On Tuesday, November 8, Americans will have the chance to go to the polls and elect the next president of the US.
Women’s health is usually a particularly divisive issue between Democrats and Republicans, but presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump actually agree on a few issues.
There are others that they split on completely, however.
Here’s where Trump stands on key issues, based on positions outlined on his campaign website and public statements.
Trump has expressed a strong opposition to abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, and when the mother’s health is endangered.
At a Republican presidential debate in February, Trump acknowledged that Planned Parenthood “helps millions and millions of women” who go for services like breast and cervical-cancer screenings. However, he also said that he would defund it because a portion of its services go toward providing abortions.
The businessman has vacillated on his position on abortion in the past.
In 1999, he told NBC’s Tim Russert that he was “very pro-choice,” and said he would not ban late-term abortions if he were president. In 2000, he said he changed his mind and would support a ban on late-term abortions. In 2010, he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that Stephanopoulos would “be very surprised” by his position on abortion; he did not elaborate.
In 2011, Trump came out as pro-life. In 2015, he said he was pro-life, with certain exceptions — in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother was at risk. In July of that year, he said he supported a 20-week ban. In March 2016, he told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that women who have abortions should face some sort of legal punishment, but quickly walked that claim back after facing backlash.
The vice presidential candidates discussed abortion at length during the debate Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence had on October 4.
Pence insisted that Trump did not want to punish women for having abortions, chalking it up to the fact that he’s not a “polished politician” like Clinton. But he did reiterate their pro-life platform.
“A society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable, the aged, the infirm, the disabled, and the unborn. I believe it with all my heart,” Pence said at the debate. “And I couldn’t be more proud to be standing with a pro-life candidate in Donald Trump.”
Trump has not issued an official campaign statement on sexual abuse, but he has made a number of public remarks on the subject. In 2013, after the prevalence of sexual assault in the US military became a topic in the media, Trump issued a tweet that said, “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”
NBC host Matt Lauer brought up the tweet at the Commander-in-Chief Forum September 7, and asked Trump if the only solution is to take women out of the military.
“It is a correct tweet. There are many people that think that that’s absolutely correct,” Trump said. “Not to kick them out, but something has to happen. Right now, part of the problem is nobody gets prosecuted.”
Paid family leave
The US is the only developed country that doesn’t guarantee paid family leave, and both candidates want to change that. Trump even mentioned their consensus on the issue at the first presidential debate.
“As far as child care is concerned and so many other things, I think Hillary and I agree on that,” Trump said. “We probably disagree a little bit as to numbers and amounts and what we’re going to do, but perhaps we’ll be talking about that later.”
Trump proposes six weeks of guaranteed paid leave only for mothers who have just given birth. Women would get the same amount of money they would get if they were on unemployment benefits, which is less than their full salary. He wants to pay for it by eliminating fraud in unemployment insurance.
“Government policies are stuck in the past, and make already difficult choices regarding care arrangements even more difficult,” Trump’s campaign site reads.”Outdated policies in many cases cause women to make choices that are not the best for either their families or the economy.”
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