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US Presidential Election: Here's What Joe Biden Says On Every Women's Issue

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US Presidential Election: Here's What Joe Biden Says On Every Women's Issue

The 2020 US presidential election saw one of the highest turnouts in almost a century - and despite threats of lawsuits and recounts from the Trump administration, Democratic candidate Joe Biden was announced as the winner on Saturday, after his victory in Pennsylvania propelled him over the finish line.

The sheer amount of votes wasn't surprising given some of the issues affecting the country right now - from the coronavirus pandemic to the ongoing racial tensions that have since swept across the world.

But in 2020 it's more important than ever to consider how policies from both of these men will affect women - so, we've broken down what both Trump and Biden think about some key women's issues, to give you an idea what we can expect for the next four years, and what could have been.

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Trumps views on abortion have upset many women (Credit: PA)
Trumps views on abortion have upset many women (Credit: PA)

Joe Biden on Women's Issues

Biden on Abortion

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Biden's campaign has run supporting pro-choice, and he's consistently promised to protect a woman's right to choose.

He has pledged to keep access to abortion legal, and called for Trump's anti-abortion Supreme Court nominee to be withdrawn if he gets into office. Plus, he wants to increase funding to Planned Parenthood as a priority.

The Democratic candidate supports Roe v Wade - which made abortion legal nationwide, and put the decision in the hands of the states - to the point where he even vows to "codify" it, so that anti-abortion states have less authority to go against it.

He also doesn't support the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funds for abortion, and has cropped up in several spending bills.

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Joe Biden is pro choice (Credit: PA)
Joe Biden is pro choice (Credit: PA)

Biden's views on abortion weren't always like this, though. In the 1980s, he argued that Roe v. Wade "went too far," and back in 2006, he called himself the "odd man out" in his party when it came to his views on abortion.

"I do not view abortion as a choice and a right. I think it's always a tragedy, and I think that it should be rare and safe, and I think we should be focusing on how to limit the number of abortions. There ought to be able to have a common ground and consensus as to do that," he said at the time.

However, since then, Biden's stance has changed. Whatever his personal views, he said during the presidential debate in July: "I support a woman's right to choose. I support it's a constitutional right. I've supported it and I will continue to support it."

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Biden on Equal Pay and Workplace Equality

Biden has long voiced his support for equal pay. When he was Vice President in 2015, he tweeted: "Equal pay for equal work. It's common sense. It's also overdue. Let's close the gap & let's do it now".

Biden's campaign site pledges support for equal pay for women, and promises his presidency would "ratify the Equal Rights Amendment [ERA], so that gender equality is finally enshrined in our Constitution."

In order to fight equal pay, Biden promises "investing in women-owned small businesses, expanding access to education and training, and strengthening pay and benefits in careers disproportionately filled by women."

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As part of his 'Women's Agenda' Biden has pledged to work alongside advocates to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and broaden benefits for jobs that women often fill.

Biden also says he'll support the Paycheck Fairness Act - the brainchild of two women in Congress, Patty Murray in the Senate and Rose DeLauro in the House of Representatives - which aims to tackle the gender wage gap.

In an important and symbolic step for equality in the workplace, Biden also ran with Kamala Harris on his ticket - and she has now been elected Vice President of the United States - not only the first woman to take up the role, but the first Black woman, the first woman of Asian descent and the first child of an immigrant.

"It's long overdue," he said during his acceptance speech. "And we're reminded tonight of all those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen".

Biden is now President Elect and Harris is Vice President Elect (Credit: PA)
Biden is now President Elect and Harris is Vice President Elect (Credit: PA)

Biden on Domestic Abuse

On domestic violence in the past, Biden said, when he was senator: "I have become convinced that violence against women reflects as much a failure of our nation's collective moral imagination as it does the failure of our nation's laws and regulations".

It hasn't all been good, though. More recently, Biden was accused of being "tone deaf" on domestic abuse, after addressing it in the 2020 presidential debate.

He said: "No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman," before caveating: "Other than in self defence and that rarely ever occurs. And so we have to just change the culture. Period. And keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it."

Despite this, Biden has importantly promised to reauthorise the Violence Against Women Act - a piece of legislation that was originally introduced in 1990 when he was senator, and promises to reform criminal legal responses to domestic abuse, as well as tackling it at a community level.

Between its implementation in 1994 and 2011, serious victimisation by an intimate partner declined by 72 per cent.

Biden wants to completely reform US childcare (Credit: Unsplash)
Biden wants to completely reform US childcare (Credit: Unsplash)

Biden on Childcare and Maternity

Biden announced he would be allocating a budget of $775 Billion (£595 billion) for Child Care & Senior Care.

In his long term plan, he lays out how he wishes to expand child care for children up to five years old, including a free universal preschool education.

Discussing maternity and paternity leave, Biden says that, as president, he plans to "ask Congress to include in new legislation... paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave for every worker, and making these benefits permanent."

