2020 Democrats say it’s time to end the Hyde Amendment at Planned Parenthood forum

2020 Democrats say it’s time to end the Hyde Amendment at Planned Parenthood forum
20 Democratic presidential hopefuls declared their support for abortion rights, Saturday, during the Planned Parenthood "We Decide" Forum at USC’s Alumni Center. (Source: WIS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - During Saturday’s Planned Parenthood “We Decide” Forum at USC’s Alumni Center, 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls declared their support for abortion rights.

Pro-choice advocates said reproductive rights are under assault across the country. Nearly every 2020 contender was there to not only speak out against the wave of new abortion bans across the U.S. but also share their strategies to stop what they see as an attack on abortion rights.

The candidates who spoke during the forum include:

  • Senator Michael Bennet
  • Vice President Joe Biden
  • Senator Cory Booker
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio
  • Secretary Julián Castro
  • Congressman John Delaney
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
  • Senator Kamala Harris
  • Governor John Hickenlooper
  • Governor Jay Inslee
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar
  • Congressman Seth Moulton
  • Congressman Beto O'Rourke
  • Congressman Tim Ryan
  • Senator Bernie Sanders
  • Congressman Eric Swalwell
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren
  • Marianne Williamson
  • Andrew Yang

All of the participating candidates were given the same amount of time to answer questions from the panel and audience members — all surrounding their visions to expand access to reproductive health care. This all happened in a room full of about 800 Planned Parenthood Action Fund members, a group which considers its support critical to anyone aiming for the White House. They said abortion access will be a key issue for the 2020 election. Event organizers worked to emphasize that point to the candidates through the personal stories shared by audience members during Saturday’s forum.

"I had a new baby at home already and having another child meant facing my third c-section in four years and risking preeclampsia again,” one woman said as she remembered her experience. “I was desperate not to have that experience. So desperate, that I tried to end my pregnancy by throwing myself down the stairs and drinking until I threw up."

“I remember choosing not to become a mom, but I know that my choice was only real because I had access and I had information," said another woman who spoke during Senator Kamala Harris’ time on stage, "and frankly, as you noted that’s not the reality for far too many people in this country. I personally believe that abortion should be free, on demand and accessible to all people all the time.”

Many, if not all, of the candidates who spoke Saturday say there are two important steps that need to happen in the fight to protect abortion rights. That’s to get rid of the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. Several candidates also say it’s time to make Roe v. Wade federal law.

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