The XX Factor

Anti-Choicers Can’t Stop Lying About the ACA

David Walls-Kaufman yells outside the U.S. Supreme Court on decision day.

Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images

For one who designates herself “pro-life” (who isn’t?), yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act should be a cause for celebration. After all, actual people with actual lives will see those lives saved, extended, and the quality of them improved. It’s estimated that 45,000 people die a year from lack of insurance, people with families and conscious points of view, who can feel pain and fear. These lives should matter if one wears the moniker “pro-life” to mean that you support life. Even if you sincerely think that embryos and fetuses are “people,” a true pro-life person would support the ACA, because it doesn’t really do anything to expand abortion access. In fact, under the executive order that allows states to bar insurance plans traded on the exchange from covering abortion, it’s quite possible that the ACA will eventually reduce insurance coverage of abortion. Insurance coverage of abortion is pretty common now, and many companies will drop it rather than deal with all the red tape.

Of course, if “pro-life” is just a euphemism for a worldview that is hostile to women’s liberation and fearful of female sexuality and sees reproductive health care as an angle to squash both, you’re probably against the ACA. As Sharon Lerner here at XX Factor explained, while everyone benefits from the ACA, women have even more to gain than men. For those who find vaginas too scary to be mentioned in public, this is especially alarming, because a lot of the reason is that women who use their vaginas for the sex-ing will, instead of being punished by unintended pregnancy and horrible diseases as fundie Jesus intended, will get health care like they’re people.

The reaction of the “pro-life” community cemented it: They’re all Team Euphemism. Of course, they know full well that it’s not politically savvy to run around pulling out their hair while screaming, “But college girls who get it on out of my sight are going to get their slut pills and slut shots!” So it’s time to lean on the favored strategy of the anti-choice movement: lying.

LifeSiteNews: “The Supreme Court has issued a 5-4 decision essentially upholding the Obamacare law that pro-life groups regard as the biggest expansion of abortion and abortion funding since Roe v. Wade.” Nice hedge, with the “regard.” I suppose they can also regard horses to be unicorns, but I fail to see how that’s news of anything but their own delusions.

CNSNews: “Pro-life activists gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court on Thursday expressed disappointment in the court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act, which upheld all of the law except the expansion of Medicaid—including the requirement that Americans buy health insurance plans that pay for contraceptives and abortion.” The good news here is that while they’re lying about the abortion bit, CNSNews is at least shedding the acrobatically complex attempts to oppose contraception without being seen as being against contraception. Glad to see a straightforward admission that what burns them up is the idea of women taking contraception, full stop. No contortions necessary.

Charisma News: “Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), maintains that Obamacare is fundamentally flawed legislation because it makes American taxpayers complicit in the deaths of countless unborn children.” Even under the strained definition of “complicit” that holds that paying into a system that pays for the abortion of someone else who is also paying in, this is, as noted before, a lie. The ACA will eventually make one less “complicit” in abortion as insurance plans that currently cover abortion will have to drop that coverage in order to participate in exchanges. But if you don’t want to be complicit in a system that allows women who have sex to prevent STDs and unintended pregnancy, then I suppose you have a gripe. It would be nice if they could be more upfront about the actual gripe, just so the public at large can evaluate their actual complaints on the merits. 

Read the rest of Slate’s coverage on the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act.