanted to pass the toughest abortion ban in the country, Democrats tried to stand in the way. They warned you that Roe could fall and that the results would be devastating. 

When their dire predictions came true, and Alabama started forcing rape victims and young children to carry rape pregnancies to term, Alabama Democrats fought back against it. They’ve offered legislation over and over again that would at least offer exceptions for rape and incest. That would at least protect doctors from prosecution if they terminated pregnancies that were unsafe or unviable. 

When Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall threatened women with prosecution for seeking abortion care in other states, where it is legal, it was Democrats who took a stand and eventually forced him to walk those threats back. 

Look, I get it, your friends and family all vote Republican. Your Facebook feed is filled with memes about Sleepy Joe and Hunter’s laptop. You like owning the libs and hate Subarus. But I wonder how much fun all of that will be, or if any of those people will be there to help, when your daughter is literally dying in a hospital because an unviable pregnancy is killing her and no one will end it. 

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Or when your friend is arrested for legally receiving prescription medication by mail. Or when anyone you know is forced to keep a pregnancy that results from a sexual assault. 

These are real life situations that are happening all across the country right now. They’ve been documented and reported on. 

There’s a way to stop them all from happening. You just have to take a stand for yourself, and for all women.

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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