Bernie Sanders, not Hillary Clinton, is the real feminist candidate for US president

Planned Parenthood has endorsed Clinton, but Sanders would transform the lives of American women


Women’s health provider Planned Parenthood has announced it will officially endorse Hillary Clinton in the United States presidential race, according to the Washington Post.

The move will be the first time the organisation has endorsed a candidate for president in its 100-year history, and comes amid a storm of threats and abuse towards PP from the Republican party.

Cecile Richards, president of PP, which provides women’s health services, including cancer screenings, birth control, and abortions, said:

“Let’s be clear — reproductive rights and health are on the ballot in 2016.

We’re proud to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.

No other candidate in our nation’s history has demonstrated such a strong commitment to women or such a clear record on behalf of women’s health and rights.”

However, there is another candidate running for president offering a better set of policies for American women – Clinton’s rival for the Democratic Party nomination, Bernie Sanders.

While Clinton has promised to defend PP from Republican efforts to cut its funding and trash its reputation, Sanders has pledged to expand and increase its funding. He has also promised to only nominate supreme court judges who support the historic Roe v Wade decision on abortion and support women’s reproductive rights.

Beyond that, compare Clinton and Sanders’s policies on pay. Clinton has said she will ‘work to increase the federal minimum wage’, while Sanders is committed to a national living wage of $15 per hour, the equivalent of over £10, by 2020.

While both support passing the Paycheck Fairness Act to close the gender pay gap, Sanders’s national living wage will disproportionately help women workers. He would also raise the minimum wage for workers who rely on tips to $15 per hour by 2023.

In contrast with Clinton’s vague platform, Sanders has made specific commitments on paid parental leave (12 weeks minimum) and providing quality childcare ‘to every American, regardless of income’.

Crucially, Sanders is for free higher education and a free ‘single-payer’ health service along the lines of the British NHS – both policies that would transform the lives of American women.

Planned Parenthood’s decision to endorse Hillary Clinton is understandable given the immense pressure they are under from the Republican party. Funding for PP has been cut in several states by Republican governors, with the party looking to replicate this at the federal level. PP clinics have been the subject of terrorist attacks, and a high profile campaign of defamation has seen Republican presidential candidates take up wild and hysterical positions against PP.

Clinton has made a point of denouncing these attacks and defending Planned Parenthood, for which the organisation is no doubt grateful. Beyond that, PP may have simply concluded that Hillary Clinton has a better chance of beating the Republicans for the presidency in November, (both cases made compellingly by feminist writer Katha Pollitt in The Nation).

But for the reasons above (and others), feminist writers Amber A’Lee Frost in The Baffler and Liza Featherstone in The Nation have argued, persuasively, that Bernie Sanders is the real ‘women’s candidate’ in this election.

Adam Barnett is a freelance journalist and former staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13

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13 Responses to “Bernie Sanders, not Hillary Clinton, is the real feminist candidate for US president”

  1. MiaEli15

    Typical ignorant Berniebot fake journalist. Tell us Berniebot, how many bills has Sanders introduced on behalf of women’s rights???????? Answer: Zero 0. How many has Hillary Clinton introduced???? Eight different bills in two-terms as Senator. So, how is Bernie better than Hillary again??????

  2. Princess Mateo

    Not true, he has passed and voted on many reproductive rights issues. And what 8 bills are your referring too? Because all told, if you add in family leave act, and pay equity measures, BGVernie is over 20. Add in sexual and domestic violence your getting close to 30 different cosponsored billed for women’s rights.

    What has Bernie actually accomplished as far as pro-choice legislation?

    During his 16 years in the House of
    Representatives and 8 years in the Senate, Bernie has consistently
    supported a woman’s right to choose a safe abortion.

    In addition to co-sponsoring the 1993 Freedom of Choice Act, Bernie voted numerous times to allow women to travel interstate for abortions, supported permitting federal funding of organizations that conduct abortions, voted to increase access and funding for family planning for women, and co-sponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013, which prohibited many limitations on abortions. In March 2008, Bernie voted against defining an unborn child as eligible for State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and in turn defining life as beginning at conception.

    In light of these votes, Bernie has repeatedly received ratings of 100
    percent from NARAL Pro-Choice America, and ratings of 0 percent from
    the National Right to Life Committee, indicating a pro-choice stance.

  3. Sue Cavanaugh

    I’ve always been a huge supporter for Cecile Richards. She could do no wrong in my book. She is viewed as a hero by many women for her work at Planned Parenthood. When I got this news, I was horrified. The betrayal is so deep. Such a slap in the face. I will always support Planned Parenthood financially. For the next few months, however, I’m sending that money to Bernie.

  4. Connie Hough

    Thank you, Princess Mateo. I could not have said it better myself. I have always supported Planned Parenthood and was proud of Cecile Richards when she delivered a major smack down to the misogynists in Congress. But this is a real shock. Compared to Bernie, Hillary has done nothing to support a woman’s right to choose. I’m so disappointed in Ms. Richards and Planned Parenthood.

  5. sai-john

    Most important part of platform is: Crucially, Sanders is for free higher education and a free ‘single-payer’ health service along the lines of the British NHS – both policies that would transform the lives of Americans. Education and health care should be birth rights for every legal US resident and citizen. Would positively transform US economy.

  6. Laura Ice

    I endorse what Planned Parents has, and is doing. I DO NOT endorse Hillary Clinton. I am a 74 years old woman and I’d love to have a woman President.. But sorry, I cannot support Hillary. She is too Corporate, too hawk, too ready to say what ever she needs to say to get the nomination for the primary. Sorry, but, if it comes down to it,,, I’m Green!

  7. LaDiablaBlanca

    Let’s just fight for Bernie Sanders! He can save the nation.

  8. Jim Williams

    Thank you so much Princess Mateo for putting the facts on the table!

    But I bet MiaEli15 thinks she can trump all these facts just by calling us Berniebots, now don’t you MiaEli15?

  9. Laura Ice

    I’m doing what I can do to help Bernie get elected. We need him!

  10. Fred Smith

    I like it when a man tells us other men which other man is best for women.

  11. Vegans For Bernie

    just more cronyism and propaganda (PP President has many ties to Hillary that shd be reported here). Worse- this despicable headline that implies that Bernie is not a “real” feminist. Shameful lies. With Hillary approving such swift-boating and so mired in cronyism, she’s hurting all democrats, destroying the reputation of the Democratic Party. Her catastrophic numbers are undeniable and indication of where she’s taking the democratic party: “72% of Independents, 59% of all Americans, and 71% of men do not view Hillary Clinton as “honest or trustworthy.” And more women distrust Hillary (49%) than trust (44%) her.” And these numbers are only getting worse not better-

  12. Sandy

    HRC says abortions should be “rare” and has stated (check youtube) that she’d be comfortable with limiting it to only when a woman’s life is in danger. She has a participated in starting wars/conflicts that hurt vast numbers of women and children (Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Honduras, Venezuela, US military families). She favors fracking, private prisons, fossil fuels, Wall Street, and perpetual war. In my mind, she is not a feminist. She is an opportunist. Bernie is a feminist! His message doesn’t change!

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