Here's What Hillary Clinton As President Would Really Mean For Women's Health

by Alexandra Svokos

Hillary Clinton recently wrote an opinion piece for the Concord Monitor about an upcoming vote to potentially defund Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire.

Clinton started the piece with a story about a woman who received health care from Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire when she didn't have health insurance. She explained that Planned Parenthood cares for almost 13,000 people every year in New Hampshire, many of whom could not otherwise afford care.

The presumed Democratic nominee wrote,

When Planned Parenthood is threatened, the health of men and women all across our country is endangered as well.

Throughout this election, Clinton has been a big supporter of Planned Parenthood, and the organization has done the same for her. They made their first ever primary candidate endorsement for her in January.

Clinton has also been a prominent supporter of abortion access. She has repeatedly brought up the fact that states are deliberately stripping women's access to abortion and has pushed for discussion about this at debates.

When Donald Trump said women should be punished for having abortions in March, Clinton sternly criticized him. She has also been endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Clinton praised the Supreme Court's decision in the landmark abortion case Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt.

So we know that Clinton says she supports women's health care, but how exactly would that look should she become president? Clinton laid out her plan in her Concord Monitor op-ed.

First, she wrote, she will continue to #StandWithPP.

She said that Planned Parenthood should be "funded, supported and appreciated." She added that birth control is "basic health care" that is vital for women and families.

Clinton wrote that she would fight laws that keep low-income women from getting health care, like the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment is a piece of law that has been passed by Congress every year since 1976, just three years after abortion was made legal by Roe v. Wade.

The Hyde Amendment bars the government from using funds through Medicaid for abortions except in the cases of incest, rape and medical threats to the mother's life. In other words, low-income women who pay for health care with Medicaid cannot use it to pay for abortions. This disproportionately hurts women of color and younger women.

Getting rid of the amendment, like Clinton has repeatedly said she would, would be a major victory for low-income women, which could potentially help to keep them out of further poverty.

Second, Clinton said, as president she would fight to keep abortion access "not just in principle, but in practice."

She's not entirely clear on how she would do this, and frankly, it's hard to do much on this matter as president. Aside from the Hyde Amendment, many of the laws that create barriers to abortion are made on the state level, not federal. So while Clinton says she'd stand against state laws, there's not really too much she could actually do.

Third, Clinton wrote — and this is a cool one — she would support comprehensive, exclusive sex education as president.

She said,

It's 2016, and it is long past time that everyone everywhere had accurate information.

Damn straight. Sex education in America is embarrassingly bad. Only 24 states and the District of Columbia require sex ed in public schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Just 20 states require that sex and HIV education has to be medically, factually or technically accurate.


Again, this is a case where a lot is decided by the states, but Clinton suggested at least one federal solution: Planned Parenthood. Aside from general health care, Planned Parenthood provides sex education that is helpful, judge-free and inclusive. I mean, just check out their Tumblr for some examples of this. (And, no, I will never understand the logic of lawmakers who defund Planned Parenthood but also want to decrease abortion rates. Y'all, sex ed and birth control can help with that.)

Clinton has been overwhelmingly supportive of women's health throughout this election.

She hasn't always been this fab on it. Back during the 2008 election, she said she supported abortion rights, but that abortion should be "safe, legal and rare, and by rare, I mean rare," which made many pro-choicers take offense. Since then, though, she has been entirely — and actively — supportive.

As Clinton has done on many matters, she has shown a comprehensive understanding of the issues and policies surrounding women's health. While it's not clear exactly how much a president could do anyway, one thing is clear: She'd be a hell of a lot better than Trump, who is confused about his stance on Planned Parenthood, went so far against abortion he made even pro-lifers angry and once made sexualized comments about his newborn baby daughter.

Citations: Concord Monitor, National Conference of State Legislatures, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post