Go to Content Go to Navigation Go to Navigation Go to Site Search Homepage

Reproductive Rights and Health Care Shamefully Excluded from Democratic Presidential Primary Debate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, February 25, 2020
CONTACT: Planned Parenthood Votes Media Office; 212-261-4433; [email protected]
Planned Parenthood Votes Pressroom

Abortion and reproductive rights ignored just days before the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a monumental abortion case 

Charleston, SC For the second debate in a row, Democratic presidential candidates were not asked about their plans to protect and expand reproductive health and rights. This key issue was completely missing from tonight’s debate in Charleston, South Carolina, just days before the South Carolina primary.

Tonight was the last presidential primary debate before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a monumental abortion case that could make the protections of Roe v. Wade virtually meaningless, paving the way for states to effectively ban abortion for more than 25 million people of reproductive age. It was also the last debate before Super Tuesday, when voters in 15 states and territories will cast their ballots, making the exclusion of reproductive rights from the debate tonight all the more shameful.

Statement from Jenny Lawson, executive director, Planned Parenthood Votes:

“We are days away from the Supreme Court hearing arguments in a case that could threaten abortion access for 25 million people in this country. If there were any moment to hear from the presidential candidates about how they will protect the reproductive health care and rights that are in such dire jeopardy, it is now. The real losers of tonight’s debate are the voters who were denied the chance to hear how their candidates will fight for their right to make their own health care decisions. We have to do better."

Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations will make a historic investment of at least $45 million in key battleground states during the 2020 cycle. In October, Planned Parenthood Votes released a new “Candidate Spotlight” tool that details the presidential candidates’ stances on birth control, abortion access, reproductive health care, and more.

In November, elections in Virginia and Kentucky proved that voters are tired of fear-mongering and misleading rhetoric about abortion, and are excited to cast their ballots for champions of reproductive freedom.

Background: Reproductive health is a top issue for voters in the 2020 election — and has been a winning issue for candidates.


Planned Parenthood Votes is an independent expenditure political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission.