Washington, DC — Today, the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) announced that moving forward it will only endorse candidates who support the right to access abortion and publicly commit to protecting reproductive rights. This historic announcement comes as reproductive health and rights are at risk like never before, with an unprecedented number of abortion bans — 26 this year alone — being enacted across the country. Many of those bans don’t include exceptions for rape or incest, could jail doctors (in one case for up to 99 years) simply for providing care, and could allow the state to investigate women’s miscarriages. In addition, this spring the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that could render Roe v. Wade meaningless, and the Trump administration continues to push policy after policy to roll back access to reproductive health care.
Attorneys general are some of the most important people protecting the ability to access sexual and reproductive health care — including abortion. They are often on the front lines in and out of courtrooms across the country, fighting against unconstitutional bans on abortion and to protect and expand the ability to access health care. This announcement marks a tremendous step forward in ensuring that champions of reproductive health and rights are elected to office up and down the ticket in 2020.
Quote from Alexis McGill Johnson, Acting President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
We are thrilled that the Democratic Attorneys General Association has announced they will only endorse candidates who are committed to protecting access to safe, legal abortion and other reproductive health care. Nearly one in four women in America will have an abortion in her lifetime. Nearly 90 percent of women will use birth control. Reproductive health isn't optional, and our health and rights should be non-negotiable. It has never been more important than right now to stand up for sexual and reproductive health and rights. This shouldn't be just a Democratic or a Republican issue. It's an issue that touches every one of our lives — and one that every person running to represent us in elected office should support.
Since taking office, the Trump administration has pushed policy after policy to roll back sexual and reproductive health and rights. They’ve tried to:
- Eliminate protections for survivors of sexual assault;
- Replace the effective Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program with abstinence-only programming;
- Push a rule to allow your boss to decide whether your health insurance covers birth control;
- Allow discrimination in health care against people seeking reproductive health or who are transgender; and
- Implement a domestic gag rule that makes it illegal for doctors and nurses to tell their patients how or where to access abortion.
Supporting the right to access reproductive health care — including access to abortion — has proven to be a winning issue again and again. Nearly 80 percent of voters want to protect Roe v. Wade, and polls show abortion access is a “key issue for the 2020 elections” and there is no state in this country where banning abortion is popular. A CNN poll of likely Iowa Democratic caucus participants showed that support for abortion rights is the top issue — 8 in 10 caucus goers called it a “must have” including 85% of women.
In 2018 voters ushered in a wave of reproductive health champions to Congress and state legislatures across the country, flipping control of the House of Representatives in the process. Recently voters made their voices heard loud and clear again by flipping the Virginia state legislature and the Kentucky governorship to candidates who champion reproductive health and rights.
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 and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.