Saying Yes to Hillary Clinton: Part Three

Reason: Hillary is pro-choice.

There are a lot of issues that I believe in, but safe, legal access to abortion was one of the first I ever remember supporting. I can see it being a deal breaker issue for me when it comes to national races; in state elections, Democrats sometimes run as the other conservative party in Alabama. Nationally? The party is pretty much in agreement that abortion access is an essential right.

Hillary supports reproductive rights like abortion and is quoted as saying:

“Politicians have no business interfering with women’s personal health decisions. I will oppose efforts to roll back women’s access to reproductive health care, including Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. As president, I’ll stand up for Planned Parenthood and women’s access to critical health services, including safe, legal abortion.”

Because of her opposition to the Hyde Amendment, I know that Hillary is aware that the federal government not only doesn’t fund abortions that Planned Parenthood performs, but that they have long denied access to abortions by those seeking them from any provider. They’ve even done so when it endangers the lives of those who are seeking them. And I’m sure that that knowledge is part of what drives her to oppose the Hyde Amendment. I’m sure that it is part of what inspires her to be pro-choice. The knowledge that for thirty years women were prevented from getting an abortion because of federally provided medical insurance, even in life-threatening circumstances, should be horrifying to everyone who considers themselves even a little bit pro-life.

“Let’s repeal laws like the Hyde Amendment that make it nearly impossible, make it nearly impossible for low-income women, disproportionately women of color, to exercise their full reproductive rights.”

While she does make some exceptions about late-term abortions, her stance is still miles better than Trump’s stance. Personally, I would prefer unfettered access to abortions because the more regulations that exist, the more danger may befall the pregnant person. But I am glad that she at least acknowledges that many abortions performed during the latter part of pregnancy are performed in the interest of the health of the pregnant individual or in the interest of preventing suffering by the fetus.

“When Donald Trump says, ‘Let’s make America great again,’ that is code for ‘let’s take America backward.’ Back to a time when opportunity and dignity were reserved for some, not all. Back to the days when abortion was illegal, women had far fewer options, and life for too many women and girls was limited.”

I’m sure that Hillary understands that bans on abortion do not decrease the number of abortions that occur. In fact, that number goes up when bans against abortions are enacted. And the illegal abortions that take place are much less safe than the ones taking place outside of bans. Unsafe abortions cause almost 47,000 women in the world to die every year and are the cause of death in 13% of all maternal deaths, while safe abortions have a maternal death rate of 0.6 per 100,000 in the United States. (The maternal death rate during childbirth in the United States is 18.5 per 100,000.) Unsafe abortions also cause complications in 6.9 million women every year, which leads to 22,000 more deaths. That’s 68,000 pregnant individuals who are dying because of restrictions on their reproductive health care. That is unacceptable, and it’s what the Republican Party is essentially pushing for. They paint themselves as looking out for the best interests of women, while pushing an agenda that will endanger the lives of those women that they claim to care so much about.

“You know, it’s always the Republicans or their sympathizers who say, “You can’t have paid leave, you can’t provide health care.” They don’t mind having big government to interfere with a woman’s right to choose and to try to take down Planned Parenthood. They’re fine with big government when it comes to that. I’m sick of it. We can do these things. We should not be paralyzed by the Republicans and their constant refrain, “big government this, big government that,” that except for what they want to impose on the American people. I know we can afford it, because we’re going to make the wealthy pay for it. That is the way to get it done.”

They also claim that they care about saving money, but the economic impact of unsafe reproductive health care shows that they actually lack that as well. Unsafe abortions cause about $680 million in healthcare costs every year and that number rises when you consider that the healthcare costs incurred aren’t from high-quality healthcare in the first place. It goes over one billion dollars when that’s adjusted in. Then consider how much productivity and eventual profit is taken out of the work place by leaving women to have poor reproductive medical care. It seems like fiscal conservatives would see abortion bans for what they are: a drain on the economy.

