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

Detroit, MI — In response to the deafening silence on reproductive rights issues during the second Democratic debate in Detroit, Michigan, Planned Parenthood Action Fund released the following statement.

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, Acting President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

Tonight, voters missed an opportunity to hear how Democratic candidates will approach a fundamental issue that impacts their lives. Candidates spent more than 30 minutes debating health care, but it's meaningless if we cannot access it. In nearly three hours of a debate, there was not one question on abortion access or reproductive health care—despite the fact that the Trump administration is actively trying to dismantle our nation’s program for affordable birth control with a gag rule. The ability to access abortion and other reproductive health care is key to our health and our futures, and is under grave threat under the Trump administration. Right here, in Michigan, Planned Parenthood serves 70 percent of all Title X patients, yet the Trump administration’s gag rule would prevent all of those patients from getting the birth control and cancer screenings they need. As the American people make decisions about their 2020 vote, they deserve to hear about the candidates’ visions for how they will protect and expand access to abortion. Planned Parenthood Action Fund calls on the Democratic National Committee and CNN to ensure that efforts to protect abortion access are an essential part of the discussion during the tomorrow night’s debate.

Over the last three years, the Trump-Pence administration has waged an all out assault on sexual and reproductive health care, including trying to dismantle nation's program for affordable birth control, allowing employers to control whether workers have access to birth control, stacking the courts with anti-abortion judges, eliminating protections for survivors of sexual assault, an attempt to eliminate the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, and endless attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

The Trump administration has released an unethical gag rule on the Title X program—the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care that serves four million people each year. The rule would make it illegal for providers to refer their patients for abortion, even if that patient asks for the referral. It would also put in place restrictions meant to block patients from coming to Planned Parenthood health centers for care, even though Planned Parenthood serves 40 percent of all patients in the Title X program. In some states, such as Michigan, Planned Parenthood serves an even greater percentage of the Title X patients. In Detroit, where tonight’s debate took place, Planned Parenthood is the only Title X health center in the entire city.

Abortion access is a “key issue for the 2020 elections” — that’s why twenty 2020 presidential candidates offered their visions for greater abortion access and expanding reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s We Decide forum. A record-high 77 percent of Americans say they do not want to see Roe overturned, and there is no state in this country where banning abortion is popular.

This matters in early primary states: A recent CNN poll of likely Iowa Democratic caucus participants showed that support for abortion rights is the top issue for voters, with eight in 10 voters calling it a “must have,” including 85 percent of women. 


Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.


This website uses cookies

Planned Parenthood cares about your data privacy. We and our third-party vendors use cookies and other tools to collect, store, monitor, and analyze information about your interaction with our site to improve performance, analyze your use of our sites and assist in our marketing efforts. You may opt out of the use of these cookies and other tools at any time by visiting Cookie Settings. By clicking “Allow All Cookies” you consent to our collection and use of such data, and our Terms of Use. For more information, see our Privacy Notice.

Cookie Settings

Planned Parenthood cares about your data privacy. We and our third-party vendors, use cookies, pixels, and other tracking technologies to collect, store, monitor, and process certain information about you when you access and use our services, read our emails, or otherwise engage with us. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences, or your device. We use that information to make the site work, analyze performance and traffic on our website, to provide a more personalized web experience, and assist in our marketing efforts. We also share information with our social media, advertising, and analytics partners. You can change your default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our Necessary Cookies as they are deployed to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information, please see our Privacy Notice.



We use online advertising to promote our mission and help constituents find our services. Marketing pixels help us measure the success of our campaigns.



We use qualitative data, including session replay, to learn about your user experience and improve our products and services.



We use web analytics to help us understand user engagement with our website, trends, and overall reach of our products.