The Supreme Court of the United States has long upheld the right to abortion care, in cases including Roe v. Wade (1973), Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), and Gonzalez v. Carhart (2007). Yet, anti-choice politicians continue to try to diminish this constitutional right. As the 2016 election cycle draws closer, it is important to look critically at the candidates who may soon have the power to influence our reproductive rights.
Seventeen candidates are currently running for the Republican Party presidential nomination. Of these, nine candidates want to ban abortion without exceptions for when the life and health of the woman is at risk. If this were law, women who have high-risk pregnancies would be forced to continue their pregnancies while potentially sacrificing their own health and lives. When these politicians say they do not support abortion in any circumstances, they are placing the life of a fetus above the life of a woman.
This dangerous precedent would not only outlaw abortion in any circumstance, but could have legal ramifications for women who have miscarriages or who do anything that someone can view as a risk to a fetus. The remaining eight people campaigning for the GOP nomination also support bans on abortion, though they support exceptions when the woman’s life or health is endangered. This sounds like a moderate alternative, but it is deceiving. These views remain detrimental to women’s health and curtail a basic constitutional right. It is imperative that the American people remain critical of those who seek to impose restrictions on abortion care.
Abortion is basic healthcare for women. One in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime, and it is a decision that must be made between a woman and her doctor. Healthcare decisions cannot be determined by elected officials in Washington, nor by the double-digit number of candidates running for the GOP nomination. We must defend a woman’s right to make her own decision for her body and her life.