Where Trump & Clinton Stand on the 9 Issues That Affect Moms Most

It's officially fall 2016, which means that, at long last, election season is coming to a close. But before we go to the polls, we get to debate. Or, well, we've been doing that. But we get to watch the candidates debate -- for once, they're forced to stand next to each other and give direct (ish) answers to questions we care about. And boy, do we have questions.

As women and mothers with a strong interest in creating a world that's kind to us and a future that's kind to our kids, we're taking a look at the issues that are important to us -- and where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on them right now. 

Hopefully, we'll get some more answers about the issues that matter.

 

Images via Joe Raedle/Getty; Andrew Burton/Getty

  • Paid Maternity Leave: Trump

    1

    Trump's maternity leave plan would guarantee mothers six weeks of paid leave, but that's just thing: It's only for mothers. From what we can tell so far, it'd exclude fathers and same-sex couples from taking advantage of the benefits. So it sounds like it favors women, except for maybe not -- experts are saying that Trump's plan could very easily lead to hiring discrimination from employers who don't want to pay maternity leave.

  • Paid Maternity Leave: Clinton

    2

    Clinton's family leave plan differs fairly dramatically from Trump's: Instead of six weeks paid leave, she's offering 12. Plus, by calling it "family leave" instead of "maternity leave," she suggests a plan that fathers can take advantage of as well. She also guarantees that workers will get at least two-thirds of their current wages while on leave, and she ensures that small businesses will pick up the tab (her tax reforms will hit the wealthy instead).

  • Childcare: Trump

    3

    Trump's childcare plan is lumped into his maternity leave plan, and it mostly focuses on tax benefits. He says he'd make childcare tax-deductible, but cap the benefits at the average cost of childcare in your state. Since tax deductions significantly favor rich families, Trump also proposes a new savings account program for childcare or education that could match low-income families up to $500, plus a new rebate (on top of the existing rebate in the US) that, he says, could be worth almost $1,200 per year for low-income families.

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  • Childcare: Clinton

    4

    Clinton's childcare system is structured very differently. Though she has proposed a tax relief for the cost of childcare, it hasn't really been fleshed out. Instead, she focuses on her proposals for universal preschool for all 4-year-olds, a government-funded investment plan that guarantees no family will spend more than 10 percent of their income on childcare, a scholarship of up to $1,500 per year to help as many as one million student partents pay for childcare, and add more childcare options on college campuses. In addition to this (and maybe even more significantly), Clinton wants to address the suffering quality of childcare by re-booting the Early Head Start nutrition and pre-literacy program, and by guaranteeing better pay and work conditions for childcare workers.

    More from CafeMomUS's Childcare System Is Hurting Mothers: Here's How Each Candidate Wants to Fix It

  • Pay Equality: Trump

    5

    Trump has said he supports equal pay for equal work, but he also told a woman asking about equal pay (video shown here) that she will "make the same if you do as good a job." A few months after that, a former employee of his sued him for gender discrimination, claiming that she wasn't given equal responsibility as men with the same title while working under him, and she was paid half as much. She also said he made somewhat lewd comments about her looks, but maybe that's beside the point. Anyway, Trump doesn't have a plan to combat the wage gap, but he says it's not really the government's business -- it'll be too tricky to get legislation that works, and he believes people are paid the same for equal work, regardless of, well, anything.

  • Pay Equality: Clinton

    6

    Clinton, on the other hand, calls for strong government assistance in closing the wage gap -- and as senator, she demonstrated this by championing the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. As president, she wants to promote pay transparency and actually pass her Paycheck Fairness Act, which would "give women the tools they need to fight discrimination in the workforce."

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  • Climate Change: Trump

    7

    Yes, this tweet is from 2012. No, Donald Trump's stance on climate change has not changed significantly, and no, he doesn't have an official platform. In fact, most of his thoughts on the matter were summed up in an August 2016 interview with the Miami Herald, where he said, "I'm not a big believer in climate change" and "You and I ... won't be around to see." Basically, he seems less worried about protecting the earth for future generations and more worried about how climate change regulations make US businesses "noncompetitive." In the same interview, Trump said the idea of local governments investing in raising infrastructure to guard against rising sea levels was "not the worst thing I've ever heard." So. That's something.

  • Climate Change: Clinton

    8

    Clinton, on the other hand, considers a climate an "urgent" threat to our environment and future. Her goals are lofty, but admirable: She wants to generate enough renewable engery to power every US home, install half a billion new solar panels in her first term, cut waste by a third across the board, and reduce America's oil consumption by a third. To do this, she says she'll update our pollution, emission, and efficiency standards, launch a "Clean Energy Challenge," invest in clean energy infrastructure, cut oil and gas companies' tax subsidies, promote conservation, and revitalize coal communities.

  • Reproductive Rights: Trump

    9

    Trump used to be fairly kind to reproductive rights, especially by Republican standards, but he's been scooting further right this whole campaign. He has yet to outline a public policy platform for reproductive rights, but he's made his thoughts on the matter fairly clear: In September 2016, he wrote a letter to anti-abortion leaders promising that, as president, he'd nominate pro-life justices to the Supreme Court, ban abortion after 20 weeks, defund Planned Parenthood if they continue to provide abortions, and make the Hyde Amendment -- the law that says tax payer money can't be used to pay for abortions and makes it almost impossible for low-income, uninsured women to get abortions -- permanent law.