“Have you ever noticed that the same politicians who are against sex education, birth control, and safe and legal abortion, are also against policies that would make it easier to raise a child — like paid family leave? They are for limited government everywhere except when it comes to interfering with women’s choices and rights.”

I would even take it a step further and say that those same conservatives don’t understand just how much their anti-contraceptive position impacts the economy. Guess what? Hillary Clinton does.

“And it turns out, being able to plan their families not only saved women’s lives, it also transformed them — because it meant that women were able to get educations, build careers, enter new fields, and rise as far as their talent and hard work would take them — all the opportunities that follow when women are able to stay healthy and choose whether and when to become mothers. And you know so well, today, the percentage of women who finish college is six times what it was before birth control was legal. Women represent half of all college graduates in America and nearly half our labor force. And our whole economy, then, is better off. The movement of women into the workforce, the paid workforce, over the past 40 years was responsible for more than three and a half trillion dollars in growth in our economy.”

Having laws that restrict the rights of half of the population directly impact the entire population.

There are people who argue against abortion and other social issues who choose to paint them as solely things that impact teenagers or minorities or people who are unmarried. The facts don’t really bear that out. The big thing that most people who seek abortions have in common is that they are poor. Considering that Hillary also supports plans to increase jobs and the minimum wage, and help the impoverished with social programs, including better access to higher education, it seems that Hillary Clinton is actually working to decrease abortions than people who claim to be pro-life/opposed to abortion.

“I am deeply conscious of the reality that this victory belongs to generations of brave women and men who fought for the radical idea that women should determine our own lives and futures. And it belongs to the women and men who continue to fight for that idea today, even in the face of threats and violence. When a man who never should have had a gun killed three people at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, leaders in this room voted unanimously to keep health centers across America open the next day”

Hillary Clinton understands that people who provide abortions, who seek them out, and who work to advocate for them are placed in danger every day. She understands that supporting abortion requires courage. Whether it’s a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs being attacked, the bombing of an abortion clinic killing an off-duty cop and nearly killing a nurse, Dr. George Tiller being shot and killed while attending church services, Dr. John Britton and his clinic escort being killed in front of a clinic, or pro-choice activists and clinic escorts being sprayed in the face with an unknown substance by a “pro-life” activist, she knows that we are all putting our lives on the line to keep women safe, alive, and healthy.

“We also need to fight back against the erosion of reproductive rights at the federal, state, and local levels, and ensure that patients and staff can safely walk into health centers without harassment or violence.”

I have lived in a state where abortion restrictions are so numerous that they are almost impossible to keep up with. It is dehumanizing to see your rights erode. It is infuriating to see politicians constantly say that they know what is best for my body and for my life, while they would refuse to offer programs that would help support me if I were to keep a child instead of abort it. It is a ridiculous exercise in hypocrisy that I refuse to allow that to happen to the country as a whole.

“Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.”

In a country where more and more abortion restrictions are being passed, I must choose a leader who is opposed to that kind of stance. I must support a candidate who understands that lives are endangered by restrictions on reproductive health care. I must support someone who understands unnecessary restrictions are cruel by their very nature.

“I think abortion should remain legal, but it needs to be safe and rare.”

I must support a candidate who knows that safe abortions, proper reproductive medicine, and access to family planning programs like Planned Parenthood lower the rates of unplanned pregnancies and of abortions. I must support one who understands the repercussions of failing to meet the reproductive needs of the population. I must support a candidate who will not imprison a person seeking out an abortion. I must support a candidate who values the lives of people who perform abortions.

“You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.”

And while I am not supporting Hillary Clinton solely because she isn’t Donald Trump and because she isn’t a Republican, I have to say that I am definitely glad on this issue that she differs so significantly from Trump and the GOP. I am grateful that she values life so much more than they ever will, because abortion is now and always will be a medical procedure that allows people the chance to live better quality lives and to make the world better. That is something I would think that everyone would support. I am grateful that Hillary supports those things and that’s part of why I am with her.

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