In an announcement peppered with so many mentions of the term “Imagine” that John Lennon arose from the dead and shouted, “Enough already!”, Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for the presidency to a captive audience at Liberty University on Monday.
And when I say captive, I mean that literally—Cruz formally declared his intention to run for president during the weekly invocation that Liberty students are required to attend. (Some Liberty students were not amused by being forced to listen to Cruz flap his yap, as evidenced by comments on social media like “Keeps saying ‘imagine’ so no one can say he makes promises he can’t keep,” and “Worst. TEDTalk. Ever.”)
Look, y’all: Ted Cruz is never going to be president. You know it. I know it. Hell, he probably even knows it. But since he’s running for president and he’s going to be in the news cycle for the next year or so (that’s unavoidable), it is important to point out how dangerous Cruz’s policies would be for women and how utterly extreme his viewpoints are.
First, there is Cruz’s obsession with repealing “every word of Obamacare.” Despite the fact that Congress has tried and failed to repeal Obamacare 56 times, Cruz has trotted out his tired “repeal every word of Obamacare” line time and time again. But the question remains, what are you going to replace it with? Chocolate chip cookies, maybe? Who knows. Cruz is not saying, and neither are any other Republicans, because they don’t have a plan for what will happen when millions lose their insurance if they repeal the Affordable Care Act. Then again, if they replace Obamacare with cookies, I might be down with that.
I said might.
But the point is, Obamacare has been great for women. Whether it’s prohibiting health insurance companies from charging women more for insurance than men; requiring employers to offer birth control coverage so women can buy it without a co-pay; requiring insurance policies to include maternity care, counseling for domestic violence, and mammogram screenings; or ending the policy of being charged for having a pre-existing condition in a world where an insurance company can call your pregnancy just that (seriously!), Obamacare is the shizz.
Second, Cruz has a very dysfunctional relationship with science and facts.
On Sunday’s Meet the Press, California Gov. Jerry Brown said it better than I could ever hope to. Responding to a question about Ted Cruz’s appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers, during which Cruz continued to deny climate change because there’s lots of ice and snow in New Hampshire right now, dontcha know, Brown said the following:
That man betokens such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of the existing scientific data. It’s shocking and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.
Setting aside the fact that “betoken” is such a fantastic word and I’m going to start using it all the time, Gov. Brown is right. Cruz says that he believes in science, but he doesn’t. His absurd views on climate change are a case in point.
Another case in point? Ted Cruz believes that birth control causes abortions. And I’m not talking just about emergency contraception, which a lot of people wrongly believe causes abortions. It emphatically doesn’t, but I can at least understand how a rational person might be confused on the point, especially because there has been a concerted effort led by Catholic muckity mucks to confuse the issue to the point where people throw up their rosary beads and yell, “Fuck it!”
But Ted Cruz believes that regular old hormonal birth control—the kind that 99 percent of sexually experienced American women have taken, including 98 percent of the Catholic women who have, at some point, taken a trip to the Bone Zone—causes abortion.
At last year’s Value Voters Summit, where Ted Cruz opened his mouth and a lot of words that made no sense fell out, Ted Cruz repeatedly referred to birth control as “abortion-inducing.” At one point, Ted Cruz even claimed that the government is trying to force Catholic nuns to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, which is as hilarious as it is untrue. Cruz was referring to the Little Sisters of the Poor, a bunch of nuns who filed a lawsuit about the compromise the Obama administration entered into in order to shut up some of the birth control benefit detractors. (Spoiler Alert! The compromise didn’t work and, in fact, probably made things worse because the Religious Right is unreasonable and cannot be appeased.)
FDA-approved forms of birth control—y’know, like hormonal birth control and IUDs and whatnot—are what’s at issue in Little Sisters of the Poor, and none of those cause abortions. (If you want a rundown of Little Sisters of the Poor, you can listen to Jessica Mason Pieklo and I discuss it on our podcast, RJ Courtwatch.)
Let me say that again: Birth control is not an abortifacient because birth control does not cause abortions.
It really doesn’t. Birth control is as likely to cause an abortion as eating chocolate chip cookies. Or binge-watching The Walking Dead. Hell, birth control is as likely to cause an abortion as voting for Ted Cruz.
Oh calm down. Of course voting for Ted Cruz is not abortion-inducing. Neither is eating chocolate chip cookies or binge-watching television shows. But one thing is true: Ted Cruz’s candidacy betokens (nailed it!) a disaster for women. And while that’s not abortion-inducing, it just might be vomit-inducing.