How are the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates Going to Protect our Reproductive Rights?

On Saturday, June 22, 2019, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) hosted the We Decide: 2020 Election Membership Forum. We Decide gave 2020 democratic presidential candidates the chance to speak to PPAF members – a critical group for anyone aiming for the White House – about their plan to protect and expand abortion access and other reproductive health care. The event was held concurrent with the South Carolina Democratic Convention, in Columbia, SC. I had the amazing opportunity to attend this forum with others in the Charlotte area. 

Every candidate was asked “As president, how are you going to expand access to sexual and reproductive rights, including abortion, to esure all people have access to care no matter what?” This is what the candidates had to say.

  1. 1. Senator Kristen Gillibrand

    Gillibrand is an American lawyer and politician who has served as the junior United States Senator from New York since 2009. She was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to 2009. Gillibrand discussed her positions on a number of topics including:

    -Repealing the Hyde Amendment.

    -Decriminalizing abortion.

    -Addressing institutionalized racism that causes black women to be 4x more likely to die in childbirth.

    -Tackling the crisis in the deep south (abortion bans).

    -Guaranteeing rights for transgender people.

  2. 2. Senator Kamala Harris

    Harris is an American lawyer and politician serving as the junior United States Senator from California since 2017. She previously served as the 27th District Attorney of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011 and 32nd Attorney General of California from 2011 until 2017. Harris discussed her positions on a number of topics including:

    -Informing women and others about reproductive rights.

    -Using legislation to protect the rights of women.

    -Funding planned parenthood clinics.

    -Putting into action a pre-clearance for states with a history of denying women their rights. States would be reviewed when proposing a bill regarding reproductive rights.

  3. 3. Senator Elizabeth Warren

    Warren is an American politician and former academic serving as the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts since 2013. She was formerly a law school professor specializing in bankruptcy law. Warren discussed her positions on a number of topics including:

    -Repealing the Hyde Amendment.

    -Enforcing Title X.

    -Getting rid of the global gag rule.

    -Making sure planned parenthood stays funded throughout the entire country.

    -Implementing a medicaid for all program.

    -“It’s not just an attack on women, it’s a class attack and a race attack."

    -“We’ve been on defense for 47 years and it’s not working, it’s time to go on offense with Roe v. Wade”

  4. 4. Mayor Pete Buttigieg

    Buttigieg is an American politician and former U.S. Naval Reserve officer who has served as mayor of South Bend, Indiana since 2012. Buttigieg discussed his positions on a number of topics including:

    -Appointing judges who are pro-choice and adequetly informed.

    -Bringing about federal action.

    -Making sure immigrants have access to reproductive healthcare.

    -Reforming the path to citizenship.

    -Voting in different leadership in D.C.

  5. 5. Mayor Bill de Blasio

    Bill de Blasio is an American politician who since 2014 has served as the 109th Mayor of New York City. Prior to his first election to the position of Mayor, he served as New York City's public advocate from 2010 to 2013. De Blasio discussed his positions on a number of topics including:

    -Repealing the Hyde Amendment.

    -Solidifying Roe v. Wade.

    -Guaranteeing healthcare for people with no insurance funding.

    -When determining which candidates to support, De Blasio said “Ask yourself, what have the candidates done with their power?”

  6. 6. Former Vice President Joe Biden

    Joseph Biden Jr. is an American politician who served as the 47th vice president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. Biden also represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009. Biden discussed his positions on a number of topics including:

    -Providing poor women with complete coverage.

    -Codifying Roe v. Wade.

    -Voting, even if it’s not for Biden.

    -Expanding the rights of veteran woman, woman in active combat, and transgender soldiers.

    -The riskiness of a medicare for all program.

  7. 7. Marianne Williamson

    Marianne  Williamson is an American author, lecturer and activist. She has written 13 books, including four New York Times number one bestsellers in the "Advice, How To and Miscellaneous" category. Williamson discussed her positions on a number of topics including:

    -That the abortion bans are because the men in office don’t want women to have power.

    -Reiterating that the government shouldn’t limit our rights, they should guarantee it.

    -“Racism is in the air we breathe.”

  8. 8. Congressman John Delaney

    John Delaney is an American attorney, businessman, and politician. He was the United States Representative for Maryland's 6th congressional district from 2013 to 2019. Delaney discussed his positions on a number of topics including:

    -Expanding sex education, because until women are informed, they dont have their full rights.

    -Supporting women is the fastest way to stabilize a country.

    -Explaining that healthcare shouldn’t be survival of the fittest.

    -Choosing between public or private healthcare.

  9. 9. Former HUD secretary Julián Castro

    Julián Castro is an American politician from San Antonio. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the youngest member of President Obama's Cabinet, serving as the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017. Castro discussed his positions on a number of topics including:

    -The fact that there have been 477 state resitrictions on abortion rights since 2011.

    -Supporting homeless women and the trans community.

    -Discussing that women still aren’t guaranteed equal pay and it's worse for black, latinx, and native american women.

  10. 10. Senator Beto O’Rourke

    Robert "Beto" O'Rourke is an American politician who represented Texas's 16th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2013 to 2019. O’Rourke discussed his positions on a number of topics including:

    -Getting rid of immigrant detention centers.

    -Reimplementing a program called family care management which releases asylum seekers (less expensive than for-profit detention centers).

    -Mentioning that the recent bans on abortion are becoming reminiscent of “ A Handmaid's Tale”.

    -Elevating unions and wages.

    -Enacting a healthcare for all program.

  11. 11. Senator Bernie Sanders

    Bernard Sanders is an American politician who has served as the junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007. Vermont's at-large Congressman from 1991 to 2007, he is the longest serving independent in U.S. congressional history. Sanders discussed his positions on a number of topics including:

     -Accomplishing medicare for all, including abortion services.

    -Electing pro-choice candidates.

    -Repealing the Hyde Amendment.

    -Increasing NGO funding (Planned Parenthood).

    -Expanding sex education, “Kids need honest answers.”

  12. 12. Andrew Yang

    Andrew Yang is an American entrepreneur, lawyer, and philanthropist. He is the founder of Venture for America, a nonprofit that focuses on creating jobs in struggling American cities. Yang discussed his positions on a number of topics including:

    -Repealing the Hyde Amendment.

    -Enacting a $1000/month dividend program.

    -“Male legislators should have nothing to do with women’s bodies.”

  13. 13. Senator Cory Booker

    Cory Booker is an American politician serving as the junior United States Senator from New Jersey since 2013 and a member of the Democratic Party. The first African-American U.S. Senator from New Jersey, he was previously the 36th Mayor of Newark from 2006 to 2013. Booker discussed his positions on a number of topics including:

    -A slow implementation of medicare for all.

    -Driving down drug prices.

    -Fully funding Planned Parenthood.

    -Elevating salaries and minimum wage.

    -“When they deny justice to anyone, they deny justice to everyone.”

  14. 14. Senator Amy Klobuchar

    Amy Klobuchar is an American lawyer and politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Minnesota. Klobuchar discussed her positions on a number of topics including:

    -Electing competent judges.

    -Mentioning that the U.S. is supposed to be a beacon for women's rights.

    -Working on a to-do list for her presidency. There are over 100 plans on the list.