With all of the incredible challenges facing our nation -- the need to rebuild our infrastructure, create jobs, improve education and address the threat of climate change -- one would expect that these pressing issues would be at the top of your agenda.
But last week I watched in disbelief as Republicans instead chose to ratchet up the War on Women.
First, there was Republican Congressman Steve Pearce's memoir that argued that wives should "voluntarily submit" to their husbands. Then, former GOP Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee joined in, suggesting that American women could "control their libido" rather than receive contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
And now one of your very first votes of the year in the House is a disingenuous and dangerous attack on women's health.
My question to you is this: What century are you living in?
Your "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" is a solution in search of a problem. Despite your attempts to confuse people with the bill's misleading title, federal funds cannot be used for abortion under the Affordable Care Act. In fact, Section 10104 of the law specifically prohibits taxpayer funds from being used to purchase abortion insurance coverage in the new health care exchanges.
I was personally involved in crafting the compromise language that ensured this was the case, and I find it reprehensible that you are now trying to create a phony controversy.
HR 7 is not only dishonest and insincere, if it were enacted it would deny women access to health care that has been guaranteed since 1973 with the Roe v. Wade decision. Make no mistake, the real goal of your bill is clear -- to eliminate insurance coverage for abortion so women can't even use their own personal funds to pay for their reproductive care.
You keep saying the Republican party needs to be more sensitive to women in order to win back their support. Let me tell you, women are smart and they know who is on their side. And they know that a woman's medical decisions are best left up to her, her family and her doctor -- not politicians waging a radical assault on their lives and their health.
If you are sincere about wanting to reach out to women, you should end this divisive rhetoric and stop pushing an extreme agenda that hurts women and their families.
Senator Barbara Boxer
Follow Sen. Barbara Boxer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SenatorBoxer