There’s no question that access to abortion, birth control, and health care at Planned Parenthood is on the line in this election. This is what we’re up against: Every single leading GOP presidential candidate is pushing extreme policies that would make it harder for Americans to access reproductive health care.
If you care about women’s health, you need to know what’s at stake for reproductive freedom in the 2016 election — and where the presidential candidates stand. Here are the six major issues to watch.
We saw what happened when anti-abortion politicians swept state legislatures in 2010: They passed a slew of anti-abortion laws that wreaked havoc for abortion access — especially for low-income women.
Anti-abortion presidential candidates would bring this extreme agenda to ban safe, legal abortion straight to the White House. What’s more, some of these candidates want to ban abortion without exceptions for rape or incest. If we want a country where women can access safe, legal abortion, we need to elect a president who has a record of safeguarding this right.
#2) Birth Control
To see how much an election can impact birth control access, just look to the one that elected President Obama: Under Obamacare, more women than ever before are getting birth control at zero copay, saving them an estimated $1.4 billion on their out-of-pocket costs for the pill in 2013 alone.
But we’re seeing a pattern: The presidential candidates who supported the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, which allows some bosses to deny birth control coverage to their employees, also want to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA), including its no-copay birth control coverage. And if they win, they’ll continue to chip away at access to affordable health care.
#3) Planned Parenthood
Anti-abortion extremists have already made the 2016 election about attacking reproductive rights — and Planned Parenthood. The presidential candidates who side with these extremists want to block patients who rely on public funding for care at Planned Parenthood from accessing that care. Some of these candidates have advocated for it in their own states, and others would shut down the federal government over it.
Politicians like these would put health care at risk for millions of people who rely on the lifesaving reproductive health care they get at Planned Parenthood — like cancer screenings, STI testing, and birth control.
#4) Sex Education
Here’s why sex education is so important: The United States has the highest rate of unintended teen pregnancy of all developed countries. The good news is that sex education helps decrease teen pregnancy, as well as STI rates.
We have too much at stake to elect candidates who’d rather schools offer only ineffective, abstinence-only programs that keep young people at risk. But young people can get the education they need to make healthy choices if we elect candidates who support sex education that teaches medically accurate, LGBTQ-inclusive information.
The ACA is still on the ballot this year, just like it has been ever since it was enacted. All the GOP presidential candidates want to repeal the ACA, which would mean women no longer have access to no copay birth control and gender. That’s right: They’d send women back into an era of paying more for health care simply for being women.
#6) Health Equity
It might not get the amount of attention it deserves, but equitable access to reproductive health care is also at stake this election. The need couldn’t be greater for leaders who will ensure everyone has access to health care regardless of race, gender, country of origin, or income. But equitable access to affordable health insurance, birth control, and abortion, as well as access to reproductive health care for women and girls abroad, is all at risk if power falls into the wrong hands.
There you have it: This is what’s at stake this election if one of the extreme, out-of-touch GOP candidates becomes president. If it sounds scary, that’s because it is. But we don’t have to be scared. We have to ACT.
We can't let these attacks on reproductive care keep happening. Now more than ever is the time to fight back. Now is the time to make sure everybody gets the health care access they deserve. Now is the time to join the I Vote Planned Parenthood Action campaign!