2020 Issue Focus: Abortion

Who We Listen to on Abortion

Reproductive justice, rights and health organizations have long worked to protect abortion access. When we want to know if we’re getting it right on abortion, we look to health care providers and advocacy partners like Planned Parenthood and groups that support independent abortion providers, like Abortion Care Network. We recently partnered with NARAL, Planned Parenthood and others on a Stop the Bans national day of action. We also look to reproductive justice organizations like Sister Song and the National Network of Abortion Funds, organizations led by women of color like All* Above All & All* Above All Action Fund and the National Women’s Law Center, and many other national and state organizations who have been on the front lines of this fight for decades.

Why Abortion Matters for 2020

Outlawing abortion has long been a goal of the far right, and the movement has been strategically chipping away at reproductive autonomy for decades with state-level restrictions such as bans on insurance coverage and forced waiting periods. With the appointment of two illegitimate conservative justices to the Supreme Court, the constitutionally-guaranteed right to abortion is in jeopardy. Access to abortion has always out of reach for many—especially people of color, LGBTQ people, people that struggle to make ends meet and people living in rural areas—and these restrictions push access even further out of reach. Further, this year, far right legislators energized by changes to the Supreme Court banned abortion in states from Georgia to Ohio, before many people even know they’re pregnant.

As state legislatures have ramped up their attacks on abortion, Trump has increasingly included rhetorical attacks on abortion in his stump speeches. It’s clear that the Trump administration thinks abortion is a winning issue for them—and that President Trump will be spreading lies and misinformation on the campaign trail. Democrats have often fallen into a defensive crouch on abortion instead of boldly defending access to abortion. 2020 candidates need to speak fluidly on the topic, without falling into right-wing traps or opening up space for any kind of rollback of abortion rights. Abortion access isn’t a necessary evil—it’s a social good and routine medical careand candidates should speak about it accordingly.

What Candidates Should be Talking About on Abortion

  • The repeal of the Hyde Amendment for public insurance coverage of abortion

  • Legal, accessible abortion later in pregnancy

  • Federal legislation, such as the Women’s Health Protection Act and the EACH Woman Act, to ensure and protect abortion access in the face of state-level attacks

  • Moving beyond the choice framework to incorporate a reproductive justice lens: how income, race, gender, immigration status, zip code and more affect not only the ability to have an abortion when you need one, but also the ability to avoid pregnancy, to have a healthy pregnancy, and to parent safely and with dignity

  • Commitment to structural democracy reforms to protect abortion access, including strong, concrete court reform

Who’s Getting it Right on Abortion