Jessica Ma

Journalist. Poet. Hopefully, city-bound.

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When a Woman’s Choice Comes Down to Her Presidential Choice: 2016 Presidential Candidates on Reproductive Rights

Hillary Clinton
The Democratic presidential nominee has a long history of supporting women’s reproductive rights and she’s made no change to her tune in her latest campaign for the presidency. In April, Clinton appeared on ABC’s The View, where host Paula Faris asked if she would allow abortions even “on [a fetus’] due date.” The former Secretary of State said she would, because she has seen “the impact that a government can have when it tries to substitute its judgment for the individual women,” whether that be pro- or anti-abortion.

It comes as no surprise, then, that Planned Parenthood — a nonprofit women’s health organization — has endorsed Clinton for the presidency. The former New York Senator has also received support from groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC.

Clinton’s stance on abortion has evolved over the years. When she first ran for president in 2008, she supported abortions but believed they should be “safe and rare,” and advocated for alternatives such as adoption, foster care, and measures to prevent teen pregnancy.


Donald Trump
Most recently, the Republican presidential nominee seems to have taken a strong pro-life stance, going so far as to add a “Pro-Life Coalition” to his campaign with Marjorie Dannenfelser — a prolific anti-abortion activist — at the helm. He also released a letter (hosted on the website of Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life organization) delineating his plans to “advance the rights of unborn children and their mothers.”

However, the real estate mogul hasn’t always been in the “fetus first” camp: back in 1999, he called himself “very pro-choice” in an interview with Meet the Press, though he did assert that the “hates the concept of abortion.” (In this same interview, Trump said he would not ban partial-birth abortions; in his book The America We Deserve, the Don reversed his opinion — “I consulted two doctors I respect and, upon learning more about this procedure, I have concluded that I would support a ban.”)

Trump publicly changed his stance to pro-life at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2011, when he first floated the idea of running for President, though the Republican presidential hopeful would not call for an end to all abortions.

However, the The Apprentice personality has spoken in favor of Planned Parenthood as recently as February of this year during a Republican presidential candidate debate, citing the “millions and millions of women” who visit centers for health services.

The Plan

Hillary Clinton Donald Trump
 Allow abortions? Yes, no matter the circumstance, because that is the law  No, unless in cases of rape, incest, and risk to the mother
Allow late-term abortions?  In favor of late-term regulations, so long as there are exceptions for certain cases No, not after 20 weeks
 Stance on Hyde Amendment?  Repeal it as it is unfair to disadvantaged women Sign it into permanent law
 Fund Planned Parenthood?  Yes, fully, it provides “critical health care services” No, not while they still perform abortions