Last month, presidential candidate and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker unveiled details of a sweeping plan to protect abortion rights at the national level, should he be elected president in 2020. To begin with, Booker says that he would create a White House Office of Reproductive Freedom on “day one” as president.
This office would be “charged with coordinating and affirmatively advancing abortion rights and access to reproductive health.” Booker also says the office would address “all barriers to full reproductive freedom, including access to transportation, paid leave, maternal health care and education.”
Booker’s plan, which was formulated as a direct response to the Trump administration’s attempts to curtail reproductive rights, would also guarantee employer-based contraceptive care coverage and reverse restrictions on providing Title X funding for groups such as Planned Parenthood. Furthermore, the plan also calls for a repeal of the Hyde amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortion services. Booker’s fellow Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, meanwhile, has recently flip-flopped on his stance on the Hyde Amendment.
In addition to offering new protections for abortion rights, the plan also calls for improved sex education in American schools and the implementation of new guidelines for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. Finally, Booker’s plan would end the Mexico City policy—also known as the global gag rule—which blocks US funding to international NGOs that provide family planning services.
“My goal with these actions isn’t just to undo the damage the Trump administration and Republican state legislatures and governors have caused, but to affirmatively advance reproductive rights and expand access to reproductive care for all,” said Sen. Booker in a statement following his announcement.
With Cory Booker leading the charge, it will be interesting to see how other Democratic presidential candidates address reproductive health issues in their own campaigns. Stay tuned—election season has only just begun.