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The Issues Women Care About This Election

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  • The Issues Women Care About This Election

    The Issues Women Care About This Election

    The 2016 Presidential Election is shaping up to be even more important for women and the biggest issues that matter for them even more so than the previous two elections. Women's voting power has finally been proven, as women voted in President Obama in 2008 and 2012 in incredibly high numbers (10 million more women than men voted in the 2008 election).  

    In addition, two women on either ends of the political spectrum are running in 2016, plus the future of many so-called "women's issues" have the potential to be decided one way or another in the next few years. After all, "women's issues" like access to contraception and equal pay are increasingly becoming family issues and therefore something every American should know about. Check out the latest developments on 2016's most important issues for women plus where your favorite candidate stands.

    Photo Credit: Archive


  • Equal Pay

    Equal Pay

    43 years later, the 1972 proposed Equal Rights Amendment, which states that the quality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex, still hasn't been made to the U.S. Constitution. We seem to hear about the gender gap every day, from Jennifer Lawrence talking about the pay discrepancy in Hollywood to women fighting discrimination in Silicon Valley. Women are still paid only 77 cents to a dollar for equal work and for women of color or women who are sexual minorities, the gap is even wider. 

    The two women running on opposite sides for office both have similar opinions about equal pay. Hillary Clinton has said, "Equal pay is not yet equal. A woman makes $0.77 on a dollar & women of color make $0.67. We feel so passionately about this because we not only are running for office, but we each, in our own way, have lived it. We have seen it. We have understood the pain and the injustice that has come because of race, because of gender."

    Carly Fiorina has said the U.S. will be better off when women have equal opportunities and that women professionals are not treated the same as their male counterparts. 

  • Paid Family Leave

    Paid Family Leave

    The United States is one of only few countries that does not mandate paid maternity or family leave. While more women graduate with degrees than their male counterparts and seem on track to reach similar economic opportunities, childcare overwhelmingly falls on the woman. Research has shown that after having children, many women's economic potential dwindles because they are forced to choose between taking care of their children and continuing to climb the career ladder. Lower-income women are even less likely to have the option of paid maternity leave. 

    Carly Fiorina has said she opposes mandatory paid maternity leave and that the decision should rest with employers, a stance that Hillary Clinton has criticized her for. 

  • Reproductive Rights

    Reproductive Rights

    Roe v. Wade made abortion a constitutional right in 1972, but it's been a hot point of contention since then. Many believed that the extreme stance the Mitt Romney and members of the Republican Party took against abortion even in the cases of rape or incest back in 2012 led to their downfall as it was widely unpopular among the general electorate.

    Republicans running for the 2016 presidential seat like Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Jeb Bush have all said that they would defund Planned Parenthood and try to repeal Roe v. Wade and Obamacare, which provides STI testing, cancer screenings and contraception services to many women. However, almost all say that abortion is acceptable in the case of rape, incest, or if the mother's health would be compromised. Democratic front-runners Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders have both said that abortion is a personal decision for a woman and her family to make, not the government.

    Other aspects of women's reproductive care are also under fire depending on if Obamacare is repealed. For example, Obamacare currently offers coverage for maternity care, something that is not covered by a lot of insurance companies. Also as recently as 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations could claim religious exemptions against providing contraceptives to its employees in violation of the Affordable Care Act. Hillary Clinton called the Hobby Lobby decision a "slippery slope," saying "It is a disturbing trend that you see in a lot of societies that are unstable and prone to extremism. Women's bodies are used as the defining and unifying issue to bring together people--men--to get them to behave in ways that are disadvantageous to women but prop up rulers."

  • Funding For Planned Parenthood

    Funding For Planned Parenthood

    Ever since a video was leaked showing a Planned Parenthood worker discussing the harvesting of fetal tissue, the country has been in an uproar deciding whether or not to defund Planned Parenthood by cutting off all taxpayer money. 

    It is important to note that while Planned Parenthood is the leading provider of abortions, taxpayer money cannot be used to pay for abortions and it instead goes towards the many other services Planned Parenthood provides, like providing 2.7 million men and women annually with birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment. The defunding of Planned Parenthood would leave many women, especially low-income women, with decreased access to birth control and and reproductive services. Texas is one of the most recent states to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood. Republican candidates from Carly Fiorina to Ben Carson to Jeb Bush have called for the U.S. to cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood and a few have even called for a criminal investigation. Clinton has said the videos are "disturbing" but that “When politicians talk about defunding Planned Parenthood, they’re talking about blocking millions of women, men and young people from live-saving preventive care.”

  • Equal Health Care Costs

    Equal Health Care Costs

    Before Obamacare, women oftentimes ended up paying much higher health care costs than men for the exact same services because of "gender rating" practices by insurance companies. As a result, 43 percent of women reported foregoing health care because of the expense. In addition, women tend to have a lower income than men and the extra costs of important health services like  STI and cancer testing, preventative care, contraception and counseling for rape and domestic abuse victims can be difficult to afford.

    Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and other republicans have all said they want to repeal Obamacare while democratic candidates have said they want to expand Obamacare.