Iowans Want to Know Where These Candidates Stand on Abortion: Campaign Week in Review

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Iowans Want to Know Where These Candidates Stand on Abortion: Campaign Week in Review

Dennis Carter

Presidential candidates' abortion rights stances are top of mind heading into Monday's Iowa Democratic caucuses, according to Google analytics.

Join Rewire.News for a weekly look at how reproductive health, rights, and justice issues are popping up on the 2020 campaign trail.

People in Iowa Are Researching 2020 Candidates’ Abortion Stances

Abortion and health care were the top 2020 election issues Googled by people in Iowa over the past week, as candidates for the Democratic nomination for president make a final appeal to voters before the February 3 Iowa caucuses.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, businessman Andrew Yang, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and billionaire activist Tom Steyer were the candidates whose abortion rights stance were searched the most over the past week, Axios reported. U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) were the candidates for whom health care was the top search on Google.

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Biden‘s position on abortion rights came into question last year when he went back and forth on the discriminatory Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortion except in rare circumstances. Eventually, Biden decided to oppose the anti-choice budget amendment. “If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s ZIP code,” Biden said in June, according to CNN.

The Democratic Party didn’t incorporate Hyde abolition into its official platform until the 2016 election

In a recent town hall, Buttigieg affirmed his support for abortion rights when an anti-choice activist asked him why Democrats don’t court voters opposed to abortion. He said last year he would back the expansion of medication abortion if elected as president, though he warned of the “unintended consequence of setting people up for a criminal investigation or even jail” since self-administered abortion has been outlawed in some states.

Yang’s reproductive rights platform is unabashedly pro-choice. He pledges to nominate federal judges who support abortion rights, codify Roe v. Wade protections into federal law, undo the Trump administration’s domestic and global “gag rules,” and repeal the Hyde Amendment.

Steyer on his campaign website said his administration would “fight for full reproductive justice.” At a Planned Parenthood Action Fund event in Iowa this week, Steyer said there’s “compromise on [reproductive justice]. There is no middle ground. We need to fight. This is a question of right and wrong.”

What Else We’re Reading 

NARAL President Ilyse Hogue told the Elite Daily she would listen to young people in determining how to defend and expand reproductive rights during the 2020 election cycle and beyond. “The whole idea of reproductive freedom and abortion access—as central to a conversation about how do we create gender equity—came from young people,” Hogue said in a report published this week. “Justice is a journey, it’s not a destination.”

Kaiser Family Foundation research published recently shows “small shares of Democrats (6%), independents (4%), and Republicans (7%) say reproductive health issues such as birth control and abortion are the most important issues for the 2020 presidential candidates to talk about.” Forty-three percent of respondents called abortion and contraception “very important” issues in the 2020 election, while 14 percent called reproductive health care “not important.” 

Wisconsin voters believe Sanders and Biden are the two Democratic candidates who could beat President Trump in the 2020 general election, a Marquette University Law School poll found.