Congressional Democrats are helping their party court women voters at their national convention in Charlotte this week.
A report (PDF) released Wednesday by Democrats on the House Energy & Commerce Committee counts 55 “anti-women” bills House Republicans have passed since they took over in 2011. They range from restricting abortion rights and de-funding women’s health programs to slashing food security and weakening domestic violence protections.
“The Republican-controlled House has become the most anti-women House in modern history,” said E&C’s top Democrat, Rep. Henry Waxman (CA).
Some of the bills aren’t specific to women, such as the House GOP’s vote to scrap the health care reform law’s Prevention and Public Health Fund for fighting diseases and promoting wellness. But supporters of these programs have long argued that the affected services disproportionately benefit women.
The committee’s report serves as a resource for Democrats campaigning on the argument that the Republican platform is anti-women.
Romney spokespersons did not return requests for comment. The campaign and its Republican allies have responded to previous claims of this sort by arguing that the persistently weak economy under Obama has been devastating for women in particular.
On the opening night of the convention Tuesday, First Lady Michelle Obama appealed to women 7 times in her speech.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius mentioned women 10 times, and painted an unpleasant picture of what a Romney-Ryan administration would mean for gender equality.
“Romney and Ryan will take away women’s basic health services and turn a blind eye to insurance discrimination,” she said. “President Obama stands up for women, giving us control over our own health care.”
Since Jan. 2011, House Republicans have tried to chip away at scores of social programs and business regulations while rolling back access to abortion.
The Energy & Commerce Democrats included statements attacking the GOP agenda — from four national women’s advocacy groups: Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Partnership for Women & Families and National Women’s Law Center.
Sahil Kapur is a congressional reporter for TPM. He previously covered politics and public policy for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He can be reached at sahil [at] talkingpointsmemo.com.