WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The Affordable Care Act is a "war on women" that denies mothers the ability to make choices for their families, U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., said Saturday.
The ACA, beginning Aug. 12, 2012, requires insurance plans to provide new preventive benefits including contraceptives, breastfeeding supplies and gestational diabetes screening for pregnant women, prenatal care, routine breast and pelvic exams and pap tests used to detect potentially precancerous and cancerous processes in the cervix.
Delivering the GOP's weekly address, Ellmers called on President Barack Obama to get rid of the law or at least delay its implementation.
Ellmers, a nurse and mother of a college-age son, said "it's often women who make the healthcare decisions for our families. We put a lot of time and thought into these choices and how they'll affect our budgets."
"So by canceling your insurance -- despite a promise to let you keep your plan - the Obama administration is essentially saying it knows what's best for you and your family," she added. "Not only that, they are making you pay more -- usually much more -- and in many cases, taking away the doctors you've been seeing for years."
Insurance companies sent cancellation notices to several million individual policy holders in October, saying they could not continue to offer their plans under the ACA.
Ellmers' criticism came days after revelations the Republican Party had coached lawmakers on how to campaign against female challengers without making offensive or politically inflammatory comments, the Sacramento (Calif.) Bee reported.
"If you want to talk about a 'war on women,' look no further than this healthcare law," Ellmers said.
Her use of the phrase mirrored Democratic attempts in the last election to paint Republicans as attacking women's access to abortion and contraception, highlighting insensitive comments by GOP lawmakers about rape, The Hill reported.
She cited letters from constituents who complained their current policies had been canceled or their premiums sharply increased under the new law.
Noting that "families who work hard and play by the rules deserve some basic choices, fairness and relief," Ellmers said the House had passed legislation to delay the portion of the law dealing with the individual mandate and to let Americans keep their current health insurance.
Obama last month said he would try to delay the policy cancellations, but not all states and insurers had agreed to the delay.
"If the president won't scrap this law, isn't it time for him to delay it for all Americans before it does further harm?" Ellmers concluded.