A woman’s right to choose her own future, to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is being threatened by Republican state legislators from Florida to Oklahoma. They have created a series of bureaucratic roadblocks designed to undermine Roe v. Wade. Examples include mandatory ultrasounds, waiting periods, and ideological “counseling,” not based on science, but on religious beliefs and superstition. In the year 2015, more than 300 regulations restricting abortion in 45 states were passed by Republicans, and over the last four years, they have passed over 200 laws restricting women’s rights.
Let’s get this straight here and now. Women have as much right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as men do. The efforts being made by the Republican party, as a whole, result in women being categorized as second class citizens who do not have the right to create their own future. Per the Republican philosophy, women should be paid less for the work they do, and their primary purpose for being on the planet is to produce babies, hence the lower pay scale. Republicans casually ignore the concept of women’s rights.
While claiming their goal is to protect women’s health, anti-choice laws increase the cost of health care for women and reduce access for them. This is especially true for women in vulnerable situations, who are not wealthy. These women will be forced to have another child, simply because they cannot access the proper medical services. The laws also put women in the dangerous position of performing risky, self-induced abortions.
Senator Bernie Sanders has consistently fought against Republican attacks on the reproductive rights of women. If elected president, Bernie has declared he would increase funding for Planned Parenthood, and has vowed to only nominate Supreme Court justices who uphold Roe v. Wade. (Consider the consequences to Roe v Wade, and women’s rights, should a Republican president choose a justice.)
Regarding maternal leave, Bernie likes to note, of 178 countries in the world, the U.S. (and two others) “do not” provide new mothers with paid leave. He argues for a Scandinavia-like model, where family leave is part of a robust system of social safety nets. Bernie’s plan would provide 12 weeks of paid family leave for couples with newborns, 2 weeks of paid vacation, and one week of paid sick time.
As the Ranking Member of the Budget Committee, Bernie has fought against the many Republican attempts to cut the WIC program (which provides nutrition assistance to pregnant mothers, women, and infants). As president, Bernie wants to substantially increase the funding for this program, which provides low-income mothers and their children with the nutrition they need to live healthy lives.
Bernie has also said, if elected, he would support women’s rights by signing the Paycheck Fairness Act and end the completely nonsensical wage discrimination paying women less for the same work. He would increase the minimum wage to $15. Women make up 72 percent of all tipped workers, and they, too, would get a substantial raise.