Many candidates have already jumped into the 2020 Presidential Race so far, with experience in both the public and the private sectors. AUL Action will be tracking them this campaign season on the abortion issue. Every day, it seems more and more candidates are jumping into the race. So, what do they think about abortion?
President Donald J. Trump
President Donald J. Trump has made clear his views on abortion, stating on multiple occasions that he is pro-life:
“I will always protect the first right in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life.” – March for Life, January 2019
“Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, and that is the right to life.” – March for Life, January 2018
“With what [Hillary Clinton] is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby. Now you can say that that’s okay, and Hillary can say that that’s okay, but it’s not okay with me.” – Presidential Debate, October 2016
“I’m pro-life” – CNN, June 2015
“I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for.” – Meet the Press, October 1999
President Trump signed a presidential proclamation in January 2019 informing Congress that he will veto any legislation that weakens existing Federal protections for human life.
Senator Michael Bennet
Senator Michael Bennet has a 100% lifetime rating from Planned Parenthood Action, an has joined many of his colleagues, also running for president, in voting against a bill that would stop infanticide.
In the past, Bennet has voted to spend federal funds on health plans that pay for abortion on demand and voted against a bill to require an abortionist to notify at least one parent before performing an abortion on a minor girl from another state.
Bennet recently voted against passage of a budget reconciliation bill (H.R. 3762) that would defund Planned Parenthood.
Joe Biden, Fmr. Vice President of the United States
Vice President Biden has changed his position on abortion throughout the years.
When he first started his career, Biden began as a social conservative, who said that Roe v. Wade “went too far.”
for almost a decade in Congress, his votes substantiated this pro-life stance. in 1981, Biden proposed the “Biden Amendment,” barring US aid from being used for biomedical research related to abortions.
Biden was one of the only two Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote for the adoption of that year’s “Hatch Amendment,” which would effectively overturn Roe v. Wade by letting either states or Congress decide the question of abortion.
By the 1990s, Joe Biden fought against a “litmus test” on Supreme Court nominees about abortion. However, by the end of the decade, Biden began to vote more and more for pro-abortion bills, earning him good ratings from pro-abortion groups.
In Biden’s 2007 memoir, he wrote that he “stuck to my middle-of-the-road position on abortion for more than thirty years.”
Also in 2007, Biden stated that his new position on abortion was that he “will not vote to curtail a woman’s right to choose abortion.”
In 2012, Biden compared abortion to a life-saving operation, saying “Our daughters and our granddaughters are entitled to every single solitary operation, every single solitary opportunity.”
Senator Cory Booker
Senator Cory Booker is quite open about his abortion views, with his voting record in the Senate reflecting it. Booker voted against allowing debate on 2018’s “Pain-Capable Unborn Chil Protection Act,” which would have restricted late-term abortion access.
Booker has made multiple statements about the issue of abortion:
“We must be vigilant in protecting a woman’s right to choose.” – Twitter, January 2019
“I oppose the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Supreme Court’s dramatic break from precedent in upholding it.” – Planned Parenthood Endorsement Memo, 2013
On February 25, 2019, Senator Booker voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, requiring appropriate care and admission to a hospital for children who survive abortions.
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Although Mayor Buttigieg does not have a
After announcing his 2020 presidential campaign, Buttigieg made these comments on abortion:
“You’re not free if your reproductive choices are being dictated by male politicians in Washington.” – March 24, 2019
“I don’t think we need more restrictions right now. And, you know, what I’ve learned in Indiana, being in a place where a lot of my friends, a lot of my supporters even, come from a different place than I do, being pro-choice, I just believe that when a woman is in that situation, and when we’re talking about some of those situations covered by that law – extremely difficult, painful, often medically serious situations where life or health of the mother is at stake – the involvement of a male government official like me is not helpful.” – MSNBC’s Morning Joe, February 2019
with “I’m from Indiana, so I have a lot of friends and supporters who don’t share my views on choice. I understand that it’s an intensely felt and very personal issue for a lot of people. But there is no decision more personal for a lot of women than this one. I believe that a male government official like me does not belong in the middle of decisions that are best left to women and their doctors.” – Fox News, February 2019
In his formal presidential announcement speech on April 14, 2019, Buttigieg suggested that abortion is freedom, repeating a quote he previously said verbatim in March, “You’re not free if your reproductive health choices are dictated by male politicians in Washington.”
At a May 19, 2019, Fox News town hall, Buttigieg once again re-affirmed his abortion up-to-birth stance, when asked if he is for abortion “at any point in pregnancy — whether it’s at six weeks or eight weeks or 24 weeks or whenever.” Buttigieg said, “I trust women to draw the line.”
Julián Castro was also one of the early movers to throw his hat into the ring for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination, and his past reflects very pro-abortion stances.
In 2013, Castro rallied with Wendy Davis, a former Texas state senator at the Texas capitol in favor of abortion rights, saying “We are going to be a strong voice of support for you (senators) and for Planned Parenthood.”