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  • Reproductive Rights: Clinton

    10

    Hillary Clinton "proudly" stands with Planned Parenthood and nabbed their official endorsement in the primaries. The rest of her platform goes to about the same tune: She promises to fight back against any attempt to restrict access to good, affordable reproductive healthcare, and she wants to ensure affordable contraception, preventative care, and safe and legal abortion. She says repealing the Hyde Amendment is a priority (the first time it's ever been on a Democratic platform, which is pretty huge), and she wants to improve sex ed in schools. In addition, she wants to promote gender equality around the world.

  • Education: Trump

    11

    In his 2015 book, Crippled America, Trump expressed his concern that the government was making so much money off student loans. He hasn't promised anything officially, but he seems to think this is wrong, and while the government can't forgive student loans, it should take steps to help students. He also talked about being in favor of creating a system where schools are competing for kids in order to up the quality of education, and cutting the Department of Education's power significantly, if not eliminating it at all. He wants to ditch Common Core, No Child Left Behind, and Race to the Top in favor of locally directed education systems.

  • Education: Clinton

    12

    Clinton's education platform focuses more on the schools themselves instead of on the government. She proposes a national campaign to modernize and elevate teaching (partially by guaranteeing teachers higher pay), giving every school funding to introduce a computer science program to equip students to take those open jobs, rebuilding physical schools where needed by growing the Build America Bonds program, and dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline that targets black students with harsh discipline that hurts their futures.

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  • Gun Control: Trump

    13

    As a general rule, Trump is very pro–Second Amendment and generally consistent with the Republican party's stance on gun control. He believes guns are necessary so families can protect themselves and he wants a crack down on people who "misuse" guns -- like, he says, drug dealers and gang members. To address mass murders committed with guns, he wants to "fix our broken mental health system," and fix the current background check system instead of expanding it. He wants to make concealed carry permits valid outside the state that issued them, block bans on semi-automatic weapons, and get rid of gun-free zones in schools and military bases. Also, though it's not on his official platform, Trump has said he's in favor of blocking people on the no-fly list from buying guns.

  • Gun Control: Clinton

    14

    Clinton's gun control platfrom (or, as she calls it, "gun violence prevention" platform) is radically different from Trump's in almost every way. She wants to expand background checks and abolish all the loopholes in the current system, get rid of legal protection for the gun lobby and dealers who break the law, block domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and severely mentally ill people from owning guns (plus make it a federal crime to buy a gun for someone who can't buy one themselves), and, finally, block the sale of "military-style" weapons. 

  • LGBT Rights: Trump

    15

    In his Republican National Convention speech, Trump said this: "As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect LGBTQ citizens." Then, when everybody cheered, he said, "It is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said. Thank you." His biggest proposal to protect the LGBT community seems to be a plan to block "radical Islamic terrorists" from the US by putting in place an ideological screening for all immigrants. He also said (granted, in 2011), "I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay, but I am a traditionalist," but in 2016 he told Fox News that he would "strongly consider" appointing judges who would overturn marriage equality so it could be decided on a state-by-state basis.

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  • LGBT Rights: Clinton

    16

    Clinton applauds the Supreme Court's decision on marriage equality, but she says there's "still work to do." As president, she says she would work to pass the Equality Act and continue Obama's LGBT equality executive actions. She would also end "conversion therapy" for minors, combat youth homelessness by funding shelters, and fight bullying in schools. In the military, she'd upgrade service records of LGBT veterans dismissed because of their sexual orientation. She would also make it easier to change gender markers on ID documents and invest in police training in hopes of lessening violence against trans people. On top of this, Clinton has an entirely separate plan for fighting HIV and AIDS, which consists of, in part, investing in more research, fully implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and easing the financial burden of HIV and AIDS for people living with it.

  • Immigration: Trump

    17

    You've heard of The Wall, and that about sums it up: Trump supports "a nation with borders" and proposes asking Mexico (or forcing -- he'd hit them with larger fees on visas, border crossing cards, and at ports, plus cut foreign aid) to fund a wall that would slow illegal immigration into the United States to lessen our taxes and lower our crime rates. Among other methods of deporting immigrants, he'd also end birthright citizenship and increase "the standards" for admission of refugee and asylum-seeking children (and adults). He'd also require that employers choose American citizens before green card workers or people with visas.

  • Immigration: Clinton

    18

    Clinton believes that we are "a nation of immigrants" and that the systems we have can be better equipped to serve and embrace people immigrating into our country. She wants comprehensive immigration reform (make it easier to become a full and equal citizen, fix the family visa backlog, protect our borders, and add immigrants to the "formal economy"), lift the three- and 10-year bars that historically target families and split them up, defend Obama's expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), encourage humane enforcement of immigration laws, ensure people can get affordable health care regardless of their immigration status, expand fee waivers to help offset the cost of naturalization, and create an Office of Immigrant Affairs that's equipped with grant funding to increase the resources for citizenship education.

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