Bernie 2020

March 7, 2020

NEWS: Bernie 2020 Releases Reproductive Health Care and Justice for All Plan

Plan Ensures Universal, Affordable Access to Reproductive Health Care and a Comprehensive Action Plan to End Crisis of Black Maternal Mortality

WASHINGTON – Today, Bernie Sanders released a major tenet of his presidential platform: Reproductive Health Care and Justice for All. The latest policy plan builds on the Senator’s wide-ranging agenda for quality and affordable health care for all people. The plan centers on two primary prongs -- ensuring universal and affordable access to reproductive health care, and a comprehensive action plan to address the crisis of maternal mortality in communities of color across the country.

“There has been no time in the history of this country when women, especially Black women, have had the reproductive freedom and justice that they deserve. In my administration, that will finally change,” said Senator Bernie Sanders. “We must once and for all put an end to the unacceptable crisis of Black maternal mortality, and ensure every woman in this country -- no matter where they’re from -- has the basic right to quality healthcare.”

Sen. Sanders continued, “When I am in the White House, we will fight back against the Republican assault on abortion rights across this country and defend a woman’s fundamental right to control her own body. As President, there will be no doubt that in the United States of America, abortion is a constitutional right. Period.”

The Reproductive Health Care and Justice for All plan reflects the fact that issues of justice must be addressed holistically and intersectionally. The plan will be implemented in tandem with a comprehensive, progressive agenda to end racial disparities in our economic, criminal justice, environmental, education, and health care systems. 

The full and detailed plan can be found here. The following is a summary of key policies and action items as part of Reproductive Health Care and Justice for All.

As President, Bernie Sanders will:

  • Use executive authority to reverse President Trump’s anti-choice actions.
  • Codify Roe v. Wade in legislative statute, require all judicial nominees to support Roe v. Wade as settled law, and require preclearance for state abortion laws to ensure that state laws do not impose undue restrictions and barriers for abortion services.
  • Protect and expand funding for Planned Parenthood, and repeal the Hyde and Helms Amendments.
  • Ban state Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws that put undue and unnecessary burdens and regulations on doctors who provide abortion services with the goal of restricting access.
  • Ensure anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers do not receive federal funds.
  • Ensure that all communities have access to nearby abortion care.
  • Make birth control available over-the-counter, in addition to free under Medicare for All.
  • Ban ineffective abstinence-only sex education.
  • Increase access to and funding for reproductive services and facilities in communities of color, eliminate “contraceptive deserts,” and increase funding to hospitals where Black mothers and parents receive care.
  • Work with women of color-led community organizations to develop and coordinate policy. 
  • Educate health care providers and medical school students on providing culturally competent care.
  • Ban discrimination by health care providers, and provide a right of action for patients discriminated against.
  • Establish standard protocols to rapidly address postpartum hemorrhage, a leading cause of maternal mortality in Black women.
  • Require hospitals that receive federal funding to hire culturally competent care liaisons to field complaints, and provide training to all labor and delivery staff, including nurses, doctors, and clerks.
  • Ensure there are sufficient OBGYN physicians, midwives, lactation consultants and doulas in medically underserved communities of color.
  • Create and expand programs for Black maternal mortality liaisons, patient advocates, care coordinators, and social workers at hospitals serving at-risk women of color.
  • Expand the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program for pregnant mothers, infants, and children. 

Bernie 2020
March 6, 2020

ICYMI: Bernie Sanders Compares Track Record on Reproductive Rights with Joe Biden’s

WASHINGTON – On Friday, Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his commitment to protecting and expanding women’s reproductive freedoms as President. Speaking to members of the media prior to a rally, Senator Sanders contrasted his record to that of Joe Biden’s when it comes to standing with women in the fight for fundamental rights. The comments followed the Senator’s remarks at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona on Thursday evening, during which the Senator spoke about the dramatically divergent records of the two remaining candidates on the issue of reproductive justice.
In his remarks on Friday morning, Senator Sanders said:

“On these issues, especially at a time when women are under severe political assault -- in Congress, in the Supreme Court, in state governments all over this country where people are determined to try to take away a woman’s right to control her own body -- I think people all over this country, women and men, are going to look at the record of which candidate has been consistent and strong in terms of defending a woman’s right to choose.
On this issue, Joe Biden repeatedly voted for the Hyde Amendment. And the Hyde Amendment is an amendment which would deny lower income women access to Medicaid funds in order to make their own reproductive decisions. I am very proud to say that I have a lifetime voting record in support of a woman’s right to control her own body."

Watch the clip here.

Comparing the Record on Reproductive Rights:

The facts are clear: Joe Biden has for decades voted to defund Planned Parenthood, criminalize abortion and undermine women's right to choose. Even when it wasn't popular, Bernie Sanders has never wavered. His record shows he's been an unflinching ally of women and their fundamental rights for decades.

Bernie v. Biden on the Hyde Amendment:

  • Joe Biden has supported the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortion under programs like Medicaid, as recently as June of 2019. Not only did he vote for it, he wrote a letter in reference to the Hyde Amendment alleging that it "will protect both the woman and her unborn child."
  • In 2006, Biden himself declared that he had "made the groups, the women's groups and others, very angry because I won't support public funding and I won't support partial birth abortion."
  • Biden himself has bragged about his record of voting against federally funded abortion care: "As you may know, I have consistently -- on no fewer than 50 occasions -- voted against federal funding on abortion."
  • Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has repeatedly voted against the Hyde Amendment and again committed to its repeal in 2016.
  • In 2019, while Joe Biden was supporting the Hyde Amendment, Bernie Sanders was reintroducing Medicare for All legislation that would overturn the Hyde Amendment and provide federally financed comprehensive reproductive health care for all women, regardless of income or immigration status. The bill, originally introduced in 2017, was described as "a huge win for the abortions rights movement" and praised by President of NARAL Pro-Choice America as "a great moment for the abortion rights movement and a great moment for the progressive movement writ large."
Bernie v. Biden on Roe v. Wade:

  • Biden voted for the Partial Birth Abortion Act of 2003: the New York Times reported that the legislation would "overturn Roe v. Wade by criminalizing the most common procedures after the first trimester."
  • In the 1970s and 1980s, while Joe Biden was declaring, "I don't think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body," and voting for a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade, Bernie Sanders was definitely pro-choice. In 1972, Sanders criticized male politicians who "think that they have the right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body." Sanders criticized proposals restricting abortion, saying "people should not be allowed to impose their sense of morality or religious feelings on people who hold a different opinion.” From 1992 through 2018, Sanders has recieved a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood a combined 32 times. Over that same period, the National Right to Life Committee has given Sanders a 0% rating at least 13 times.