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Clinton vs Trump Stand on Reproductive Health

Reproductive health is an essential element of women’s healthcare. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) greatly expanded coverage for these services for millions of women.  Access and availability of abortion services and federal payments for contraceptive providers, however, have emerged as key issues in this year’s presidential election.

Key Issues

Preventive services. For women, a key provision of the ACA requires that all new private insurance plans and Medicaid expansion programs cover no-cost preventive services. The majority of these services are exclusively or primarily used by women, such as prescription contraception, STI counseling and testing, cancer screenings, a broad range of pregnancy-related screenings, and well-woman visits.

Publicly funded family planning. The Federal government has a long record of support for publicly funded family planning services through Medicaid and the Title X program. Planned Parenthood is a key participant in both of these programs.  Recently, some states have attempted to remove Planned Parenthood from their Medicaid provider network. However, they have been blocked because the current federal law requires states to allow Medicaid beneficiaries to access family planning services from any participating provider of their choice.

Abortion. Starting with Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has defined a woman’s constitutional right to abortion. In 1980 the Court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which greatly restricts federal funding for abortion for millions of women enrolled in Medicaid as well as others covered by federal programs such as the military and Indian Health Service. In addition, many states have regulations that restrict access to abortion services.  Most recently, the Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Women’s Health limited the state legislature’s ability to impose regulations on abortion clinics.

Where the Candidates Stand

Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton supports policies that protect and expand women’s access to reproductive healthcare, including affordable contraception and abortion. She defends the ACA’s policies, including no-cost preventive care and contraceptive coverage. She has promised to protect Planned Parenthood from attempts to defund it and would work to increase federal funds to the organization. She has also called for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment which she believes limits low-income women’s access to abortion care.  She would appoint judges to the Supreme Court who support Roe v. Wade, ensuring a women’s right to choose an abortion.

Donald Trump. Donald Trump has called for defunding Planned Parenthood if they continue to provide abortion and would redirect their funding to community health centers. He states he is pro-life but with exceptions when the pregnancy is a result of rape, incest, and life endangerment. Trump has promised to appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court that seek to overturn Roe v. Wade.  He would also work to make the Hyde Amendment permanent law and sign the Pain-Capable Child Protection Act, legislation that would sharply limit access to later term abortions.  He would also repeal the ACA, which would eliminate minimum scope of benefits standards such as maternity care in individual plans and coverage of no-cost preventive services such as contraceptives in private plans.

Source: (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, [Updated: October 6, 2016)

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