The Republican War on the ACA Is An Attack On Women

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American Burkha

After America invaded Iraq and the people learned Bush and Cheney fabricated evidence to launch an unprovoked war, Republicans defended the nation’s intervention in the Middle East because Arab women were forced to be in subjection to men. It is true that in many nations predominated by Muslims, women are second-class citizens and little more than property mandated to do the will of their husbands, but if that is the criteria for invasion and war, America should be attacked for allowing Republicans to mistreat women and attempt to put them in their biblical roles as birth machines and slaves.

Shortly after the 2012 general election, the RNC assessed the electoral damage due to their anti-women agenda and concluded that a friendlier outreach effort would assuage the harm their misogynistic and patriarchal agenda caused them. However, instead of de-escalating their war against women, they ratcheted up their attacks that continue unabated nearly a year after the election loss that drove them to reconsider aggressively attacking women’s rights. Since the beginning of 2013, Republicans passed Draconian laws restricting women’s right to choose their own reproductive health, and recently a few Americans were outraged that ALEC’s Texas voter ID law disenfranchises married women by suppressing their right to vote. However horrendous restricting women’s right to vote may be, an oft-forgotten attack in the Republican war against women is the continued assault on the Affordable care Act (ACA).

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The ongoing war against the ACA by Republican messiah Ted Cruz is an attack on women that he enlisted ALEC’s assistance to continue. In 2011, ALEC created the “State Legislators Guide to Repealing Obamacare” that detailed how to dismantle the ACA locally, and it was Cruz who co-authored the report describing Obamacare as “unconstitutional federal overreach and violation of 10th Amendment rights” that would become ALEC’s model legislation to upend the Affordable Care Act. Of course Republican misogynists and patriarchs lust to derail the Affordable Care Act; because besides giving millions of Americans access to affordable health care insurance, it restricts insurance companies from discriminating against women. If there is anything conservative Christians cannot and will not comport, it is prohibiting powerful men from victimizing women.

Before the ACA, the private insurance industry forced women to pay higher premiums than men and restricted coverage that is unique to women’s needs, but the health law Republicans detest addressed those discriminatory health and economic practices and brought them to a long-overdue end.  The health law prohibited insurance companies from denying coverage for being a woman (a pre-existing condition), mandated that new health plans cover maternity care, gives women access to depression screenings, allows them a mammogram every two years, access to counseling for domestic violence at no cost, and ensures women will not have a co-pay for birth control. American women should make no mistake that one of the primary reasons Republicans hate the ACA is for its benefits to women they believe are second class citizens at the mercy of men as mandated in the Christian bible.

Ted Cruz knows all about keeping women subjugated to men because his mentor, father, and preacher Rafael Cruz expounds that “God commands us men to teach your wife, but unfortunately, unfortunately, in too many Christian homes, the role of the priest is assumed by the wife.” The elder Cruz is not alone in his biblical subversion of women, and although Republicans hardly espouse evangelicals’ hate toward women publicly, there is a phalanx of conservative Christians speaking on their behalf.

For example, Pat Robertson said, “The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.” He also opined that if women get married, they “accept the headship of a man, your husband; the husband is the head of the wife, and that’s the way it is, period.” Pat Buchanan concurred with Robertson and claimed “Rail as they will about ‘discrimination,’ women are simply not endowed by nature with the same measures of single-minded ambition and the will to succeed” as a man and it explains the Republican opposition to equal pay for equal work and the Equal Rights Amendment. It is no wonder that in Texas, Republicans are disenfranchising women’s right to vote to keep them politically impotent that is a very popular prospect among Christian conservatives.

A teabag leader of the Central Mississippi Tea Party thinks that women shouldn’t be allowed to cast a ballot because according to her “there is nothing worse than a bunch of mean, hateful women that are diabolical in how they can skewer a person. I do not see that in men.” Another tea party activist, regular Fox News guest, preacher, and founder of an organization Sean Hannity serves as an advisory board member said that America’s greatest mistake was allowing women the right to vote and longed forthe good old days when men knew that women are crazy and knew how to deal with them.” If America’s women think for one second that Republicans adhering to conservative Christianity would not like to take America back to the good old days when men knew how to “deal with them” they can look at Republican-controlled states and understand the right to vote or control their reproductive health are just opening salvos in the war against women.

The source of the concept that women are second class citizens is founded in the bible that Christian conservatives claim is the blueprint for America that many Republicans subscribe to in state legislatures and the U.S. Congress as well. Shortly after the start of the 113th Congress, failed vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan re-introduced a fetal personhood bill that Republican-controlled states have inserted in state budgets and bills like the Preborn Pain Act introduced by the Texas ALEC Chair, Representative Jodie Laubenberg (R). The idea that women are unqualified to vote, do not deserve equality in healthcare costs, should not earn equal pay, or are unqualified to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive health is so deeply ingrained in Christian conservative circles that even Republican women support their subjection to patriarchs in Republican ranks.

American women make up 51% of the population in this country, but they are perpetually under-represented and assailed as second-class citizens underserving of equal rights. The assault on the Affordable Care Act is as much about allowing the insurance industry to discriminate against women with Republicans’ blessings as it is about healthcare for uninsured Americans, and it is likely that given the opportunity many Republicans would restrict women’s right to vote unless they follow their Republican husbands’ orders and vote for Christian conservatives. If women thought for a second that Republicans learned from their mistakes in the 2012 election, they just need to look around and see that misogyny, patriarchal domination, and religious fervor to put them in their biblical role as subservient is raging on and unfortunately, there is no superpower going to come to their aid except themselves; if they are allowed to vote.

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