Last night during the fifth Democratic debate, #Fight4HER activists across the country were on the lookout for a robust conversation on candidates’ plans to defend reproductive rights and expand access to abortion.
After nearly two hours of debate on issues including health care, impeachment, foreign policy, paid family leave, and climate change, plus Tulsi Gabbard’s sparring matches with Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg, we finally got to hear from a few candidates:
- Amy Klobuchar reiterated her support to codify Roe v. Wade into law, a stance that all 2020 democratic candidates support.
- Bernie Sanders called on men to take up the fight for reproductive rights.
- Cory Booker rightfully pointed out that the attacks on abortion rights are tied together with voter suppression of black communities.
- When asked if there is room in the Democratic Party for people like Louisiana’s Governor John Bel Edwards—a man who implemented one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country—(spoiler alert: there’s not!) Elizabeth Warren responded:
“I believe abortion rights are human rights. I believe that they are also economic rights. And protecting the right of a woman to be able to make decisions about her own body is fundamentally what we do and what we stand for as the Democratic Party.”
From Arizona to Ohio to North Carolina, #Fight4HER activists came together at debate watch parties to hear about the issues that matter to them: ending the Global Gag Rule, repealing the Helms Amendment, and ensuring access to reproductive health care for people in the U.S. and across the globe. While we heard a lot of talk about abortion rights, we heard very little about real policy plans to ensure abortion access in America, and absolutely nothing on plans to reverse Trump’s legacy that has devastated access to reproductive health care around the world.
There is too much at stake in 2020. We are thrilled that abortion is a part of the Democratic debates, but we want to hear more than candidates’ support for abortion rights. We need to know their concrete plans for addressing growing attacks on access to comprehensive reproductive health care, both in the U.S. and around the world.