Photo by Drew Angerer / Staff
"It's been 96 years from the year in which we won the right to vote, as women. No one ever gave it to us. We fought for it; we won it."
Votes are being cast across the country to elect the next president of the United States and Gloria Allred, the iconic women's rights lawyer, believes that women are about to make one of the most important decisions to secure our nation's future. "I believe women, and their vote, are going to put her over the top," Allred says, explaining why she believes Hillary Rodham Clinton is about to win the presidency.
According to Allred's website, "her firm handles more women's rights cases than any other private firm in the nation and has won hundreds of millions of dollars for victims." After 40 years fighting in court for women, Allred has ended up very close to the heart of the 2016 presidential race; she is a devoted advocate to women in America, was a delegate for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention, and is the legal representative for four of the 12 women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual assault.
"I am pro-Hillary for many reasons," Allred explains in an interview with Broadly. First of all, Allred reminds us that Clinton is the most experienced individual to run for the United States presidency in recent history. "Her experience makes her the best choice," Allred says. "There's nobody that comes close." However, somehow Clinton is seemingly neck-and-neck with a reality TV show star and real estate magnate with a history of bankruptcy whose entire career is reportedly plagued by corruption—from the racist policies he was sued for as a landlord in the 1970s, to his use of $20,000 in charitable funds on a six-foot-tall portrait of himself.
"Mr. Trump has told more lies during his campaign than perhaps any other candidate for president of a major political party in the history of the United States," Allred says. "One has to ask why. Is it to manipulate voters into voting for him? Because if he didn't lie, perhaps he wouldn't be where he is in the polls."
Women in the 20th century women fought for the right to vote, for reproductive freedom, and for general liberation from a culture of male dominance through legislative reform. Though we've made notable strides in the past century, the need for legislative action on behalf of women in the US remains incredibly urgent, Allred says, noting that Clinton "is a feminist" in the meaningful sense of that word: "That is, a person who believes in legal, social, political, and economic equality for women."
What do we value? What do we believe in? What do we stand for?
Allred considers the Supreme Court to be one of the most important issues in this year's presidential election—because the next president of the United States is likely to appoint multiple judges to fill vacant seats in the years to come, and those justices wield incredible power over the laws that either enable or restrain women's freedom. "Most people in the legal profession believe there will be an opportunity for the next president to nominate the vacancies on the United States Supreme Court," Allred said, adding that many of the judges Trump says he'd nominate to fill Supreme Court vacancies are anti-choice. "I can't emphasize enough how important it is that [Clinton] be the one to appoint those vacancies, because the justices are going to make decisions that affect every one of our lives for decades to come."
Despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled that women have a constitutional right to abortion in 1973, anti-abortion extremists have waged a war on women's right to abortion in the United States, and the constitutionality of policies that limit women's access to reproductive health care is one of the most dire issues that will be adjudicated in the years to come. "Roe v. Wade is settled law, but many of the anti-choice proponents—those who believe in mandatory motherhood and compulsory pregnancy—are not willing to accept it as settled law and are continuously chipping away at Roe v. Wade," Allred says.
Clinton has rejected the idea that the government has the authority to control women's bodies, whereas Donald Trump has casually seemed to admit to sexual assault and has called for women who have abortions to be "punished," though he later backtracked on that statement, clarifying that he believes that only abortion providers should face legal sanction. "Donald Trump has demonstrated through his words and through his behavior that he lacks the respect and dignity for the majority of the American people—that's women," Allred says.
"I am very skeptical of any elected official," she continues, explaining that politicians are responsible for demonstrating their values through their actions, not just their words. "Hillary Clinton has a long history of supporting women through legislation, speaking out at the UN on behalf of women's rights, and just living and practicing what she preaches," Allred continues.
Ultimately, Allred feels this election isn't about either candidate as much as it is about asking ourselves what sort of world we want to create for ourselves and for our children. "What do we value? What do we believe in? What do we stand for?" she asks. Allred has called for people to mobilize in the support of Clinton, urging people to realize that this election cannot be taken for granted. "Vote as if your life depends on it," Allred says, "because it does."
"I'm thrilled that I'm [here] to witness this herstoric election," Allred says. "It's been 96 years from the year in which we won the right to vote as women. No one ever gave it to us. We fought for it; we won it."
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