The Senate Republican Health Care Bill is a Domestic Violence Issue

Domestic violence is about power and control.

The currently proposed Senate Health Bill is a clear demonstration of Senate Republicans attempting to commit two common types of domestic violence against a large portion of our population.

These forms of domestic violence are: abuse by male privilege and economic abuse.

On an individual level, abuse by male privilege takes the form of treating a woman as subservient, making all the big decisions, acting like the master of the castle, and being the one to define men’s and women’s roles. The Republican Party provided a clear demonstration of this type of abuse when 13 male Republican Senators crafted this health care bill behind closed doors without input from women.

This display of male privilege is not only dismissive and derogatory, it has taken place in order to commit economic abuse. Economic abuse occurs in many, if not most, domestic violence situations.

When a partner or family member commits economic abuse they prevent the victim from getting or keeping a job, or they make them ask for money or require them to operate under an allowance, or they take their money, or in some way limit their access to income. These senators have crafted a bill that will push many women into an even more economically disadvantaged position than they were in before. This is economic abuse.

It cannot be denied that this bill targets women in particular.

It is women who need maternal and prenatal health care. It is women who have their lifetime income earnings drastically affected by access to reproductive healthcare. It is elderly women who make up 2/3 of all medicaid recipients.

This bill is hitting all of these women with increased costs simply because of their gender and if this bill is passed many women will experience a drastic increase in their economic insecurity. It is putting all of the children of these women at risk simultaneously. This bill is abusive.

The current form of this bill does not guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions (such as past C-sections) or require coverage to mental health services such as depression or PTSD (both common issues with those who have experienced domestic and/or sexual violence).

The action by the Senate Republicans is a broad strike against the face of many women. It serves the purpose of keeping a large number of women powerless. Preventing this bill from passage should be a top priority of anyone that wants the women and children in our country to have a fair chance at a healthy standard of living.