Posts Tagged ‘ The View ’

Haley’s Comment

As Reported By Robert Walker for The Huffington Post

Like a comet streaking across the heavens, Governor Nikki Haley’s comment on The View about women not caring about contraception is drawing a lot of attention. And rightly so.

Poll after poll suggests that women do care about contraception. Case in point: Mitt Romney’s plan to shut down the family planning clinics run by Planned Parenthood has cost him dearly. His support among women has dropped precipitously in the past few months as voters learn more about his views on family planning.

When Haley and other Republican leaders opine about the lack of voter interest in contraception, it’s more wishful thinking than political insight. They recognize that the positions taken by the GOP presidential aspirants on family planning may help them in the primaries, but it will undoubtedly hurt them in the general election. As a result, they want to change the subject in the worst way.

Unfortunately for them, comments like those made by Governor Haley do nothing to shift voter attention to the issues they want to talk about, like deficits and the economy. To the contrary, they reinforce the idea that Republicans are tone-deaf on women’s issues.

Haley’s comment, in particular, appears to suggest that Republican leaders, even women like her, don’t care about a women’s access to contraception. Before making her claim, maybe she should have checked in with another Republican leader, Senator Olympia Snowe, who earlier this week said that the political attacks on contraception were “retro.”

What’s even more “retro,” however, is the unspoken half of Haley’s comment. By suggesting that women don’t really care about contraception, she’s suggesting that men could care even less. So much less that it’s not even worth discussing.

Polls, of course, suggest to the contrary. While men may feel less strongly than women do, they also care about contraception. Most men recognize that they also benefit when women are able to determine the number and timing of their pregnancies. Some men may want to keep women “barefoot and pregnant,” but it’s a pretty small minority. This is, after all, the 21st century.

As governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley ought to appreciate the critical need for family planning services. Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. According to the Guttmacher Institute, South Carolina’s rate of unintended pregnancy is significantly higher than the national average. In 2006, 52,000 South Carolina residents had an unintended pregnancy, a rate of 58 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44. Guttmacher report that births resulting from these unintended pregnancies cost the state and federal governments $254 million in 2006.

And South Carolina’s teenage pregnancy rate, while it’s been declining in recent years, is still about 25 percent higher than the national average according to the Centers for Disease Control.

A poll released earlier this year indicated that 95 percent of South Carolinians believe that teenage pregnancy is an important issue, with 85 percent supporting school-based sexuality education. Maybe, Governor Haley should go on a listening tour in South Carolina before declaring that women don’t care about contraception.

Many regard Governor Haley as a rising political star in the political firmament. She’s frequently mentioned as a possible vice presidential selection. Given Romney’s “gender gap,” adding a woman to the ticket might be a smart move, but, maybe he should find a woman who understands how women — and men — genuinely feel about contraception.

Governor Haley’s comment, like the famed Halley’s comet, will soon fade from public view, but the issue of contraception will not fade anytime soon. The war on contraception is real. State cutbacks, like those in Texas, are forcing family-planning clinics to close their doors, and if GOP leaders succeed in their efforts to eliminate Title X, the federal program that provides low-income women with improved access to family planning, more shutdowns will inevitably occur.

That’s why it’s so critically important that women — and men — pledge to speak out in support of reproductive health and rights. Don’t let the Governor Haleys of the world speak for you.

Pakistanis for Peace Editor’s Note– We profiled Governor Nikki Haley a few days before she was elected as the first Indian born female governor as well as minority woman governor of a US state and wished her well here. However, her party and ideals diametrically are opposed to ours as Democratic voters in the US elections as many Pakistani Americans now are. Thus, some of her ideas and beliefs are not necessarily our own, but we still wish her well as she is a fellow Desi~

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Bill O’Reilly’s Full Of It..

By Gotham Chopra for The Huffington Post

A clip from The view is making the rounds today showing hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walking off set after engaging in a heated dialogue with guest Bill O’Reilly.

I’ve been talking dogs so long that it almost slipped my attention before I realized that this is the stuff I live for. Commenting on blustery (Fox) commentators like O’Reilly and Sean Hannity and just how unperceptive and misdirected they really are.

The gist of it: O’Reilly’s view that the Ground Zero Mosque should not be constructed because 1) 70% of Americans allegedly are against it and 2) Because Muslims killed Americans on 9/11. (His words, not mine)

1) So what? 65% of Americans also admit to knowing little or nothing about Islam. Crossover with O’Reilly’s aforementioned 70%? I’ll bet. Let’s not be led astray by the admittedly ignorant and misinformed.

Btw – those 70% are perfectly welcome to line up across the street and peaceably protest. Along with Muslims and everyone else practicing their faith free of persecution and prejudice, it’s one of the great privileges our constitution affords us. Yeah America!!!

2) Declaring Muslims killed Americans on 9/11 is dangerously inflammatory. Radicals who happened to be Muslim killed Americans and well over a dozen other nationalities that fateful and tragic day. By Mr. O’Reilly’s logic, Christians shouldn’t be allowed to build churches in Oklahoma City because Tim McVeigh was, after all, Christian and killed 168 people there. Wait, what? Yeah…

Here’s the thing: there are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world and growing. We can either go Bill’s way which is to perpetuate misconception, ignorance, conflict, rage, antagonism, and moral arrogance or we can engage in dialogue, empathy, creative conflict resolution and non-violent communication and possible create a more secure and sustainable future for our grandchildren. And yes, it will take time because evolution always does.

I’ll take the latter, but know Mr. O’Reilly will take the former because, he after all has ratings and book sales to consider…which I indeed empathize with.

You can buy Walking Wisdom wherever books are sold 🙂

Gotham Chopra, is the founder of Liquid Comics, the author of Walking Wisdom and other fine books, and the son of Dr. Deepak Chopra.

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