Every year, at every election, and especially presidential ones, we say, “This is the most important one ever.” BUT THIS YEAR, IT TRULY IS.
On November 9th, we could wake up to having elected Hillary Clinton President, a Pro-Choice U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and a Pro-Choice New York State Senate. Or we can awake to the most fascistic government this country has ever known, resembling Germany in August 1934 when Adolph Hitler was elected führer.
That is not an exaggeration! We have had anti-choice presidents before who catered to their zealot constituents; but we’ve never had one who shunned any vestige of governmental protocol, knew absolutely nothing about the balance of power or government structure, allied himself with Russia, and let “hate” be his guiding light, consistently demonizing and belittling Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants, women, the disabled, and other groups – and who blatantly embraced rape culture. At his rallies, Trump whips his followers into a frenzy, inciting violence, by declaring he will imprison his political opponents; and then he sits back, enjoying their chants of, “Hang her in the streets.” Just as in 1934 Germany, Trump eviscerates anyone or anything that gets in his way, and his supporters love it.
No State is safe.
State governments are already well on their way to criminalizing abortion, and women are already dying – not in the proverbial streets, but rather in semi-public places and apartments, using herbs and teas that provoke abortion and hemorrhaging, as well as sharp objects that offer the promise of affordability but instead deform or kill.
People incorrectly think that there is no problem for women in New York State. They mistakenly consider NY a safe healthcare haven. The reality, however, is quite different. 53% of NY counties have no abortion clinics and the number of abortion providers is decreasing every year. Outside of New York City, to get an abortion past 16 weeks is dramatically more difficult. Women have to travel to the City or Westchester to terminate, plus figure out how they will afford a three-day procedure, including housing, food, etc. – not to mention missing work, school and leaving their families. After 24 weeks, it is virtually impossible to terminate here. NY’s law was written before Roe v. Wade and does not provide the full constitutional protection guaranteed by Roe. If a woman’s health is at risk or something goes wrong in her pregnancy after 24 weeks, she must seek care outside of NY because State law does not allow a doctor to provide abortion coverage.
It is quite literally now or never.
Trump has promised to appoint only anti-choice extremists to the U.S. Supreme Court who will overturn Roe. His running mate, Mike Pence, has declared, “We’ll see Roe vs. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs.” Both Trump and Pence have made clear they believe women who have abortions should be punished. As governor, Pence signed legislation into law that does just that. Both men oppose both equal pay and a minimum wage. Trump has pledged to make the Hyde Amendment permanent and sign an unconstitutional 20-week abortion ban into law. He has assembled an advisory board whose members even oppose many forms of birth control. The head of the board, Marjorie Dannenfelser, is president of the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List. Another member, Tony Perkins, is a supporter of the white supremacist group Council of Conservative Citizens Louisiana Chapter and head of the anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The National Right to Life PAC has endorsed Trump and Pence because of their extreme anti-choice agenda.
That said, we have the opportunity to elect THE BEST advocate women have ever had – Hillary Clinton. She has been an outspoken leader for women’s comprehensive reproductive rights her entire life. She has stood up, and refused to be shut up, for all the things that have mattered – equal pay, paid sick leave, economic justice, Title IX and X, and more. She helped pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which covers more than 8 million children. She fights for the rights of the disabled and the elderly. Hillary understands what it means to care for your children while caring for your parents.
You have the chance to do something really big. Please, don’t sit on the sidelines waiting for someone else to do the heavy lifting. Get out there. Talk with everyone about why they must vote for Hillary Clinton on November 8th. There’s no time to waste!