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Democratic Presidential Candidates Promise to Expand Abortion at Planned Parenthood Forum

The political arm of Planned Parenthood recently sponsored a “We Decide” forum featuring the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. The membership forum was held in South Carolina and during the forum nearly every presidential candidate promised to protect abortion, with most of them promising to also end the Hyde Amendment.

It seems that broadening on existing abortion laws has become the new position of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. Each Democratic candidate acted as if they were in a contest with each other seeing who could outdo the other on coming up with more liberal abortion policy ideas. Here are a few notable quotes from the Planned Parenthood South Carolina membership forum:

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: “As president…I will codify Roe. I will repeal the Hyde Amendment.”

Senator Kamala Harris: “If elected, I am going to require that for any state that passes legislation… if they have a history of passing legislation that has interfered with or suppressed a woman’s access to reproductive health [abortion] that anything that they propose and pass has to be reviewed by my Department of Justice to determine whether it complies with the Constitution of the United States and Roe v. Wade….”

John Hickenlooper: Hickenlooper said he would “expand abortion,” basically referring to abortion as an “inalienable right.” He vowed to use government to stop “false information” from pro-life pregnancy centers so the information is “clear and based on science. How about we try science for a little bit?” he asked.

“If I’m president, you’re going to see a magnificent expansion of Title X funds to make sure that all women get access to their reproductive rights.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren:“We need to pass a federal law to make Roe v. Wade the rule of the law all across this country… making sure that Planned Parenthood… are everywhere and available to everyone.” 

Mayor Pete Buttigieg: “Planned Parenthood is a real beacon to a lot of people in my state…. I will appoint justice and judges who understand that freedom includes access to reproductive health and reproductive rights for women in this country….”

Mayor Bill de Blasio: “Can we just be clear that if you’re a Democrat, you’re against the Hyde Amendment, period?… No more Hyde Amendment, it’s over, that’s a part of our history…. We need to codify Roe v. Wade into federal law once and for all…”

Vice President Joe Biden: “First thing I would do as your president … I would codify Roe v. Wade as defined by Casey. It should be the law.” Biden also claimed, “Planned Parenthood, you are the ones who are providing for all of the healthcare for poor women in more ways that no one else has been able to do.”

Jay Inslee: “[W]e will get rid of the Hyde Amendment…. Everybody in the business of healthcare ought to provide reproductive services.”

Marianne Williamson: “This is a justice issue…” Quoting the Declaration of Independence, Williamson said, “All men…All humans have unalienable rights… Having reproductive choice is necessary for us to pursue happiness.”

John Delaney: “The first thing I’ll do [as president] is make sure that Planned Parenthood and other organizations… that people will be able to access that care [abortion.] The best way for us to do that is to create a universal health care system… including access to women’s health and abortion services.”

Julián Castro: “I’d be a president that champions reproductive health care… embracing a woman’s right to have an abortion…. I choose reproductive health care… for the people of America…. We’re going to appoint… judges who… understand the importance of upholding Roe v. Wade….”

Beto O’Rourke: “In 2021, in our administration, we’re going to live according to our values and our interests, to our foundational principle that we are all created equal, and to the 1973 decision Roe v. Wade, which is the settled law of the land as far as I’m concerned, for everyone.”

Senator Bernie Sanders: “If we’re going to talk about healthcare for all… yes, abortion rights are part of what Medicare for All is…. So, under our legislation, it repeals in a sense the Hyde Amendment and it guarantees everybody in the country comprehensive healthcare including reproductive rights and abortion rights….”

“… And, I know about these so-called pregnancy crisis centers, um, the antidote to that is to make sure that real healthcare centers are adequately funded…. and, Planned Parenthood… they do a very good job on sex education… and Planned Parenthood is giving honest advice to young people… and I congratulate Planned Parenthood for doing that as well….”

Andrew Yang: “First, I just want to thank everyone here for your activism… in protecting women’s reproductive rights… There’s so many people around the country who benefit from your work…. I want to say how grateful I am for what you do…. I don’t think male legislatures should have anything to do with making decisions about women’s reproductive rights. I actually feel self-conscious answering questions about it….”

Eric Swalwell: “As president I would only appoint justices that upheld the Roe decision…. I will be a president who negotiates up on this issue rather than down…. What we must do is repeal the discriminatory Hyde Amendment…. We should have free contraception in the United States across the board… and we also should expand sex education in America…. You’ll have a president who believes it’s a woman’s body, a woman’s choice….”

Cory Booker: “If I’m president of the United States one of the things I am going to do to lower costs is to make sure we fully fund organizations like Planned Parenthood…”

“I promise you as president of the United States I am going to fight to tear down the Hyde Amendment…”

Amy Klobuchar: “The first thing we need to do is to reverse the Hyde Amendment … The second thing we need to do … is to repeal the gag rule and make sure we fund Planned Parenthood … The third thing would be to codify Roe v. Wade.”

The entire event was live-streamed by NowThis. Watch the video below for the Democratic presidential candidates full comments.


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