Women’s issues polarize presidential candidates

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NATIONAL — For more than 40-years, women’s reproductive rights have been a top issue in Washington. Fast-forward to today and it’s still a dividing topic among presidential candidates.

It depends who you ask as to what people hope to see. Pro-life advocates want to see more laws protecting the lives of unborn children and banning abortions. Others say the government should not be involved in a woman’s choice.

“Hopefully persuading mothers to keep their children.”

Springfield’s Right to Life has been in the Capital City for close to 50-years.

“A number of Springfield folks got together and decided that they need to do something about standing up for life.”

President of the organization, Tim Moore, says the goal is to ban abortions across the country.

“Ultimately, the child is a baby, a human in utero, so we think that child should be afforded the rights of a human being.”

Moore says he wants to see the next president cut the purse strings for abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood. He’s not alone. Presidential candidates, like Ted Cruz and Chris Christie, have vowed to support de-funding the facility.

“In my view, there is a much better expenditure of our funds than funding Planned Parenthood.”

Democrats, like Hillary Clinton, say not so fast.

“I will defend a woman’s right to choose and I will fight against the de-funding of Planned Parenthood.”

Clinton is not alone in the fight.

“If we think that moving back, going back to the 1950’s or the 1850’s is not what the voters want and it’s not what women need.”

Brigid Leahy, with Planned Parenthood, says cutting dollars also means stopping life-saving services.

“Access to pap tests, breast exams, your annual well-being visit, STD testing.”

Leahy says what she wants to see is less government involvement.

“I would like candidates to understand that the bottom line is that women don’t look to politicians for their healthcare decisions.”

Other big women’s topics include the fight for equal pay, paid leave and campus sexual assault.

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