by Kelvey Vander Hart
The New York Times recently polled the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates on the topic of abortion. The results should be of grave concern for the pro-life movement.
The survey was completed by Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Joe Sestak, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang. Steve Bullock, Julián Castro, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, and Kamala Harris did not complete the survey — their answers were pulled from previous plans and remarks. Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick were not in the race when polling was conducted.
While the survey covered many components of the abortion debate, three key pieces deserve to be highlighted: codifying Roe v. Wade into law, eliminating the Hyde Amendment, and requiring pre-clearance on state abortion laws.
Codifying Roe v. Wade would protect abortion access as federal law, making it much more difficult to reverse the decision in the future. All polled candidates support codifying the decision, with Mayor Pete Buttigieg stating: “If we do not have the majorities necessary in the United States Congress to strengthen Roe v. Wade and abortion access at the federal level, I will use the power and influence of the presidency to work with state legislators.”
The candidates also all support the elimination of the Hyde Amendment. This amendment bars the use of federal funding used to pay for abortions in almost all circumstances. Removing this amendment would allow groups like Planned Parenthood to put federal dollars toward abortions.
Finally, several of the candidates (excluding Biden, Bullock, Castro, Delaney, Gabbard, Sestak, and Yang) support some form federal pre-clearance on state abortion laws. This means that before a pro-life bill could be passed within a state, it would have to be cleared through a federal system or standard of some sort. Not only would this limit what legislation could be passed, it would inhibit states’ rights.
On the topic of abortion laws in the states, Joe Biden’s campaign commented: “Biden’s Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate the constitutional right to an abortion, such as so-called TRAP laws, parental notification requirements, mandatory waiting periods and ultrasound requirements.”
Pro-lifers should take the time to read through the survey results in their entirety — the comments are sobering and show everything that our movement has to lose in 2020.
Photo credit: Jordan Uhl via Flickr, CC BY 2.0