06/20/2012 12:01 pm ET Updated Aug 20, 2012

My Family Values

Conservative groups in Colorado often lean on their family values and ideology to court middle class, independent voters. Their consistent attack on women's rights, however, is a devastating example of how out of touch they are with both middles class families, who must share the burden of decreased healthcare for women, and with the wage gap, which characterizes the "war on women." This is not a war on women; these are assaults on middle class families in America.

Colorado's GOP version of the Blunt Amendment (Senate Memorial 3 Act) gave "religious exemption from a requirement to cover services that are contrary to the religious beliefs and practices of certain faiths." This act was killed on a party line vote, but in laymen's terms, SM3 would have given the right for health care providers to refuse to treat patients whose ideology was different from theirs. According to a recent study (Beyond Birth Control: The Overlooked Benefits of Oral Contraception) there are 1.5 million women who take birth control for medical reasons outside of contraception, for medical issues like migraines, endometriosis and extreme pain during menstruation. Had this act passed, families across the state would have the burden to budget upwards of $100 per month for birth control that would not have been covered by insurance companies or medical providers that didn't believe in contraception. It would have been a strike against middle class American families whose healthcare costs continues to rise. How do you instill family values when you are working twice as hard for shrinking healthcare benefits?

The wage gap has been an issue for generations. Some Republicans, who are consistently out of touch with the middle class, believe the wage gap doesn't exist. But it is blatantly obvious. We can no longer ignore it. The National Partnership for Women and Families released some shocking data on the wage gap: Latinas in Colorado earn .56 cents to the dollar of our white male counterparts, the national average is .54 cents (Latinas and the Wage Gap). The burden of making up for the remaining .44 cents for Colorado Latinas falls on their family. This is an attack on middle class American families, who are working longer hours for less pay and fewer hours with their families. How do you instill family values in your family when you can't even afford to be at home with your family?

When a conservative government makes it difficult for women in this world, they are making it difficult for everyone to contribute equally. Limitations of health coverage and wages, while immeasurably important to woman, cause a ripple effect, creating stress on families and leaving little time for quality family time and comfortable living. When you attack women, not only do you demoralize women, you also attack the men who love them, and their children.