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Bernie Sanders’ policies appeal strongly to Democrats

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October 1, 2015

Thursday will mark the end of the fiscal year in congress, and on Wednesday morning, an agreement still had not been come to. As I write this, I’m sadly uncertain whether or not I will have a running government when this issue of the Student Voice hits stands Friday morning – Republicans have threatened to shut down the entire government, once again, if federal funding for Planned Parenthood is not taken away.

The idea that those who are elected to best serve the interests of their constituents think this is a good idea isn’t an easy one to understand. It’s difficult to wrap your head around, the fact that leaders of the most powerful state on the planet wants to take away access to necessary health care for almost 3 million people annually. One would think that as supposedly the most powerful nation on the planet, a push for more progressive laws might be in the works as well; contrarily, hundreds of anti-choice bills have been passed across the states since the last election, though Roe v. Wade has been upheld as the law of the land time and time again.

As a woman who holds rather liberal viewpoints, I don’t see how so many people can be so anti-choice, even when abortion goes against your religious beliefs. Being pro-choice is entirely different from being pro-abortion, as some pro-lifer’s like to call us. The Planned Parenthood organization offers many services other than abortions; in fact, safe and legal abortions only make up about three percent of the total number of services the non-profit provides each year. Factcheck.org found that an equal 35 percent of services go to both contraceptive provisions and STI testing, 16 percent is screening for cancers in sex organs, 10 percent to other women’s health, and one percent to counseling services. Claims made by representatives in this debate that abortion is the number one service were wildly untrue claims.

I almost feel silly for writing about this issue, as it’s so unlikely that Planned Parenthood will be defunded in the end, and because Roe v. Wade will never be overturned. The right to abortions is something everyone has an opinion on, though it’s legally regarded as an essential component of women’s health care. In recent survey’s as well, Planned Parenthood has been more popular than any political candidate; I guarantee you know someone who has utilized their services. In addition, I’m of the opinion that motherhood should not be a consequence for sexuality, especially in such a modern age.

I’d also like to point about a person who matters in these parts: Ron Johnson, Senator for Wisconsin, one of the many Republicans who voted to defund the organization. He has voted against many other progressive bills too, including moves for more environmental regulations on corporations, against equal pay for women’s equal work, and is against raising taxes on the very most wealthy so that the rest of us can have a little bit more. When he’s up for re-election in 2016, my hope is that more people will stop looking down party lines, and simply investigate which person’s policies actually line up with their beliefs.

With that said, there is one senator up for election in 2016, whose policies much better align with most Americans’ more than I believe any other candidate’s: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. A self proclaimed Independent-Socialist, Bernie Sanders is running in the primary as a Democrat against Hillary Clinton.

As the longest serving Independent ever elected to congress, Sanders has one of the most consistent records of anybody in power. Since entering the political sphere in the early 70s, Bernie has time and time again voted to: protect the environment, crack down on Wall Street, reform taxes that promote financial inequality, increase spending on education at all levels, decrease spending on the unnecessarily huge military, stop the incarceration of non-violent drug offenders, achieve foreign relationships through diplomacy over war, in addition to his progressive stances on seemingly all issues.

In the case of the planned parenthood debate, Sanders has always supported a woman’s right to choose what is best for herself and life position when faced with such a difficult decision. Many people think that because she is a woman, Clinton would be better for the job when dealing with such issues. But standing by the ‘legal equality doctrine’ implemented in so many laws today, even feminists like myself can see that just because she is female doesn’t mean she is the right person to elect executive of our country.
In times like these, we need leaders who won’t continue wasting time and our money on something they can’t achieve, but ones who will actively work on making life better for the average American- not worse. I, and the thousands upon thousands of people who have been showing up to his rallies, believe that Bernie Sanders is someone who will do this, as he has been for forty years. The presidential election is still 13 months away, but I encourage anyone who believes a political revolution must take place in this country to look into Bernie Sanders for president.

Molly Kinney is a journalism student with a political science minor. She enjoys reading, camping, music, art and exploring new cities in her free time. In the future, she would love to travel the world and cover politics for NPR.