With the ongoing controversy over the release of heavily edited videos that falsely portrays the illegal sale of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood, abortion and women’s rights are sure to be important issues in the 2016 presidential election. Here’s a breakdown of each candidate’s stance on abortion.
Hillary Clinton (D)
Clinton believes abortion should remain legal, but needs to remain safe and rare. Hillary also believes that the number of abortions can be reduced through education and access to contraceptives. In 2006, she led efforts to make adoptions easier and increase support for families in the adoption process. She has also stated that she could support a ban on late-term or partial-birth abortions, so long as the health and life of the mother is protected. If the woman’s life is at stake or her ability to have children in the future, it should be the woman’s choice. During a 1999 speech to NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League), Clinton said, “I never met anyone who is pro-abortion. Being pro-choice is not being pro-abortion. Being pro-choice is trusting the individual to make the right decision for herself and her family, and not entrusting the decision to anyone wearing the authority of government in any regard.”
Bernie Sanders (D)
The senator from Vermont is very pro women’s rights and gender equality. Sanders’ stance on abortion is that it should remain safe and legal, and should be a decision for the woman, her family, and physician to make, not the government. In a 2012 piece for the Huffington Post, Sanders wrote, “We are not returning to the days of back-room abortions, when countless women died or were maimed. The decision about abortion must remain a decision for the woman, her family, and physician to make, not the government.”
Ted Cruz (R)
Cruz is strongly against abortion, including pregnancies resulting from incest and rape. Along with abortion procedures, he believes that some forms of contraception (like the Plan B morning after pill) are abortifacients, saying they cause abortions by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting into the uterus. Science has proven otherwise in regards to the Plan B contraceptive, which actually delays/inhibits ovulation and thickens cervical mucus, resulting in the sperm being unable to swim.
In 2012, Cruz said that companies should be able to deny coverage of birth control through insurance at their discretion and is in opposition of churches providing birth control.
John Kasich (R)
As Governor, Kasich has signed and supported some of the most stringent anti-abortion legislation in the country. Since taking office in 2011, Kasich has enacted 16 anti-abortion measures; some directly relating to abortion access and others limiting the work of abortion providers. In 2013, when signing his state’s budget bill, he prohibited state-funded rape crisis counselors from referring women to abortion services. He also created a provision that requires doctors who perform abortions to first complete a fetal ultrasound and require the mother to see or listen to the heartbeat of the fetus. Doctors are also required to read a script about “fetal heartbeats” written by Ohio legislators. The budget bill also removed $1.4 million in family planning funding from Planned Parenthood. In August, Kasich was asked about abortion and replied with, “Obviously, it’s the law of the land now, and we live with the law of the land. It’s the law of the land until it changes.”
Donald Trump (R)
In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, Trump wrote three sentences regarding abortion, claiming to be for the woman’s right to choose, but against partial-birth abortion. In 2011, at a Washington, D.C. conference, Trump was asked about his pro-choice stance and responded with, “Who said I’m pro-choice?” In fact, in 1999, Trump told Meet the Press, “Well, I’m very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debate the subject. But, you still, I just believe in choice.” Later, in 2011, Trump said during a radio show with Laura Ingram, “I’m pro-life.” Trump has stated that he agrees that in cases of rape and incest, a woman should have the ability to terminate the pregnancy.
To see where the candidates stand on other issues, check out the articles below: