How the 2020 candidates are reacting to the Alabama abortion bill
The 2020 presidential candidates reacted with outrage on Wednesday to a bill Alabama lawmakers passed Tuesday that would make it a felony for any doctor to perform an abortion with a punishment of up to 99 years in prison.
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The bill makes no exemptions for victims of rape and incest.
“It’s nothing short of an attack on women’s basic human rights and civil rights, and it’s something women in America will have to fight against with everything they’ve got,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said on MSNBC on Wednesday.
She said she plans to hold a rally at Georgia’s capital on Thursday where lawmakers earlier this month passed a so-called “heartbeat” bill that would ban abortions after six weeks into pregnancy — around the time when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Similar bills have been passed this year in Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio.
If it becomes law, the Alabama measure is expected to face an almost immediate legal challenge that could lead to the U.S. Supreme Court deciding whether it violates the constitutional right to an abortion that the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision established nationwide. Abortion opponents crafted the Alabama bill in hopes it could lead to the justices overturning Roe.
Here is a how the 2020 presidential candidates are responding:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
“Alabama lawmakers have voted to effectively ban abortion in the state. We see this for what it is: a direct attack on Roe v. Wade, and on women all across this country. We will fight these attacks every step of the way.”
Gov. Jay Inslee
“Make no mistake: right now, in front of our eyes, the Republicans are coming after Roe v. Wade. We won’t stand for this. We will fight back.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
“We’re facing an all-out assault on women’s constitutional rights, explicitly aimed at overturning Roe v. Wade. We need to loudly proclaim that reproductive rights are nonnegotiable, and join together to defend them at every level—in Washington, in the courts, and in the states.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden
“Republicans in AL, FL, GA, and OH are ushering in laws that clearly violate Roe v Wade and they should be declared unconstitutional. Roe v Wade is settled law and should not be overturned. This choice should remain between a woman and her doctor.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders
“Abortion is a constitutional right.”
Sen. Kamala Harris
“Outrageous news coming out of Alabama. This law would effectively ban abortions in the state and criminalize doctors for doing their jobs – providing health care to women.”
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
“The Alabama legislature is ignoring science, criminalizing abortion, and punishing women. Instead, the government’s role should be to make sure all women have access to comprehensive affordable care, and that includes safe and legal abortion.”
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke
“HB 314 is not only unconstitutional – it’s a radical attack on women across Alabama and America. We won’t back down when it comes to fully protecting Roe v. Wade, fighting dangerous efforts to roll back reproductive health care and defending a woman’s right to access an abortion.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
“This bill in Alabama is effectively a ban on abortion. This is wrong. This is unconstitutional.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell
“The President is absolutely winging it when it comes to tariff policies affecting our farmers. This isn’t Daddy Trump’s millions @realDonaldTrump is playing with. It’s a farm families’ livelihood. #Iowa farmers need #TradeNotAid”
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro
“Appalling news out of #Alabama as lawmakers vote to effectively criminalize abortion. It’s time to stand up and speak out. We must defeat this unconstitutional and shameless attempt to strip women of their right to make health care choices.”
Former Gov. John Hickenlooper
“#HB314 will cost Alabama women their lives, and threatens the reproductive rights of women across the country. We must fight back, and our next president must act to enshrine Roe v. Wade into law.”
Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam
“A woman’s right to reproductive choice is settled law. This is an incredibly difficult decision for a woman and her family. If a medical professional believes a procedure like this is necessary, then the government should not intervene.”
Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan
“Absolutely appalling move from lawmakers in Alabama. This would effectively ban all abortions — including cases of rape & incest, punish women & threaten doctors. Government has NO place in this conversation.”
“A spate of state abortion bills appearing around the country are intended to overturn Roe v.Wade and intimidate women. Note to courts: American women cannot and will not be intimidated. We will make our own moral choices and our own biological decisions.”
“This is an irresponsible and dangerous law that would make it even more difficult for women to access basic healthcare,” Montana governor Steve Bullock, the most recent candidate to join the 2020 presidential race, told ABC News. “As governor, I’ve stopped every single attack on a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions, and that’s exactly what I’ll do as president” he added.
The senior senator from Colorado and a 2020 hopeful, Michael Bennet, also expressed his views on CNN saying, “I have a friend here who said to me that his daughter is having to fight for rights his wife never had to fight for because her grandmother had won those rights,” on the possible threat of Alabama’s abortion ban bill to Roe v. Wade.
ABC News’ Cheyenne Haslett, Justin Gomez, Molly Nagle, Chris Donato, Averi Harper, Lissette Rodriguez, Armando Garcia, Briana Stewart and Meghan Keneally contributed to this report.
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