We are less than six months away from the presidential elections, and it's crucial that Black women’s voices are heard. For the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a quick look at some of the most important issues on the ballot this season to make sure that you understand each candidate’s stand on the issues. This week, it’s all about reproductive rights.
Unsurprisingly, the Democratic frontrunner has voiced her support many times over for women’s rights and has worked to further their access to healthcare. Clinton, who has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood, vows to uphold the Affordable Care Act and ensure that American women all have access to contraceptives.
She has also said that she would block any attempts made at defunding Planned Parenthood, citing that the organization provides life-saving care to women across the country. She supports abortion at nearly every stage of pregnancy, though she has said that late-term abortions should be as the result of a medical emergency.
The Republican frontrunner has flip-flopped on his stance on abortion through the years. In a 1999 interview on Meet the Press, he went on record as saying that he was “pro-choice in every respect.” However, times have changed and so has Trump.
Last year, he appeared on CNN and called Planned Parenthood an “abortion factory,” continuing by saying he doesn’t think the government should fund the organization. He is pro-life, though he has expanded his views by saying that abortion should be allowed with women who are victims of rape or incest or whose lives are in jeopardy.
With that being said, Trump has vowed to “take care of women’s health and women’s health issues” if he were elected. In August, he denounced former hopeful Jeb Bush for saying that investing half a billion in women’s health issues was too much. “I cherish women, and I say it all the time,” Trump said.
Like Clinton, Sanders is staunchly pro-choice and has come forward in full support of Planned Parenthood.
On his campaign website, Sanders said that the decision to end a pregnancy should come from the woman and her doctor—not the government—and that women should not have to risk their lives to have the procedure done.
He said that he will not defund Planned Parenthood, but rather expand their funding, helping the millions of women who use their services every year. Sanders has also slammed politicians who are offering employers a loophole in which they can deny coverage to birth control. That, he says, is “unacceptable.”
Cruz holds perhaps the most conservative views on women’s reproductive rights of all the Republican candidates. He opposes abortions of any kind—even for victims of rape or mothers whose lives are in danger—and has referred to birth control as “abortion-inducing drugs.”
His campaign website includes a special “Defund Planned Parenthood” section, in which he accuses the organization of selling the body parts of fetuses. If elected, he said that he will renew Congress’ efforts to completely defund Planned Parenthood, which would, essentially, bar millions of American women from the healthcare that they need.
Though Kasich is known as the most left-leaning Republican candidate, his efforts to restrict women’s healthcare rights are ultra-conservative. In five years, the Ohio governor has passed every bill—16 in total—restricting a woman’s right to abortion (think when a woman can have an abortion, where she can have it and who it would be performed by).
In 2013, he prohibited rape crisis centers from referring women to abortion centers, and he cut $1.4 million in Planned Parenthood funding from the state’s budget. A representative for Planned Parenthood has said that Kasich is “terrible” for women’s health.