Clinton and Trump’s Records on Reproductive Health, Voting Rights, and More

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Clinton and Trump’s Records on Reproductive Health, Voting Rights, and More

Ally Boguhn

Clinton has been consistent on her reproductive health stances. For his part, Trump has repeatedly changed positions on abortion, though he has said he supports over-the-counter contraception being available to women.

The 2016 election season has been a long and wild ride, so join Rewire in a look back at where the candidates stand on a number of important issues.  Though we couldn’t cover every issue, here is a sampling of the presidential candidates’ notable policies and records:

On Abortion Access

HILLARY CLINTON: Clinton has been a vocal supporter of abortion rights during her 2016 presidential run and received early endorsements in the Democratic primaries from both Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice America. In a June speech at a Planned Parenthood event, Clinton stressed the need to “fight back against the erosion of reproductive rights at the federal, state, and local levels” and pushed for a host of related priorities, such as ensuring clinic patients and staff can safely access clinics; acting to combat the Zika virus; and repealing the Hyde Amendment, which bans most federal funding for abortion care. She has also promised to nominate U.S. Supreme Court justices who would protect Roe v. Wade.

During her time in the Senate, the now-Democratic presidential nominee had a 100 percent voting record from NARAL. Clinton’s larger health-care platform also includes a call for “quality, affordable” abortion access for women in the United States.

DONALD TRUMP: Though he told Tim Russert in 1999 that he was “very pro-choice,” Trump has repeatedly changed his stance on abortion. He officially shifted his position to “pro-life” in a 2011 announcement at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

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In March of this year, Trump told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that he thought women who have an abortion should be punished should it become illegal—though he repeatedly changed his mind on the issue, eventually clarifying that he believed doctors, not women, should be punished.

Trump has also vowed to nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade and created an anti-choice advisory council to help push his opposition to reproductive rights.

On 20-Week Abortion Bans and Later Abortion Care

CLINTON: In the final presidential debate of the 2016 election, Clinton criticized Trump’s “scare rhetoric” when it came to later abortion care. “The kinds of cases that fall at the end of pregnancy are often the most heartbreaking, painful decisions for families to make,” she said. “I have met with women who toward the end of their pregnancy get the worst news one could get, that their health is in jeopardy if they continue to carry to term or that something terrible has happened or just been discovered about the pregnancy. I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions.”

The Clinton campaign also criticized in May 2015 congressional Republicans’ attempts to pass a medically and scientifically dubious 20-week abortion ban. Clinton has said she would be “open” to some restrictions on later abortion care as long as they contained exceptions for the health of the pregnant person and life endangerment.

TRUMP: Trump voiced support for a 20-week abortion ban in July 2015. He has since promised to work to pass such a ban should he be elected. He also spoke out against later abortion care during the final presidential debate, falsely claiming that “you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.”

On Preventing Unintended Pregnancy

CLINTON: Clinton has repeatedly underscored the importance of reproductive care as part of her larger health-care platform. According to her campaign website, Clinton has vowed to “defend access to affordable contraception,” if elected, including “the essential health and reproductive care that Planned Parenthood provides for women.”

During her time in Congress, Clinton was the primary sponsor of the Unintended Pregnancy Reduction Act, which would have worked to extend family planning services through Medicaid to more low-income women. She also played a key role in making emergency contraception available over the counter.

TRUMP: Trump voiced his support for making birth control available over the counter in mid-September, during an appearance on the Dr. Oz Show. “I would say it should not be a prescription,” said Trump. “You have women that just aren’t in a position to go get a prescription.” That position puts him at odds with the Republican 2016 platform, though some Republicans do individually support over-the-counter contraception. Reproductive rights and health advocates, however, say that moving to over-the-counter availability as a stand-alone action would be insufficient for making contraception more accessible. In fact, doing so, coupled with Trump’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could make contraception more expensive for many.

Trump also says he feels “very strongly” that Planned Parenthood, which prevented more than 500,000 pregnancies through its contraceptive services in 2014 alone, should lose its funding as long as it offers abortion care.

