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Where top 2020 Democrats stand on abortion policy

This image is a four-way split screen between Yang, Klobuchar, Harris, and Warren.
Yang, Klobuchar, Harris, and Warren. Photos: Josh Edelson/AFP, Zach Gibson, Scott Eisen, Nic Antaya for the Boston Globe via Getty Images.

2020 Democrats are pitching policy plans on reproductive health as the most restrictive abortion laws in generations work through the courts across America's red states and take aim at Roe v. Wade.

What they're saying: Even candidates without detailed policy plans on abortion or reproductive health care — like former Rep. Beto O'Rourke and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro — have spoken out against "fetal heartbeat bills" and abortion bans currently pending in state courts.

Candidates with policy plans for abortion:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden: He would support a congressional decision to codify abortion rights if it became necessary. He flipped on his previous support for the Hyde Amendment — which bans the use of federal funds for abortion with 3 exceptions: rape, incest and to save the life of the woman — and said he would repeal the Trump administration's gag rule on Title X, a federal grant program to provide comprehensive and confidential family planning and preventive health services.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren: She wants to codify Roe v. Wade, pass the Women's Health Protection Act to prevent states from limiting or blocking abortion access, repeal the Hyde Amendment, and end the Trump administration's gag rule on the family planning program known as Title X.
  • Sen. Cory Booker: Wants to codify Roe v. Wade, create a White House Office of Reproductive Freedom, ensure access to employer-covered contraceptive care, end the Trump administration's Title X gag rule, and nominate judges who would uphold reproductive rights in court.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders: He wants to fully fund Planned Parenthood and Title X if elected, and appoint federal judges who align with Roe v. Wade. Sanders has argued that his Medicare for All proposal would ensure "a woman’s right to control her own body by covering comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion."
  • Sen. Kamala Harris: If elected, she would require any state that wishes to implement abortion restrictions to pre-clear the laws with the Department of Justice. Under her plan, any new abortion laws "in a covered jurisdiction" would be illegal and unenforceable until the DOJ determined if they are compliant with the Women's Health Protection Act and Roe v. Wade.
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg: If elected, he would appoint judges who "understand that freedom includes access to reproductive health and reproductive rights for women..." He has also considered codifying Roe v. Wade, per AP. If elected, he would repeal the Hyde Amendment.
  • Former tech executive Andrew Yang: He says his proposed "Universal Basic Income" would help pregnant women who are struggling financially, which he lists as one of the "most effective ways to decrease the number of abortions" in the U.S. Yang believes that state requirements on abortion access "should be subject to oversight by a board of doctors." If elected, he would appoint judges that align with Roe v. Wade.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar: She said she will only appoint judges who support Roe v. Wade at a Planned Parenthood forum in June. Klobuchar wants to codify Roe v. Wade and repeal the Trump administration's gag rule on Title X.

Candidates who oppose abortion bans, but have no policies:

  • Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke: Described the Alabama abortion ban as "a radical attack on women." He said third-term abortions are "about women making decisions about their own body."
  • Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro: If elected, he would repeal the Hyde Amendment and "make abortion care available to all women—not just those who can afford it."

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Editor's note: This story has been updated to include more policy information.