Women Health and the Republican Attempt to Undermine PPACA: Implications for the 2012 Presidential Election


Keywords or Terms: Women Health; Republican Party; Conservatives;  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA); Women Right; Reproductive Health; Civil Right; War of Sexes; and 2012 Elections

There should be no illusions about the sort of women voters that the Republican Party is destined to face come November, 2012. There would be no trepidation, no second thoughts, as throngs of women decamp from supporting the Republican Party and their candidates. A party that is hell bent on destroying the only health care reform in America in over half a century, whose leaders could care less about derogatory comments about women and their health, a party whose members probably tacitly subscribe to the position of Rush Limbaugh on women reproductive health, must be prepared to bear the brunt of the wrath of millions of women, who consider the issue regarding their body, an important aspect of a modern day life; a civil right that has been fought by millions of women in the past and which few women are going to tolerate, if eroded or attempted to dishevel by anyone. No accommodation would be given to any candidate seeking office, who seeks to undermine any protection in the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Many women are frustrated; feel undervalued and probably insulted, from the current aggression from the Republicans over women reproductive health. Many progressive women believe that their current status as productive members of the American workforce, is being undermined by a group or groups in the Republican Party, who believe they can begin to undo the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, by going after provisions in the law that protect women reproductive health. Some women groups insist there is no need to pay excessive difference to any party holder or aspiring candidate, who has any agenda in his or her repertoire, to undermine women reproductive health. Indeed, this is one time that over seventy-five percent of women are in agreement about not tolerating any conservative group, a huge number in the Republican Party, who are willing to turn back the hand of the clock on women reproductive health.

Above and beyond politics, the issue of isolating contraceptive insurance protection for attack by the Republican conservatives has galvanized some women groups together who until recently, probably hardly see eye to eye on social issues. Many American women believe that the battle over whether they could use contraceptives or not, has been settled in much legislation in the past sixty or seventy years. Contraceptive insurance protection has been no issue for American Health Insurance Companies; not because women had fought for this right; but because many of the health insurance companies consider this item as good business sense. For Republicans to now turn around and antagonize this benefit in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, characterizing this as public or social welfare from the current administration, is unconscionable, unacceptable and totally an affront on women reproductive health.
  
In the 1960s and 1970s, women groups fought decisively for their civil rights and millions of them believe that an issue regarding their reproductive health was part of this right. What then is the driving motivation from Republicans and their candidate(s) to want to undermine this right? Women have endeavored to work hard to ensure that many of those social issues that have prevented them from being part of productive members of society were addressed. Many women, who were unable to participate in the American labor force, who have since got to executive suites or power in many realm of American Industries are asking themselves, if they still have to check their back, to reassure themselves, that their effort is being counted and their natural reproductive rights would not continue to be a handicap, as they drive to shatter the glass ceiling. When women are denied contraceptives or perceive some phobias from men regarding efforts to preserve their reproductive rights under a public health law, they start to wonder, if their efforts to win the battle in the past has been appreciated; or, because of their complacency, their reproductive rights are under siege by conservative men, who cannot see women more than baby-making machines! 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the recent Obama’s Administration directive that contraceptive insurance protection must be recognized for all American Women, is not only a justifiable decision or right, it is the first step to a healthy society; if women are healthy enough, they are able to support their family economically and remain productive members of society. To put considerable power in men's hand over women health, to deny women reproductive rights and protection under public law, is not only retrogressive, it is an agenda that may end up in a war of sexes; which, from my very limited point of view, women are more likely to win, triumph and additionally counter wage a successful war against any politician or person subscribing to this crudeness. The new challenge from the extreme right, labeling health insurance protection for women under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, public welfare, is not only an affront on women health, it is a double war against a tethering Americans Economy. If women are unable to space their birth, if girls are unable to make choices over their bodies, then, no one can expect them to be as productive as they can be; or better prepared, effective and healthy members of society.

The apparent resurgence of war against women health, through the antagonism of health insurance coverage for contraceptives under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is an attempt to scale back women freedom. The sense of righteousness that the extreme right has regarding women reproductive rights, through their insistence that women abstain from birth control of any form, by denying them any opportunity to ensure that contraceptives and contraceptive insurance underwriting are available, now questions the authenticity of many of these conservative groups’ support for women right. To the conservatives, the contraceptives insurance protection under the Patients’ Protection and Affordable Care Act is synonymous to welfare, although there are several components of the law that protect men reproductive health, as well. Are women still a second class citizen? Is it alright for men to have their vasectomy operations insurance underwritten under the PPACA, while women are subjected to Republican harassment in their desire to have contraceptive insurance underwritten under the same law ? Thus so far, the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act, is delivering many health insurance protection services to Americans, or will be very soon; however, the recent negative reaction from republicans is tantamount to subscribing to retrogressive status for women reproductive health. 

The new campaign from the extreme right against women contraceptives’ insurance is a deeply flawed strategy to undermine the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act. There are those, if only out of support or empathy for women in their lives, regarding this issue, will vote against any politician, Republican or Democrat. Others may see the extreme right’s effort on this issue as an attempt to subjugate women and their health to indiscriminate abuse by health insurance executives; and or, second class consideration. The effort is considerable another ploy to strip women of one of their civil rights, a right that has been hard fought for. Stripping women of their right to reproductive health for reasons of politics, is to be frowned upon, and any politician who does not see the derogatory comments by Rush Limbaugh as offensive, or one that provides lukewarm statement that, those choice of words by Rush Limbaugh, wouldn’t be their choice, definitely has issues with standing up for women right. No woman must believe that such politicians would protect their rights under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or any law for that matter; this is the reason, many women must turn out to vote in November, 2012, and vote their interest. No woman must allow her body to be used as a political football; and no woman should entertain any politician that considers her reproductive health, secondary to a man’s. 

With the current right wing campaign against women health, few women can believe that the current affront will subside; or similar mischievousness will not be perpetrated once Republicans get into power. The new campaign from the conservative right on women health, either by design or by default, is a step that may lead to erosion of other rights endowed women. Arrays of provisions in the Affordable Care Act, including contraceptives coverage under the law, are designed to help improve women health and cut health care costs. The questions for the far right who are fighting these provisions are these: Do women deserve the same right under any federal law as men? Are women enjoying any benefit from contraceptive insurance coverage that put men at a disadvantage? Do men directly bear additional financial stress from insurance companies’ underwriting of women contraceptives? If answers to the last two questions are yes, then the antagonists must be forgiven; if otherwise, there is no reason to believe that this group(s) is concerned about the overall welfare of women.  To make a mistake and vote this people's choice of Republican flag bearer into the highest office in the land, is to tolerate a malign doctrine and subject women right to secondary consideration. To settle for a second class status on women health or any other right, is to break with the history of progressive thoughts on women health and to turn back the hand of the clock on women health and welfare.
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