On Health-Care Reform

CLINTON: Clinton’s health-care reform proposal would expand and improve on the ACA and attempt to fix the flaws in the law by addressing issues such as rising out-of-pocket costs and drug price gouging. “When Americans get sick, high costs shouldn’t prevent them from getting better,” said Clinton in a September statement on the health-care law.

In the 90s, Clinton served on the Health Care Committee and helped push for universal health care, which would become the foundation of the ACA.

A recent analysis published by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund with the Rand Corporation found that components of Clinton’s proposals on the health-care law could increase the number of insured Americans by 400,000, to as many as 9.6 million, while reducing “average spending by up to 33 percent for those with moderately low incomes.”

TRUMP: Trump’s proposal to repeal and replace the ACA would change laws in order to allow coverage to be sold across state lines, allow tax-free contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs)—despite the fact that HSAs already exist and that contributions to them are tax-free—provide state block grants for Medicaid, and remove “barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable, and cheaper products.”

The Commonwealth Fund with the Rand Corporation’s analysis of Trump’s plan to repeal and replace the health-care law “would increase the number of uninsured individuals by 16 million to 25 million relative to the ACA.”

On Paid Family Leave

CLINTON: Clinton supports a federal mandate guaranteeing 12 weeks paid family leave to care for a new child or sick family member with at least two-thirds wage replacement. She would pay for her proposal through her tax reforms by taxing the wealthy. She said: “It’s outrageous that America is the only country in the developed world that doesn’t guarantee paid leave.”

TRUMP: The Republican presidential nominee outlined his plan—which would be paid for through unemployment insurance—for “six paid weeks of paid maternity leave” as part of his larger child-care platform in mid-September. His plan would seemingly only cover new mothers who give birth to children, which would mean new fathers, some LGBTQ couples, and those caring for a sick family member would presumably be excluded. According to his campaign’s website, the paid maternity leave “benefit would only equal what would be paid to a laid-off employee, which is much less than a workers’ [sic] regular paycheck.”

Speaking about paid family leave policies in October 2015, Trump said: “I think we have to keep our country very competitive, so you have to be careful of it.”

On Child Care

CLINTON: In May, Clinton proposed a plan to make child-care services more affordable by capping costs at 10 percent of a family’s income. In addition, Clinton would double spending on the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Initiative, a “home visiting” program that sends nurses, social workers, and early childhood educators to the homes of pregnant women and at-risk parents. Clinton has also called for a new program to raise the pay of child-care workers and provide them with training, to be called the “Respect And Increased Salaries for Early Childhood Educators,” or RAISE initiative.

Creating affordable child-care options has also been a component of other proposals pitched by Clinton, including her “Military Families Agenda.” The plan, released in June, proposed improving access to child care for service members “both on- and off-base, including options for drop-in services, part-time child care, and the provision of extended-hours care, especially at Child Development Centers, while streamlining the process for re-registering children following a permanent change of station (PCS).”

TRUMP: “Child care is such a big problem,” said Trump in a September speech clarifying details of his previously released and harshly criticized child-care plan to allow parents to fully deduct the average cost of child care in their state from their income taxes. Trump’s new take on his plan allows parents, including adopted parents and foster parent guardians, to make those deductions until children are 13 years old, and to make them for up to four children and elderly dependents. Those who earn more than $250,000, or $500,000 if filing jointly, would not be eligible under this plan.

Trump would also offer an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) “in the form of a child-care rebate,” that would equal “up to half of their total payroll tax” for those low-income families who have no tax liabilities.

On Immigrant Detention Centers

CLINTON: During the 2016 Brown and Black Democratic Presidential Forum, Clinton promised to “end private detention centers.” She had made a similar announcement the month prior at the National Immigrant Integration Conference when she said that “as president, I’ll close private immigration detention centers. This is a critical government responsibility, and we should not be outsourcing it to anyone else.”

However, Clinton doesn’t call for the total abolishment of immigrant detention centers—her platform only calls for the private centers to be closed. That would seemingly mean that the government under a Clinton administration would still operate its own detention centers instead of contracting them out to private contractors. According to her campaign’s website, she would “end family detention for parents and children who arrive at our border in desperate situations and close private immigrant detention centers.”During a roundtable in May 2015, Clinton said she was “very worried about detention and detention facilities for people who are vulnerable and for children,” and that focus should be put on detaining those with “a record of violent, illegal behavior.”

