Deciding Who the Better Candidate is for Women’s Reproductive Rights

Viewing your 2016 presidential choices through the prism of Reproductive Rights.

As the year trudges closer to November, many are left undecided between voting blue or red. The issue comes within who exactly defines the “lesser of the two evils,” Trump or Hillary.
Some argue that Trump would be the better option, the man who will bring jobs into the economy, lower taxes, build a wall between Mexico and the United States, deport all of the illegal immigrants, and ban all individuals who identify as Muslim from immigrating into the country. To a right-leaning Republican, all of these proposals sound like a dream come true, an oasis found in the middle of the desert. Not to mention Trump would have the ability to (ab)use nuclear weapons in addition to declaring war (and basically bombing the shit out of the Middle East).
However, it boils it down to a large amount of the vote: women. Who appeals to women more?
Trump states that he supports equality for both men and women, but he does not support a woman’s right to an abortion. Of course, there are Republican women who oppose the idea of abortion, but they rely on their religion to define when life begins and that a zygote has the same amount of rights as me or you. To a non-religious affiliate, this idea does not make any sense; religion is not meant to coincide with the government, as Thomas Jefferson himself believed.
In 1802, Jefferson responded to a letter from the Danbury Baptist Association explaining the need for a “wall of separation,” where the church questioned Jefferson’s exclusion of religious holidays. This metaphorical “wall of separation” set the stage for the creation of the Establishment Clause in the first Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits Congress from establishing a national religion. The entire Republican party relies on Christian values and organizes a platform that reflects these morals onto their political views, but creating laws and proposing bills that are based solely upon religious values does not make sense politically.
Regardless of your stance on abortion rights, it makes sense to keep the legalization of it for the safety of our population. Women attempted to perform their own abortions prior to the Roe v. Wade decision; these procedures often resulted in death and internal injury. If an individual were truly “pro-life,” they would support the lives of these women who seek to terminate their pregnancy for whatever reason need be.
The reason for the termination should not be the business of anyone but the woman herself, whether it be from rape, incest, financial disposition, or inability to care for the child. These people would not criticize those on welfare who work two minimum wage jobs and earn seven dollars an hour if they were “pro-life.”
It is not just about terminating a pregnancy, but it is also a fight for availability for these services in states and areas that are not as fortunate as San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago. There are women in southern states that do not have access to Planned Parenthood or other clinics. The less availability there is, the more deaths occur from self-performed, unsafe terminations.
Planned Parenthood is not only a safe clinic to receive these services, but also a very helpful and informative option for young individuals who are not as educated or aware of safe sex. I have personal experience from Planned Parenthood’s services and they help any of their patients with what they can. Defunding Planned Parenthood would not only cut safe access to abortion services, but also birth control options. If conservatives are so concerned about the number of abortions per year, one would think that they would be supportive of birth control options in addition to promoting safe sex versus simply teaching teenagers about “abstinence.”




Which brings us to “abstinence only education.”
It sends a bad message to teenagers. It punishes these kids for their sexual thoughts and desires, teaching them that “sex is bad and if you do it before marriage you are a bad person.” Again, this is trickled down from religious ideals, that one should “save themselves for marriage” as this promotes both abstinence and purity.
Not only is this not effective, it’s not realistic.
When you are in a relationship and the two of you are attracted to each other, it is only natural that you will have sexual thoughts and desires for that person. In fact, studies show states with abstinence only education have higher pregnancy rates. Once I graduated high school I had no idea how many different options of birth control are available nor did I understand how hormonal birth control works. I barely knew how to even use a condom. This is the issue with high teen pregnancy rates: they are not taught how to have safe sex.
Think about it: on one side we have a candidate who seeks to take away federal funding for Planned Parenthood, while on the opposite side we have a candidate who wants to protect it. If federal funding for Planned Parenthood ceases to exist, a potential safe sex issue could break out, thus leading to a higher teen pregnancy rate.
So ultimately, it comes down to this question: Hillary or Trump?
Hillary stands as the Democratic nominee; therefore she stands for the Democratic platform. The 2016 Democratic platform upholds reproductive rights and supports a woman’s choice in addition to combatting Republicans in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood services. If we are going to stand up and defend our right to choose, we need to elect the best candidate possible to relay these actions.
Logically, it makes more sense for a woman to vote for Hillary, not because she also happens to have a female reproductive system, but because she stands for all women nationwide. Trump is not likely to support these issues and plans to punish us for what we do with our own bodies. The choice is yours, but in the end Hillary stands more for women than Trump ever will.

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