Our Presidential/VP Candidates Views on the Right to Abortion
By Sydney Rinderknecht: October 20, 2020
Due to Ruth Bader Ginsburgs recent passing, women’s rights to abortion in America has become a hot topic of debate. The Supreme Court has a new seat to fill, and it’s under fire if that seat will be filled before or after the presidential election.
The Trump administration has been implementing regulations making it harder for people to get abortions for a while. The administration supports a “near total ban” and also seeks to fill Ginsburg’s empty seat in the Supreme Court with Amy Coney Barrett. This is a huge deal because people serve on the Supreme Court for life. Barrett’s nomination by Trump could change legislation regarding many things, especially the right to abortion.
If Biden and Harris win, they promise to reject Trumps Supreme Court nomination and protect the right to choose legal abortion.
During the last VP debate, Pence and Harris talked about womens health, abortion, the ACA, and preexisting conditions:
Harris- She was asked about Roe v Wade being overturned, and said she is a “person of faith” and Joe Biden is a “practicing Catholic”. I thought this was a really weird way to start off a question about abortion, but I suppose she wants to appeal to a large amount of voters. Harris wants women to be able to decide about their own bodies, instead of men like Pence and Trump deciding for them. This is something so many people who identify as women can resonate with. Then, she changes the topic to the Affordable Care Act. Trump wants to repeal the ACA and stop protecting people under age 26 who are under their parents insurance and those with preexisting conditions. Biden and Harris plan to expand insurance coverage and lower healthcare costs.
Pence- He was asked how the Trump administration plans on protecting those with preexisting conditons when they repeal the ACA and avoided the question and discussed abortion. He said, “I’m pro life and I don’t apologize for it” and says Biden and Harris support abortion up until the moment of birth. (However, The Centers for Disease Control reported in 2016 that 91% of abortions occurred before 13 weeks of pregnancy, nearly 30% before eight weeks and only 1.2% after 21 weeks. Full term pregnancy is 38-40 weeks.) Pence stated that Biden and Harris want to increase funding to planned parenthood. I personally don’t see any issue with this because planned parenthood provides so many beneficial resources to women and families.
Pittsburgh’s Plan for Planned Parenthood
By Katelyn Denis
Voting is important, and it is also important to be informed about the people who are going to represent you and your rights as a woman. Planned Parenthood is controversial within the U.S. and as woman are voting, they should know the position on Planned Parenthood of the people running for offices. Planned Parenthood is not only used for abortions, but it is also utilized for “STD testing and treatment, birth control, well-woman exams, cancer screening and prevention, abortion, hormone therapy, infertility services, and general health care.” (Planned Parenthood.org)
For those living in Pittsburgh, specifically within the University of Pittsburgh campus, it is important to know the House of Representatives and Senate who will be representing you and what their plans are for Planned Parenthood. The people on the ballot for the House of Representatives for District 23 are Dan Frankel and Jay Walker. Dan Frankel holds the seat in the House of Representatives right now. He is a democrat, and is pro-choice. Frankel has been defending abortion rights since he has been in the House of Representatives beginning in 1999. Unfortunately there is no statements from Jay Walker about Planned Parenthood and abortions. This means that planned parenthood is not on his radar. For the Senate, there is only one person on the ballot, Jay Costa. One of his main priorities is healthcare, and included is Women’s healthcare justice. Jay Costa believes “no one in government should come between a woman and the advice of her medical practitioners” and states he “will always fight against legislation that seeks to regulate a woman’s body” (jaycosta.org). He also received a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood.
Who Runs Allegheny County? Girls.
By: Jenna Gazzo
It looks like this year was a major win for the female candidates in Allegheny County running for various platforms across the county. A lot of these women even beat out male counterparts. Having a diverse body in politics is vital to the people like us, because it is a way to get everyone’s voices heard, even the small ones.
One of the astounding females to break through this glass ceiling is Summer Lee from North Braddock, PA. She is the first Black woman to represent Southwestern Pennsylvania in the state legislature. Lee also started a group called UNITE PAC, which supports other progressive candidates that are also women, people of color, and LGBTQ people. Though the results are not confirmed, it appears as if Lee has beat Chris Rolland with 75% of the votes for the 34th state House District seat.
Emily Kinkhead is another female victory, who is a criminal defense attorney and won against Adam Rovenstahl for the 20th State House District. They were split on issues relating to fracking and immigration. Kinkhead was against letting a bill pass that required construction workers to verify their employees social security numbers, which the union said would target immigrant workers. It seems Kinkhead was more willing to accept diversity in Pennsylvania.
As politics becomes more diverse, programs like the Gender Equity Commission will become more common. Programs or initiatives that aim to tackle gender discrimination, racial inequality, etc. are great for creating a more equitable society; a society that doesn’t just prop up those in the majority, but a society that is there for everyone.
US House of Representations: 18th District
By: Julianna Keith
Outside of the Presidential candidates, there will be several other key players on the ballot this November 3rd that will have a hand in the laws, regulations, progression, or regression for women’s health in America. For the 116thcongressional, Michael Doyle and Luke Negron will be on the ballot in Pittsburgh this year for the U.S. House of Representations for the 18th District of Pennsylvania. The 18th District represents the surround areas outside of Pittsburgh!
Michael Doyle, the candidate for the Democratic party, held his position in congress in the previous term and voted parallel to President Trump in 23% of his votes. On Doyle’s website (found here), Doyle does not go into detail in his plans for Planned Parenthood however he describes his position of women’s health. In regard to Planned Parenthood, Doyle states that he will continue to advocate for Title X. Doyle also plans to require employers to prove that any discrepancies in pay between women and man are purely due to workplace related reasons, rather than on reasons on gender. Doyle plans to vote to repel the Hyde Amendment and reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Doyle’s plans for his term on his website, also described his plan for health care for Pennsylvanian’s which included opposing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act from President Trump and working to lower costs of prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies directly.
Opposingly, Luke Negron is the candidate for the Republican Party. On Negron’s website (found here), he does not describe his plans for the funding of Planned Parenthood, however, he describes his position on Women’s Rights. Negro stated that he holds Christian values and believes that life begins at conception. However, on other platforms, Negron expressed his beliefs and plans on Planned Parenthood. Negron stated that he believes organizations that refer or perform abortions should not receive federal funding (More information found here). Negron’s platform would permit states to defund Planned Parenthood of Title X funding and believes that government should not continue to fund it.