Biden also promises to expand "access to quality, affordable child care through a tax credit of up to $8,000 (£6,000) per family."

Donald Trump on Women's Issues

Trump on Abortion

Believe it or not, before his presidential run, Trump branded himself pro-choice, and even held a fundraiser supporting the cause in 1989. However, his public stance has changed over the years, and he declared himself pro life and anti-abortion when running for president in 2011.

In 2015, when running for presidency, Trump went as far as to suggest women should have "some form of punishment" for getting abortions, although he later retracted this statement, instead clarifying: "I didn't mean punishment for women like prison. I'm saying women punish themselves."

Within a year of taking office his anti-abortion stance was more than clear. He announced he was "strongly pro-life with the exceptions of rape, incest, and protecting the life of the mother," and that he supported banning abortion except in these instances.

Plus, he crassly described babies being aborted during late term pregnancies as being "ripped from their mother's wombs".

His administration went on to implement a global gag rule which meant US global health funds couldn't reach out to groups that offer or even speak about abortions. Plus, he's repeatedly tried to cut funding for the US' largest women's health care provider, Planned Parenthood.

Trump also consistently opposed the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which made abortion legal nationwide, and put the decision in the hands of the states. He has also supported the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funds for abortion, and has cropped up in several spending bills.

He recently nominated Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who is actively anti-abortion. Pro life activists feared this could help tip the Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling.

During his Republican National Convention speech back in August, Trump cemented his views on abortion, declaring: "Children, born and unborn, have a God-given right to life."

Trumps opposes Roe. v Wade (Credit: PA)
Trumps opposes Roe. v Wade (Credit: PA)

Trump on Equal Pay and Workplace Equality

Ivanka Trump repeatedly promised her father would be a champion for equal pay during his first presidential race and in 2020.

"As President, my father will change the labor laws that were put into place at a time when women were not a significant portion of the workforce," she said.

Donald Trump has previously acknowledged the existence of the gender pay gap exists. He was quoted in 2015 saying: "If they do the same job, they should get the same pay."

However, he's also said that categorising people might be "dangerous," adding: "It's very hard to say what to say what is the same job."

"If you start to say everybody gets equal pay, you get away from the whole American Dream"," he said, before adding that if everyone gets the same, "you're into a socialistic society."

In 2017, Trump sought to prevent a rule which was implemented by Obama, and forced large companies to provide the government's US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stats on the amount they pay employees by race and gender.

Despite Trump's attempts, a federal judge overruled his decision and reimplemented the rule, in what activists called a "victory for equal pay".

Last year, Bloomberg Law reported that Trump's Department of Labor offered federal contractors more power to audit themselves when it came to pay discrimination - a move critics believed would only further support the widening of the pay gap.

Ivanka Trump pledged her father's support for equal pay (Credit: PA)
Ivanka Trump pledged her father's support for equal pay (Credit: PA)

Trump on Domestic Abuse

Trump has stated he is "totally opposed" to domestic abuse "of any kind".

However, last year, Trump's Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women also significantly changed the definition of domestic violence with no real explanation as to why.

While Obama's administration's definition was vetted by experts and expansive, to account for all victims of physical, sexual, emotional, economic and psychological abuse, Trump's administration's new definition states that felonies or misdemeanour crimes can be counted as domestic violence.

This means, for example, that Trump's Department of Justice doesn't see a victim of coercive control as having suffered domestic abuse.

Trump on Childcare/ Maternity

Trump's 2021 budget included a $1 billion (£769 million) allocation for child care funding, and - in his own words - he boasts "historic" increases in child care funding.

He said at the White House Summit on Child Care and Paid Leave in December of 2019: "We want every mother to have the chance to spend those precious few weeks with her newborn or adopted children.

Trump also introduced the Advancing Support for Working Families Act, which "allows parents to pull forward a portion of their child tax credit up to $5,000 (£3,800) to provide for their newborn or newly adopted child".

Trumps childcare and maternity support has divided opinion (Credit: Unsplash)
Trumps childcare and maternity support has divided opinion (Credit: Unsplash)

This money can then be used to pay for child care or money women may have lost out to during maternity leave, as well as baby supplies.

However, Trump has been criticised for taking credit where it isn't due. In fact, Senate leaders struck a deal to almost double the annual funding for child care, but this was disputed by the White House three days after Congress passed it, and Trump suggested moving the child care funds elsewhere.

While this wasn't approved, if he had his way, the investment in childcare would have been significantly smaller.

During the pandemic, Trump also came under fire for his lack of child care support.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Child Care Is Essential Act, but because the White House and Congress could not agree on a final deal which included funds for child care, more than 80 percent of child care providers now fear they will have to shut for good, unless they get extra funding.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: joe biden, Life News, News, Donald Trump, Politics

Joanna Freedman
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