Op-Ed: Latinas Have the Most to Lose Under Republican President
We've heard a lot about the "GOP War on Women" and the "GOP War on Latinos," but we haven't spent enough time focusing on the intersection of these groups: Latinas.
The rhetoric and policies from Republican presidential candidates have shown a complete lack of respect for women, and Latinas are among those who could stand to lose the most under a Republican president.
To start, all of the Republican presidential candidates have voiced their support for defunding Planned Parenthood. Because of a variety of obstacles, Latinos disproportionately lack health insurance, meaning the affordable reproductive health care that Planned Parenthood provides is all the more important to our communities. Over half a million patients at Planned Parenthood every year are Latinos, and each year, Planned Parenthood health centers across the country provide 470,000 Latinas with family planning counseling and contraception. For Republican candidates to stake out a far-right position by proposing to defund Planned Parenthood is an assault on Latinas.
Of course, it's not just reproductive health where Republican presidential candidates are letting down our communities. I worked a full-time job - and then some! - as co-founder of the United Farm Workers, all while raising 11 children. I am intimately aware of how much stronger our country would be if we enacted policies to support working parents.
High quality, affordable early childhood education, paid sick and parental leave, a living wage for all workers, these and so many other policies would make a mountain of a difference for working class families. And thankfully, that's exactly what Democratic candidates are discussing. But from the Republican candidates, we're hearing next to nothing. Marco Rubio is perhaps the most dangerous candidate on these issues, as he speaks about the very real struggles of low- and middle-income Americans, but the policies that he disguises as good for working families really benefit corporations while doing little to nothing for the rest of us.
The Republican presidential candidates have also staked out positions against equal pay legislation that would help to remedy the unacceptable pay gap between men and women. Democrats have introduced bills that would make it easier for women to take action when their employers discriminate against them. Republicans, on the other hand, have vilified efforts to address pay disparity. Senators Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul all voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act. Cruz called the vote a "show vote" and Rubio, agreeing with Cruz, said the Senate "wasted the American people's time" by bringing up the legislation.
Latinas are among the most affected by pay disparity. On average, Latinas make only 55 cents to the dollar compared to white, non-Hispanic men. Everyone should agree that that to foster equity in our society and improve conditions of working-class Latinas, swift action must be taken to remedy this vast pay gap. Republicans' strong opposition to equal pay legislation is shameful.
I'm tired of Republicans ignoring the needs of women and Latinos while pushing policies that benefit corporations and Republican donors. I'm tired of Republican candidates believing that they know better than Latinas what we should do with our bodies. I'm tired of Republican candidates vilifying our communities.
The only way we can stop them is to turnout to vote and ensure that all of our family members and friends are registered and ready to vote. We'll show up at the polls en masse come Nov. 8th, and prove that we're listening and that we won't stand for the dangerous priorities of the Republican Party.
Civil rights leader Dolores Huerta is a board member of People For the American Way.
Subscribe to Latin Post!
Sign up for our free newsletter for the Latest coverage!