TRUMP: In late August, Trump told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that “You don’t have to put [undocumented immigrants] in a detention center. Bill, you’re the first one to mention a detention center.” When O’Reilly tried to clarify that the Republican presidential nominee “wouldn’t do that” and would “keep them in their homes,” Trump replied that he had “never even heard the term” and he was “not going to put them in a detention center.”

But as O’Reilly pointed out, Trump has said he would model his immigration plan after President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1954 program “Operation Wetback,” which did use immigrant detention centers. The immigration proposal posted to his website also says that “under a Trump administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country.”

The Republican also wrote about “immigrant detention facilities” in his 2011 book Time To Get Tough. In the book, he complained about the supposed “resort-like accommodations” those placed in them receive, such as access to an attorney.

On Voting Rights

CLINTON: Hillary Clinton has suggested that “we should be making it easier to vote, not harder.” Her platform includes a proposal for universal voting registration when citizens turn 18 and “a new national standard of 20 days of early in-person voting everywhere.” She has also promised to fight to restore the provisions of the Voting Rights Act gutted by a 2013 Supreme Court decision and to “fight back against harmful restrictions on voting across the country, so that minority voters, young people, low-income voters, seniors, and women are equally capable as others at expressing their voices and their votes in our democracy.”

Other aspects of her voting rights platform include calls for the restoration of voting rights to those who have been affected by felon disenfranchisement laws, and to create a bipartisan commission to improve voting.

TRUMP: Though Trump has claimed he wants “maximum voter participation,” a high-level anonymous source from the Trump campaign recently told Bloomberg Businessweek that the campaign would be engaging in “major voter suppression” in an effort to keep, according to the report, “idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans” from going to the polls. A spokesperson for the Trump campaign denied that the voter suppression allegations were true. He has also voiced support for restrictions such as voter identification laws that disproportionately affect voters of color and those with low incomes. His website does not have a section on voting rights.

Trump has spent much of the latter portion of the 2016 presidential race stoking fears that the election is “rigged” against him—even as other voting rights advocates, countless studies, and other Republicans call out his false claim.

On Police Brutality and the Criminal Justice System

CLINTON: Clinton has discussed the reality of systemic racism in the criminal justice system repeatedly on the campaign trail. After the death of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed Black man, at the hands of police, Clinton discussed the issue of delivering a message to other white people about the importance of addressing police brutality. “You know, maybe I can, by speaking directly to white people, say, ‘Look, this is not who we are,’” she said. “We’ve got to do everything possible to improve policing, to go right at implicit bias.”

The criminal justice platform on Clinton’s website says that if elected, she would work to bring “law enforcement and communities together to develop national guidelines on the use of force by police officers.” Other specific related policy proposals include designating $1 billion from her first budget to address implicit bias in policing, supporting legislation to end racial profiling, reforming mandatory minimum sentencing, providing $2 billion to address the problems associated with the school-to-prison pipeline and ending the privatization of prisons, among other things. Some advocates have criticized her policies, noting her comments about Black youth in the ’90s and the role her husband’s administration played in contributing to mass incarceration.

TRUMP: In March, Trump struggled to articulate his views on racial disparities in the criminal justice system during an interview with the Washington Post‘s editorial board. In the interview, Trump was ambivalent about whether “there are disparities in law enforcement,” though evidence leaves no room for question about whether people of color face disproportionate rates of mass incarceration.

In October, Trump promised “a new deal for Black America,” where he promised Black voters he would “never ever take the African-American community for granted.” During the speech, he outlined related policies he would support including appointing “a commission to investigate the school-to-prison pipeline and to shut it down and create a new pathway that leads from a great education to a great job,” and ensuring funding for historically Black colleges and universities. His website does not specify how he would implement such policies.

Trump has criticized the Black Lives Matter Movement and has repeatedly told Black voters that they should vote for him by pushing false claims that “inner-city crime is reaching record levels.” He proposes using discriminatory stop-and-frisk policies in cities like Chicago, seemingly as a solution to crime and poverty.