Clinton and Trump on the Sensitive Issue of Abortion
Politics| | By Matthew D'Onofrio
Abortion isn’t just about life versus choice anymore; it comes down to whether or not the government should interfere in a woman’s pregnancy and continue or halt federal funding toward current resources available to women.
The election is just around the corner and if you’re confused about where pro-choice Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and pro-life Republican nominee Donald Trump stand on the issue of abortion then read on for a summary and explanation. If you think you’re all set, you’re wrong and should read anyways, because this issue is truly complex and not one to take lightly.
Basically, Clinton hopes to continue funding Planned Parenthood and preserving women’s rights and privacy when it comes to pregnancy, no matter how far along they are.
However, Trump proposes defunding Planned Parenthood and for abortion to become illegal except for the worst of circumstances. And, getting an (then illegal) abortion might be punishable in Trump’s agenda.
“Politicians have no business interfering with women’s personal health decisions. I will oppose efforts to roll back women’s access to reproductive health care, including Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. As president, I’ll stand up for Planned Parenthood and women’s access to critical health services, including safe, legal abortion,” Clinton said according to Google on January 6, 2016.
If you aren’t aware, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America is a nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health services not only in the U.S. but globally as well. Beyond abortion, the organization directly provides a variety of other reproductive health services such as birth control and cancer screening.
In 2014, they reported seeing over 2.5 million patients and 12% of patients had abortions. However, currently the federal funding given to the organization cannot be used for abortions except in rare cases.
“I’ve been proud to stand with Planned Parenthood for a long time, and, as president, I will always have your back,” Clinton said at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund on June 10 of this year.
Although abortion as a whole is a widely divisive issue, perhaps the specific part that rile many people up is late term abortions – something Clinton has voiced she still supports in the rare cases which the mother’s health or life is at risk.
Many people don’t realize Clinton said she would consider late-pregnancy restrictions, meaning the unborn child is constitutionally considered viable (a human being) after about 24 weeks in the womb. This game-breaking view is ignored by many pro-life voters and drowned by her general support for the Roe V. Wade landmark decision which legalized abortions in the first place in America.
“We’ve come too far to have that (Roe V. Wade) turned back now,” said Clinton at the third and final presidential debate where she highlighted Trump’s “scare rhetoric” on the issue.
Simply put, Clinton believes the government has no place to interfere with a woman’s pregnancy, something she considers is included in women’s rights. And when it comes to abortion, the decision – which she has labeled as “emotional” and “painful” – should be left to the family.
Ultimately, we heard at the final presidential debate, the last trace of talk regarding the issue, Clinton say, “Whether you respect a woman’s right to choose or not … I think that’s what this whole argument once again is about.”
“The primary responsibility of the federal government is to protect the rights of its citizens. Life is the most fundamental right. The federal government should not diminish this right by denying its’ protection. I am opposed to abortion except for rape, incest and life of the mother. I oppose the use of government funds to pay for abortions,” Trump said according to Google on September 16, 2016.
If Planned Parenthood continues to include abortions in their services, Trump will halt the funding dedicated to the organization, regardless of the other services they provide of which he has commended them for. In their 2014 annual report, the organization has said they performed 324,000 abortions.
“As far as Planned Parenthood is concerned, I’m pro-life,” Trump asserted at a debate at the University of Houston.
By pro-life, Trump says he won’t stop at just defunding the organization which also provides contraception to prevent pregnancies. He wants to appoint like-minded (antiabortion, pro-life, conservative, Christian) Supreme Court justices in hopes to overturn Roe V. Wade.
Additionally, beyond abortion becoming illegal, Trump has even said that disobeying the law will have consequences in an MSNBC interview.
“There has to be some form of punishment,” Trump told host Chris Matthews, who responded. “For the woman?”
“Yeah [for the woman], there has to be some form…” answered Trump.
“10 cents, 10 years, what?” asked Matthews, to which Trump, befuddled, said,”I don’t know. That I don’t know.”
Apparently punishing the woman won’t happen but rather the punishment will be deterred to the doctor who performed the abortion. All of this is unclear though and has yet to be explicitly explained by Trump or his vice president.
Finally, when it comes to late term abortions, Trump is (obviously) against it, and utterly appalled by it as seen in the last presidential debate where he graphically described “ripping” the baby out of the womb on “the final day” of pregnancy – an extremely rare scenario.
According to the non-profit research group Guttmacher Institute, only 1.3% of abortions happened after 21 weeks of the typical 40-week pregnancy. That’s about 12,000 abortions of the over one million performed in the U.S. in 2011 and when it comes down to the last weeks of pregnancy, labor is usually induced which results in a delivery.
“It’s not okay with me,” Trump stated at the podium. “That’s not acceptable.”
The country is incredibly divided on the subject of abortion and it all comes down to a few key points: Planned Parenthood funding, late term abortion restrictions and government interference in a woman’s pregnancy.
Judging solely by what each candidate has said thus far, a President Clinton would continue Planned Parenthood, take into account and bring late-term abortion restrictions to the table, and prevent the government from meddling in a woman’s personal and family life.
On the other hand, a President Trump would get rid of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding, perhaps forcing them to collapse in the U.S., bring the nation and then its states back to pre-Roe V. Wade, and green light government involvement in women’s affairs.
The black and white argument between pro-choice and pro-life is more gray nowadays and it is up to the voter’s opinion on abortion and who the unborn baby belongs to, if it is a who at all, and which president will overall improve the state of the touchy, divisive, life-altering subject.
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