Castro also quipped in a 2012 New York Times Magazine article about his disagreement with the Pope on abortion, saying, “We disagree on this, the pope and I.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
Mayor Bill de Blasio has consistently been pro-abortion. In 2013, in response to a pro-life Senate bill, he tweeted “Extreme bill to restrict abortion access just introduced in US Senate. Join me in demanding Congress stop playing politics w women’s health.”
In response to a pro-life bill passing in Alabama, de Blasio tweeted “99 years in prison for providing an abortion. No exception for rape or incest. Alabama’s vile and illegal abortion ban is an attack on women in all 50 states. This is what the radical right is using to strike down Roe v. Wade. We’re in the fight of our lives and can’t back down.”
Mayor de Blasio defended New York’s “Reproductive Health Act,” calling pro-lifers “extremists” for opposing it.
U.S. Rep. John Delaney
Representative John Delaney’s abortion stance is pro-abortion, however, he has backtracked on occasion, citing his Catholic faith as a delineating factor in his beliefs.
In 2012, when Delaney was first running for Congress, he stated in a debate that he “supports a woman’s right to have an abortion.”
However, thick into Delaney’s run for President, when asked about the abortion issue on MSNBC, he defected, saying, “Personally, my wife and I would follow the teachings of our church. We’re active Catholics. So the decision I make personally is different than the decision that I think I should be implying for the citizens of this county.”
When pressed on the issue of late-term abortion, Delaney replied, “it all
Historically though, Delaney has been rated 100% by Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Representative Tulsi Gabbard reportedly “used to be pro-life,” but her Planned Parenthood voting record shows her with a 100% voting record in Congress.
In January 2019, the same month as her announcement for President, she issued a statement on the 40th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision, saying, “now more than ever, we must remain steadfast in our defense of a woman’s right to choose.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been consistently pro-abortion throughout her tenure in both chambers of Congress. However, her time in the Senate has been much more active with the issue, especially in recent years.
Gillibrand vehemently opposed the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, chanting to a crowd that “women are going to die” if Kavanaugh’s nomination goes through. So, far, that has proven false.
Gillibrand’s Senate tenure has shown her committment to Planned Parenthood, standing against pro-life senators looking to defund the abortion giant. In her 2015 floor speech, she declared, “We cannot, and we will not, defund Planned Parenthood.”
The New York Senator has also introduced legislation to let women in uniform get abortions on demand, and voted against 20-week abortion restrictions, saying A 20-week abortion ban could prevent women with high-risk pregnancies from receiving the care that they desperately need.”
Kirsten Gillibrand’s Senate website displays a quote by her reading ” I will always protect a woman’s right to choose—no matter what.”
On February 25, 2019, Senator Gillibrand voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, requiring appropriate care and admission to a hospital for children who survive abortions.
Senator Kamala Harris
Senator Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign is seemingly laser-focused on the abortion issue, Harris telling the crowd during her announcement, “I’m running to fight for an America … Where reproductive rights are not just protected by the Constitution of the United States but guaranteed in every state.”
Harris has earned herself a 100% rating by NARAL because of her staunch pro-abortion views.
She joined the fight against a 20-week abortion restriction bill, calling it “immoral,” and actively fought Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, stating the hypothetical that a “young woman who got pregnant at 15 is forced to give birth or in desperation go to a back alley for an abortion.” in her Senate Judiciary Committee remarks.
During Harris’ Senate campaign, while still in her previous role of California Attorney General, she used her law enforcement powers to search and seize
On February 25, 2019, Senator Harris voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, requiring appropriate care and admission to a hospital for children who survive abortions.
Fmr. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
Governor Hickenlooper supports limitless abortion, however, abortion “has never been a defining issue for him.” He is a supporter of Planned Parenthood, who endorsed him for both his gubernatorial campaigns.
In speculation of a 2020 presidential run, Hickenlooper told a crowd of Colorado Democrats that he could never run on a unity ticket with former Ohio Governor John Kasich because the Republican doesn’t support Planned Parenthood.
Fmr. Washington Governor Jay Inslee
Governor Inslee, like many of his fellow gubernatorial contenders for the presidency, supports limitless abortion. He opposed the Trump Administration’s decision to prohibit Title X dollars from going to abortion and referring patients to abortion clinics.
In 2016, Both Planned Parenthood and NARAL have praised Inslee, citing his record of supporting abortion rights. In a press release responding to the praise, he called abortion a “basic right,” and stated that he would fight to keep Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics government-funded.
Senator Amy Klobuchar
Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar has a 100% NARAL voting record, as well as a 100% record from Planned Parenthood Action. She publicly supports abortion rights, calling it a decision which must be made “between a woman and her doctor.”
On February 25, 2019, Senator Klobuchar voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, requiring appropriate care and admission to a hospital for children who survive abortions.
Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam
Mayor Wayne Messam is a supporter of abortion up-to-birth, stating on his website, “I trust women to make their own decisions when it comes to their health. Period.”
