Eric Fehrnstrom, senior campaign adviser for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, turned heads on Sunday when he said that women's issues, such as access to contraception and abortion services, are nothing but "shiny objects" of distraction.
"Mitt Romney is pro-life," Fehrnstrom said on ABC's "This Week." "He'll govern as a pro-life president, but you're going to see the Democrats use all sorts of shiny objects to distract people's attention from the Obama performance on the economy. This is not a social issue election."
Fehrnstrom's comment echoes an increasingly common Republican talking point, which is that Democrats' complaints about the so-called "war on women" -- an umbrella term for legislative attacks on contraception coverage and abortion, attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, ultrasound mandates and opposition to the Violence Against Women Act and equal pay laws-- are a trivial political ploy meant to distract voters from the issues that matter.
Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, said that efforts to minimize political issues affecting women are offensive.
"I think that the conservative assumption was that they could aggressively dismantle womens rights under the radar, and they're peeved that they've been caught out, so one of their responses to being caught out is to chastise women for paying attention and to really chastise men for paying attention," she told The Huffington Post. "To tell us we can't have our birth control covered and then to scold us for complaining about that is disrespectful and dismissive, and I hope women will really show their disapproval in November."
The Huffington Post put together a slideshow of recent incidents of Republicans calling the debate over women's issues a distraction, pairing them with selections from our War On Women playlist.
HuffPost Politics and Spotify are teaming up to DJ key moments in 2012. Here's how it works. Spotify users: Open your app, scroll through our slideshow, click on the song tracks and let the music do the rest. Non-Spotify users: Get set up here for free.
Do you have a war on women story and/or song to add to this slideshow? Email us at email@example.com, let us know in the comments section, or send us a tweet @HuffPostPol.
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