Presidential election vital to women’s rights


Photo credit: Madison Holmes

With all the news surrounding this year’s election, it seems as if everyone is honed in on the candidates’ stances on our nation’s most controversial issues. One of the most talked and argued about topics throughout this campaign has been that of abortion rights – a topic I find to be extremely important and one that must be discussed.

My stance on abortion rights is this: I believe women have every right to make decisions about their own bodies. A woman’s body is no one’s property but her own. Therefore, it’s not fair or just for anyone else to be involved in the choices a female makes with her body. I don’t understand why old, white, rich men of power think they have the authority to say what’s right and what isn’t for women.

With that being said, let’s now look at our most popular presidential candidates’ views on the matter.


Female candidate Hillary Clinton is pro-choice, stating that she thinks abortion should be legal. A few years ago Clinton made the statement, “the government should have no role” in a woman’s choice to an abortion. On Jan. 6, 2016, Clinton told the public exactly how she felt regarding politics’ interference in women’s abortions.

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Clinton also made the claim that if she were elected president, she would seek out only Supreme Court nominees that “uphold the Roe v. Wade decision establishing a national right to abortion.” She even went so far as to say she would provide a litmus test regarding this issue to all possible nominees, emphasizing her seriousness on providing a pro-choice legal standard in the nation.

The second most popular Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders, is an adamant women’s rights advocate. Sanders believes “women’s bodies are their own” and that they absolutely have a right to a safe abortion. In his fight for women’s rights Sanders proudly states, “the decision about abortion must remain a decision for the woman and her doctor to make, not the government.” Sanders and his supporters are fighting for the continuation of Planned Parenthood in aiding unwanted pregnancy, and plan on expanding Planned Parenthood throughout the country.

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Donald Trump, the most popular Republican candidate and perhaps the most popular (or notorious) candidate of the campaign, classifies himself as pro-life. In one statement, Trump pronounced abortion as a “very serious problem” in which “there has to be some form of punishment.”

When asked about his certain positions on Planned Parenthood, Trump said he would not fund the organization if it “had abortion going on.” It’s safe to say that Donald Trump is certainly not a supporter of abortion and will take measures to eliminate access and funding to such a procedure, seen in his statement, “Public funding of abortion providers is an insult to people of conscience at the least and an affront to good governance at best.”

Trump’s biggest competitor, Ted Cruz, has a strong stand against Planned Parenthood. Cruz believes the organization to be evil, corrupt and full of felony offenses. He stated that on his first day in office, he plans on investigating the “felonies” committed by Planned Parenthood.

Cruz is adamantly pro-life and remains serious about his plan to defund Planned Parenthood as soon as he can. Cruz utilizes his religious backing to support his idea that abortion is vehemently wrong. He even went so far as to say, “I don’t think a criminal enterprise taking the lives of millions of unborn children is wonderful in any way, shape, or form, and I don’t think they should get federal taxpayer dollars.”

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It’s easy for me to say I am in agreement with Democratic candidates Clinton and Sanders on the issue of abortion, and the claims that Cruz and Trump have made regarding Planned Parenthood are a little scary to me.

There’s so much that can be said about the topic and it’s important that people do discuss it. As controversial as it is, I think it’s brave when someone is able to stand up and voice their opinion on a topic that seems too personal. While it is personal indeed, the ultimate decision has been left to our nation’s leaders. They have the power to either strip away or promote the aid of Planned Parenthood in helping women across the nation with access to safe and healthy alternatives to unwanted pregnancy, and that’s why this upcoming election remains so crucial to women’s rights.

Emma Vidak-Benjamin can be reached at [email protected] or @gnarlyemma on Twitter.