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Michigan 2018 Race

Election Date: 
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Senate Candidates

  • Debbie Stabenow (D), Incumbent, Endorsed
  • John James (R)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D)

A defender of access to health coverage, reproductive health care, and birth control.

Being a woman shouldn’t be a pre-existing condition. #StandwithPP

— Debbie Stabenow

Source: Twitter

Since joining the United States Senate, Debbie Stabenow has been steadfast in her support of Michiganders’ access to health care. She has stood with Planned Parenthood patients against the unfounded attacks of ideologues, and has worked hard to ensure that her constituents — and all Americans — have access to affordable health coverage, including guaranteed birth control coverage and the full range of health care options they might need.

Why We Support Debbie Stabenow

  • She’s voted against efforts to “defund” Planned Parenthood.

  • She sponsored legislation to block Trump’s rollback of birth control coverage.

  • Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, she’s remained committed to expanding Americans’ access to health care, voting time and time again to protect health care for millions of Americans.

Debbie Stabenow on the Issues:


Stabenow has fought to protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions. She’s been a consistent opponent of the global gag rule — a dangerous policy that excludes groups that provide abortion counseling, referrals, or services, or advocate for safe and legal abortion from U.S.-funded family planning projects, resulting in lost access to care for some of the world’s most vulnerable women. Stabenow supported legislation in 2017 to permanently repeal the global gag rule, joining a bipartisan group of senators to prevent the abrogation of health care providers’ right to provide lifesaving advice to their patients.

Stabenow also spoke out when the Trump administration proposed its Title X gag rule for health providers working in the United States, joining other senators in denouncing the harmful effect this extreme policy could have on some of America’s most vulnerable women. In early 2018, she voted to block consideration of a 20-week abortion ban that would have impeded women’s right to make decisions, with their providers, about their own health care.

Birth Control

Protecting and expanding access to contraception has been a focal point of Stabenow’s work in Congress. During the later years of the Obama administration, she pressed for a bill to guarantee affordable access to forms of birth control approved for over-the-counter use. As a member of the House of Representatives, Stabenow backed legislation to guarantee contraceptive coverage for federal employees. When the Trump administration attacked the mandate to provide birth control coverage guarantee, Stabenow took swift action and co-sponsored a measure to block employers from refusing to cover contraception in their health insurance plans.

Protecting Planned Parenthood Patients

Stabenow has been a strong voice in countering ideologues’ efforts to block patients’ access to Planned Parenthood. In a 2011 interview with MSNBC, she said in response to attacks on Planned Parenthood that “what we’re talking about are cancer screenings, breast cancer screenings. Blood pressure checks. Those things that allow women to have the health care they need.” Stabenow also rejected attempts to “defund” Planned Parenthood, and block patients from accessing care, after ideologues released deceptive videos in 2015.

Health Care Access

Making health care affordable and accessible has been a longtime legislative priority for Stabenow. She voted to pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA), enabling 600,000 Michiganders without health insurance to obtain coverage by 2016. She voted no on multiple attempts in the current term of Congress to repeal the ACA and also brought forward a proposal to expand access to Medicare to people as young as 55.

Women’s health has drawn specific attention from Stabenow; the senator has advanced proposals that would establish health equity for women and examine possible improvements in health services for women in the military.

Health Equity for All

Gender pay disparities can hinder the ability of women in the workforce to cover health care costs for themselves and their families. Stabenow has fought to end such inequities by backing the Equal Pay Act and Paycheck Fairness Act. Stabenow has also fought for justice and equitable outcomes for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault by overcoming ideologues to renew the Violence Against Women Act in 2013.

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