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 how the two compare on key issues, based on positions outlined on their campaign websites and public statements.
Clinton has come out strongly in support of reproductive rights and a woman’s right to choose.
She secured the endorsement of Planned Parenthood during the primaries and has continued to gain the support of a slew of reproductive-rights groups, like NARAL, which is heavily involved in repealing anti-choice laws on the books and Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers or TRAP laws. TRAP laws have been criticised by pro-choice groups for imposing undue legal burdens on doctors and medical facilities that provide abortions.
Clinton has criticised Republicans for attempting to defund Planned Parenthood, noting that it “would restrict millions of women’s access to critical health care services, like cancer screenings, contraception, and safe, legal abortion,” according to her official campaign website.
“I am not only against defunding Planned Parenthood, but I would like to see Planned Parenthood even get more funding,” Clinton told Fusion in January.
She has also promised to work to repeal the Hyde amendment, which pro-choice activists criticise for restricting access to abortion for lower-income women.
And she expressed strong support for President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which, among other things, “bans insurance companies from discriminating against women and guarantees more than 55 million women access to preventive care.”
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.
Clinton has proposed a number of ways to curb sexual assault, which include providing “comprehensive” support to survivors of sexual assault, like counseling and healthcare — both of which should remain confidential and cooperative. She has proposed reforming the criminal-justice system and reporting systems across college campuses to ensure that the process is smooth, transparent, and fair to victims of assault.
She also supports increasing sexual-violence-prevention programs across high schools and colleges to train students to identify and prevent sexual assault. Clinton has pointed to her previous work in curbing this issue, such as her support for the creation of the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, her cosponsoring of the Violence Against Women Act in 2005, and her leadership on a UN resolution “that established guidelines for an international response to sexual assault in war-torn areas.”
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.
Clinton wants the federal government to require 12 weeks of family leave — for both mothers and fathers — to care for a new child or a sick family member, or to recover from a personal severe injury or illness. She plans to pay for the change by raising taxes on the very wealthy.
“It’s clear that there are so many challenges facing young families today that we have to come to grips with, and we have to work together to try to find the best menu of options,” Clinton said at a campaign event in July. “Because there is just no ‘one-size-fits-all.’ People have different needs.”
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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