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posted: 11/11/2012 5:00 AM

War on women centers on health care

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Recently the world was shocked when 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for promoting girls education. How could young girls be prevented from the basic right of education? Many believed this is a war on women.

Yet, many American women who saw the Taliban's crusade against young girls revolting turn their back on the war currently being carried out on American women: the war on women's health care. For too long, Republicans have celebrated their victory by passing or proposing laws that limit abortion rights, mandate ultrasounds, allow employers to deny women birth control coverage and defund Planned Parenthood -- basically depriving women of medical health care that could save their lives. This is a slap in the face to women across America.

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This slap has become more stinging during the past several months, as inflammatory comments about women's health have spilled from ignorant mouths. Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) said victims of legitimate rape rarely get pregnant. GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan sheepishly supported removing the term "forcible rape" from his bill that bans taxpayer-funded abortions, claiming it was "stock language." Rush Limbaugh called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a slut for advocating contraception coverage.

Women must stand up to such serious attacks against women's health. Until they do, women will pay the price, not only in this country, but throughout the world. Contraception, gender equality, education and abortion rights all give women more freedom; when women have more freedom, they act on it. And conservatives don't like that.

The world is not black and white like pro-life conservatives would like you to believe. Life consists of every shade of gray. Someday it may be your own daughter or granddaughter who may suffer from such outrageous thinking imposed against them.

Mary Boldan

Arlington Heights

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