2020 Hopefuls Need Robust Strategies to Protect Reproductive Freedom

Lindsay Apperson, Senior Field Coordinator

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Tonight, 10 candidates will take the stage for the next 2020 democratic debate in Atlanta, Georgia, moderated by an all-woman panel (Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, Kristen Welker, and Ashley Parker). We’ll be on the lookout for a robust conversation about reproductive rights and what’s at stake in the 2020 election. Follow along with us on Twitter, as we live tweet our reactions!

After much anticipation and ample demand from the Twitter-sphere, voters finally had the opportunity to hear candidates’ stances on abortion access in the United States during the October debate. Moderators asked each candidate how they would stop recent state laws that have banned abortion after six or eight weeks of pregnancy.

We heard resounding support for abortion rights from candidates, apart from Tulsi Gabbard’s disappointing call to keep abortion “safe, legal, and rare” and to restrict access to abortion in the third trimester (the government should be no more involved in people’s personal pregnancy decisions during the third trimester than it should be in the first trimester). Cory Booker pledged to create an Office of Reproductive Freedom and Reproductive Rights. Kamala Harris pledged that her Justice Department would ensure that any state law which contradicted Roe v. Wade would not be enforced. Elizabeth Warren pointed out that in a society where abortion is illegal, it will be poor people, young people, and people of color who will be denied access to safe abortion. Amy Klobuchar reminded us that 75% of women want to protect Roe v. Wade.

This is a crucially important conversation that needs to continue throughout future debates. It also needs to be expanded to include questions beyond abortion access in the U.S. With Trump’s full-blown assault on reproductive rights, 2020 hopefuls will need robust strategies to protect reproductive freedom and advance abortion access in the United States and around the globe. At tonight’s debate, here’s what we want candidates to commit to:

Repealing the Helms Amendment

Since 1973, the Helms Amendment has been used to ban U.S. foreign assistance funds from providing safe abortion. Meanwhile, up to 31,000 people die each year from unsafe abortions. We want to hear that repealing this policy will be a top priority of our next president. Join us in demanding that candidates vow to #EndHelms.

Ending the Global Gag Rule on day one

Trump’s Global Gag Rule prohibits any organization receiving U.S. global health funds from so much as mentioning the word abortion. This devastating policy has caused a public health crisis around the world, eliminating access to crucial reproductive health care. Join us in calling on candidates to #Fight4HER by promising to #EndGlobalGag on day one in office.

Restore funding to UNFPA and support a robust investment in international family planning

We know that investments in family planning and reproductive health programs save lives. We want to hear that our next president will restore funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and support a greater bilateral investment in international family planning programs to ensure that every person around the world has access to comprehensive reproductive health care.

We cannot allow another four years of attacks on reproductive health and rights. Join us in calling on candidates to share their plans to stand up for global reproductive freedom!


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