In a May 15, 2019 tweet responding to a pro-life Alabama law, Messam tweeted, “A woman’s right to reproductive choice is settled law. This is an incredibly difficult decision for a woman and her family. If a medical professional believes a procedure like this is necessary, then the government should not intervene.”
U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton
Massachusetts’s Seth Moulton is consistently pro-abortion, earning 100% approval ratings from NARAL and Planned Parenthood Action.
He made his stance known in 2014, saying, “I believe fundamentally in a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, and I do not believe the government should come between a woman and her doctor.”
In 2017, Moulton cosponsored a pro-abortion bill legalizing abortion up-to-birth for any reason.
Moulton also failed to speak out about Speaker Nancy Pelosi blocking a vote on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill which would protect infant survivors of botched abortions.
Fmr. U.S. Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke
Texas’ “Beto” O’Rourke has 100% scorecard ratings from Planned Parenthood Action and NARAL. O’Rourke is publicly “pro-abortion rights.”
While in Congress, he voted against a resolution to cut off abortion after 20 weeks, urged President Obama to fund abortions in foreign countries through American foreign aid, and voted against a bill which would reinstate the federal ban on taxpayer dollars being used for abortions.
During O’Rourke’s unsuccessful 2018 run for the U.S. Senate, O’rourke rarely addressed the abortion issue, however, he did reaffirm on the campaign trail, when pressed by constituents his views. He answered, “I believe in a woman’s choice,” when asked by a woman at one of his rallies about the issue.
On March 18, 2019, O’Rourke was asked whether he is “for or against third-trimester abortion.” He replied, “The question is about abortion and reproductive rights. And, my answer to you is, that should be a decision the woman makes. I trust her.”
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan
Ohio’s Tim Ryan formerly claimed to be “pro-life,” until around 2015, when he wrote an op-ed, announcing he changed his mind.
Now, Ryan claims that there are “too many scenarios, too many variables and too much complexity for pregnancy to be anything but a personal decision.” Ryan believes the decision to have an abortion, no matter how late in the pregnancy, should be the decision of “women and families — not politicians.”
Senator Bernard “Bernie” Sanders
Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, like many in the 2020 ring, has a 100% pro-abortion voting scorecard from NARAL and Planned Parenthood
Most recently, on the nomination of the Honorable Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, he called Justice Kavanaugh “right-wing,” and “reactionary.”
Previously, Sanders stated that President Donald J. Trump’s nomination of the Honorable Neil M. Gorsuch to the Court would put abortion rights “in jeopardy.”
Sanders also opposes President Trump’s reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, barring U.S. foreign aid to entities that perform abortions.
Historically, Sanders has referred to abortion as an “economic issue,” and favored unrestricted abortion, citing “a woman’s right to choose.”
On February 25, 2019, Senator Sanders voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, requiring appropriate care and admission to a hospital for children who survive abortions.
At a Fox News town hall on April 15, 2019, Sanders responded to the question of his support for abortion-up-to-birth, to which he replied: “I think that happens very, very rarely and I think this is being made into a political issue.”
U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell
Swallwell stated, “I am 100% pro-choice and support the right of women to have full access to contraception and reproductive health services,” meaning he endorses abortion for any reason up to the date of birth.
On a 2013 floor vote for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, Swalwell uploaded a video on a social media app, showing him pushing the “No” button repeatedly, with the caption, “When House @GOP try to roll back health protections for women, this is how I vote. #WaronWomen.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Senator Elizabeth Warren is firm on her pro-abortion stances, even stating in a Marie Claire op-ed that she believes “getting an abortion is safer than getting your tonsils out.”
Senator Warren, like many of her fellow
On February 25, 2019, Senator Warren voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, requiring appropriate care and admission to a hospital for children who survive abortions.
Fmr. Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld
Governor Weld is firmly pro-abortion. As governor of Massachusetts, he introduced a bill to make getting an abortion easier, and to repeal the law Massachusetts had on its books putting protections on abortion.
Weld’s pro-abortion stance can be traced back to the 1990s when he first ran for governor. As the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential nominee, he supported then-presidential nominee Gary Johnson’s views of limitless abortion.
Marianne Williamson has no political experience but has made clear her stance on the abortion issues.
In an interview with the Washington Post, she told them she “favors abortion rights, but believes allowing a late-term abortion only to address the woman’s mental health would be too permissive.”
“Mental health, that would be problematic for me – Because mental health can be so broadly defined,” Williamson said.
Another lesser-known contender for the presidency is Andrew Yang, who has also made clear his stance on abortion.
On Yang’s website, his official position reads as follows: “Access to safe and affordable abortion services should also be provided to all Americans. Requirements placed by individual states on access should be subject to oversight by a board of doctors, not the whims of legislators who have no background on the procedure or even the basics of medicine.”
Yang is quoted on the site as saying, “Whether to have a child is an
As more candidates announce, AUL Action will update their abortion stances here.