The 2016 Republican Party Platform is hands-down the worst we've ever seen. It is riddled with outrageous lies, discredited accusations, and straight-up contradictions. But the GOP’s messaging is not only inconsistent — it’s wildly out-of-touch and dangerous to anyone who values reproductive health and rights. And for the first time in history, the platform attacks Planned Parenthood by name, denying abortion as basic health care and ignoring the millions of patients who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers each year for cancer screenings, contraceptives, and other critical services. With this platform, Trump is doing exactly what he said he would do: try to unite the party by making women and their access to health care a target.
Here are just seven of the ridiculous contradictions that make the GOP platform as extreme as ever.
#1. Help Women by Blocking Their Health Care
GOP says: “We affirm our moral obligation to assist...women who face an unplanned pregnancy.”
But then says: “We oppose the use of public funds...to fund organizations, like Planned Parenthood...”
Let’s get one thing straight: You don’t do women any favors by blocking their access to basic health care. Anti-abortion politicians in the GOP say they want to assist women, but they also want to let states block patients who rely on federal insurance from accessing care — such as birth control, STD testing, and cancer screenings — at Planned Parenthood health centers.
You’d be scrolling all day if we included all of their drivel, but the platform also includes dangerous, false accusations against Planned Parenthood, repeating the same rhetoric originally used by indicted anti-abortion extremists that incited violent attacks on health care providers and patients in the past year.
Gynoticians, take heed: We will not let you threaten access to the health centers that one in five American women has relied on.
#2: Don’t Regulate Anything — Unless It’s Abortion
GOP says: “We salute [anti-abortion] laws requiring informed consent, parental consent, waiting periods, and clinic regulation.”
But then says: “We call for removal of structural impediments...in the path of poor people.”
Well of COURSE the GOP platform includes full-throated support for some of the most dangerous abortion restrictions in the country. That “clinic regulation” they speak of is actually called targeted restrictions on abortion providers (TRAP) laws. These regulations are especially harmful for low-income women because they make abortion more difficult to access. Think about it: To accommodate regulations like waiting periods, which require multiple office visits, women have to find the money for extra transportation, time off from work, hotel accommodations, and child care just to access the health care they need.
Every woman – no matter the size of her wallet or what kind of insurance coverage she has – should be able to access the full-range of reproductive health care, including abortion, from a licensed, quality health care provider.
#3: Don’t Burden Businesses, But Burden Women
GOP says: “We condemn the Supreme Court’s activist decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt striking down commonsense Texas laws.”
But then says: “We call for removal of… Over-regulation of start-up enterprises, excessive licensing requirements [and] needless restrictions…”
Oh, so the draconian anti-abortion law that the Supreme Court struck down was actually “commonsense”? That law, like all TRAP laws, had nothing to do with women’s health or common sense — and everything to do with shutting down health centers and banning abortion. It would have left Texas with only nine abortion providers in the whole state, and the Supreme Court rightly ruled that would put an undue burden on women to access health care.
The GOP is obviously against “needless restrictions,” yet they are super cool with medically unnecessary abortion restrictions that shut down health centers and make some women travel hundreds of miles to access abortion (if they can at all). We see right through the GOP’s doublespeak — the only needless restrictions here are on access to safe, legal abortion. Remember: Abortion has a 99% safety record.
#4: Doctors Know What’s Best — Until It Comes To Women’s Health
GOP says: “We must recover the traditional patient-physician relationship based on mutual trust, informed consent, and confidentiality.”
But then says: “We believe the FDA’s approval of Mifeprex...threatens women’s health, as does the agency’s endorsement of over-the-counter sales of powerful contraceptives…”
Decisions about a patient’s health should be made by a patient in consultation with their doctor with reference to their faith (or personal belief system) and their family, and the GOP gives lip service to that. But when it comes to reproductive health, these gynoticians insert themselves into the exam room and try to interfere in decisions best left up to the woman and her doctor. The fact is, gynoticians don’t know how medication like the abortion pill works. The FDA reaffirmed that the medication abortion pill is still super safe, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists backs them up.
It’s high time for the GOP to “recover the traditional patient-physician relationship” and leave the reproductive health care decisions to the people who have the medical degrees.
#5: Expand Coverage By Undoing The Great Work Of The ACA
GOP says: “The need to maintain coverage should not dictate where families have to live and work.”
But then says: “It is time to repeal Obamacare...”
No matter where you live or how much money you have, everyone should have access to basic health care. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) helped expand access for millions of women by eliminating discriminatory insurance practices such as denying women coverage for so-called “pre-existing conditions” (like breast cancer, pregnancy, and domestic abuse). Now 90.8% of people in this country have health insurance — and the uninsured rate is at its lowest ever. But the GOP wants to take all that away in favor of alternatives that would make things way worse for women.
#6: Opposed, Yet Complicit In Discrimination
GOP says: “[W]e oppose discrimination based on race, sex, religion, creed, disability, or national origin and support statutes to end such discrimination.”
But then says: “...we do not accept the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage and we urge its reversal, whether through judicial reconsideration or a constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to the states. We oppose government discrimination against businesses or entities which decline to sell items or services to individuals for activities that go against their religious views about such activities.”
The GOP condemns bigotry, but they condemn the Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality and want businesses to have the right to refuse service to customers simply because of who they love and who they are. Sounds a lot like discrimination to us.
#7: Protect Voting Rights By Suppressing Votes
GOP says: “We pledge to protect the voting rights of every citizen.”
But then says: “We support legislation to require...photo ID when voting.”
No one can argue against securing voting rights for everyone, but once again, the GOP has a solution that looks for a problem. A photo ID requirement is one of many voter suppression tactics that often disenfranchises people who belong to historically oppressed and vulnerable communities. Photo ID laws, like the one in Texas, often require forms of ID from a very limited list that hundreds of thousands of voters do not have access to, particularly Black and Latino groups. The effects of photo ID requirements in Wisconsin were disastrous, preventing up to 300,000 registered voters from casting ballots.
So how is restricting ballot access supposed to protect the voting rights of every citizen? The GOP has some explaining to do.
What now? Tell Donald Trump and Mike Pence: You’re #NotMyTicket!
The GOP platform had myriad horrifying stances, including support for repealing the Affordable Care Act and building a wall between the United States and Mexico. It’s clear that the platform is designed to manipulate and deceive Americans into thinking anti-women’s health politicians know what’s best. The underlying mission is all too obvious: to strip people of their rights to make their own reproductive health care decisions. Together, we will move heaven and earth to elect people who will fight for reproductive rights and replace those who are passing these restrictions on abortion, birth control, and preventive health care. We can and should take these attacks on women, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and others seriously. Positions this extreme are unprecedented.
Here's the thing: Donald Trump could be our next president. Opponents of reproductive rights could keep control of Congress. Policies that block people from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers could become law. These nightmare scenarios could happen — unless we put in our all, from now until Election Day and beyond, to make sure they don't.
If we let Donald Trump and Mike Pence in the White House, it will be a nightmare for so many people. We have to stop them, but we need your help. Take action and tell them: You’re #NotMyTicket.