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MIAMI — In response to tonight’s first Democratic debate, Planned Parenthood Action Fund released the following statement.

Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

In this moment when our rights and freedoms are under unprecedented attack, it is our expectation that any person who wants to lead the United States must clearly address how they will protect and expand access to reproductive health and rights. Tonight, we saw a number of candidates race to commit to protecting health care — and we were watching. Tomorrow night we want to hear much more from candidates on efforts to protect our health and rights as an essential part of the conversation.  Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s millions of supporters are ready to stand up and speak out to make the wave of 2018 look like a ripple. Together we must ensure that abortion care is treated as the health care it is, and that health care is a human right guaranteed to all.

Several presidential candidates seized the moment during tonight’s debate to offer their vision for greater abortion access and expanding reproductive health care across the country. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Julian Castro, Gov. Jay Inslee, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar all went on the record to express their strong support for protecting and expanding abortion access, with Castro calling for addressing reproductive justice, and Warren calling to make Roe v. Wade the law of the land. 

Abortion access is a “key issue for the 2020 elections.” 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 new 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.