Something beautiful happened in Poland recently. The eastern European country was ready to pass a ban on all abortions, but it didn’t happen. About thirty thousand people protested the ban. The protesters boycotted work and classes – many of them dressed in black and gathered in wretched weather in Warsaw’s Castle Square, chanting “We want doctors, not missionaries!” and carrying placards bearing messages such as “My Uterus, My Opinion” and “Women Just Want to Have FUN-damental Rights.”
Jarosław Gowin, the minister of science and higher education, said on Wednesday that the protests had “caused us to think and taught us humility.”
“The protest was bigger than anyone expected. People were astonished,” said Agnieszka Graff, a commentator and activist. “Warsaw was swarming with women in black. It was amazing to feel the energy and the anger, the emotional intensity was incredible.”
Women make up half of the American population, yet women here are referred to as a “special interest group,” and that label diminishes our value. Why are women labeled a special interest group and men are not? I’ll tell you why: patriarchy. Sadly, we, as a culture, have come to accept the idea that anything having a direct impact on women’s lives or health is somehow less important than men’s lives — or the population as a whole (because men are part of that whole).
Donald Trump must win over women in order to win the election. He’s called women “pigs” and “dogs” and has made heinous statements like, “Vaginas are expensive.” When confronted about his misogynistic comments about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado’s weight in the first presidential debate, he became angry and defensive. Several days later, he went on one his famous late night Twitter rampages and suggested Machado made a sex tape – which has been proven untrue — and worse, he urged his followers to watch the nonexistent tape.
It’s clear that when Trump is called out for his deplorable sexism (or racism and bigotry) and how he’s conducted himself over the years, he does what every bully does – he doubles down and refuses to own up to his actions. He throws tantrums, denies reality and calls people names.
In any election, voters must take a look at each candidate and decide who will best serve them. From the climate crisis to tax rates to foreign policy, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could not be further apart. Their platforms are vastly different and one issue in particular demonstrates this point: abortion.
Hillary Clinton on the issues.
Clinton’s voting record on abortion:
- Voted liberal line on partial birth & harm to fetus. (Oct 2005)
- Voted NO on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
- Voted NO on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. (Mar 2008)
- Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
- Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
- Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
- Voted NO on criminal penalties for harming unborn fetus during the commission of other crimes. (Mar 2004)
- Voted NO on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life. (Mar 2003)
- Endorsed and recommended by EMILY’s List of pro-choice women. (Apr 2001)
- Rated 100% by NARAL, indicating a pro-choice voting record. (Dec 2003)
- Voted to expand embryonic stem cell research. (Jun 2004)
- Sponsored bill providing contraceptives for low-income women. (May 2006)
- Sponsored bill for emergency contraception for rape victims. (Sep 2006)
- Rated 1000% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-choice stance. (Dec 2006)
- Voted to provide emergency contraception at military facilities. (Apr 2007)
- Voted to ensure access to and funding for contraception. (Feb 2007)
- Voted to focus on preventing pregnancy, plus emergency contraception. (Jan 2009)
Donald Trump on the issues.
Trump has no voting record, so here’s a quick recap of his erratic stances:
- Millions are helped by Planned Parenthood, but defund it. (Feb 2016)
- Planned Parenthood does great work on women’s health. (Feb 2016)
- Defund Planned Parenthood. (Oct 2015)
- Planned Parenthood is important, but abortions must stop. (Aug 2015)
- I have evolved on abortion issue, like Reagan evolved. (Aug 2015)
- Ban late abortions; exceptions for rape, incest or health. (Jun 2015)
- Undecided on embryonic stem cell research. (Apr 2011)
- I am now pro-life; after years of being pro-choice. (Apr 2011)
- I changed my views to pro-life based on personal stories. (Apr 2011)
- I am pro-life; fight ObamaCare abortion funding. (Feb 2011)
- Pro-choice, but ban partial birth abortion. (Jul 2000)
- Favors abortion rights but respects opposition. (Dec 1999)
Women in the United States can and should take a lesson from women in Poland. When we stand together, we have great power. We don’t have to boycott work, and we don’t have to stand outside in wretched weather. All we have to do is vote for the only viable candidate who will not only preserve a woman’s right to choose, she will expand on making abortion affordable and available. Hillary Clinton wants to repeal the Hyde Amendment which would enable tax dollars to fund abortion and that would make it easier and safer for women of color and low-income women to have the option to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
Abortion isn’t the only issue on the table; but it is a big deal and it affects everyone, not just women. The choice – for now – is still yours to make; but if you allow Trump to be elected, you can trust that he and all the other anti-choice conservatives will rob you of your bodily autonomy, and they’ll be more than happy to make your choices for you.
Are you willing to let that happen?