Candidates React To Court Ruling On ‘Domestic Gag Rule’

Yesterday, the Trump Administration got one step closer to restricting abortion access in the United States at the federal level. A three-judge panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, covering the Western part of the United States, ruled that the federal government can block federal grant money from health care providers if they offer information about abortion or have family planning services in facilities where doctors also perform abortions. In response, ten of the Democratic candidates running for president made statements on Twitter as of early Friday afternoon reiterating their support for Planned Parenthood and their opposition to this […]

Iowa Women Face Longer Travel Times To Abortion Services, Limiting Access

Despite recent efforts to limit it, abortion is still legal in Iowa up to 20 weeks. However, the procedure isn’t easily accessible to all Iowans. Iowa has eight Planned Parenthood clinics, five of which provide abortion services. There are also a few other clinics that provide the service. But these providers are concentrated mostly in the central and east-central parts of the state with locations in Des Moines, Urbandale, Ames, Iowa City, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids and Council Bluffs. This means people in the northern, western and southern parts of the state have to travel, sometimes hours, to access abortion […]

Pete Buttigieg Only Candidate With Plan For Expanded Supreme Court

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is the only candidate among 21 who has laid out a full vision for reforming the Supreme Court.  Though many other candidates have recognized the need for reform, Buttigieg has advocated for expanding the number of justices during his campaign. His idea for the expansion would put the new number at 15 and would involve five justices with Democratic affiliations, five connected to the Republicans and five bipartisan justices recommended by the other ten. The model for this plan comes from a paper that will be published in the Yale Law Journal […]

Iowa Republican Leaders Brag About Their Court Appointee Success

Sen. Chuck Grassley and other top Iowa Republican leaders made it clear over the weekend what they view as their party’s signature accomplishment in recent years: a conservative takeover of the judiciary at all levels.  With the 15 minutes he had to speak at Sen. Joni Ernst’s Roast and Ride on Saturday, Grassley spent about a third of his time talking about the Supreme Court and how its conservative justices are a victory. “I think the outstanding thing this president has done is that after he has served eight years, there’s still going to be a legacy that we’re all […]

Kirsten Gillibrand Stakes Out Strongest Women’s Health Platform In Plans, Actions

When it comes to reproductive rights and women’s health, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand from New York has staked out one of the strongest positions in the presidential field. Before she officially launched her candidacy in March, Gillibrand had already declared she was running a campaign focused on feminism. Since then, Gillibrand has been vocal about issues like the Georgia fetal heartbeat bill and the Alabama ban on abortion that leaves no exceptions for rape and incest. She was the only candidate to visit Georgia after the state passed a bill that would outlaw abortions after a fetal “heartbeat” is detected, normally […]

How 2020 Candidates Voted On Trump Appointee Opposed By AFL-CIO

The job doesn’t stop just because a candidate is on the campaign trail. For those in the Senate, that means participating in votes and weighing in on the confirmation of Trump judicial appointees. On Monday, the Senate voted to confirm Rossie Alston, Jr., a former judge on the Virginia Court of Appeals, to serve on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. While he was confirmed 75-20 in a bipartisan vote, there have been some concerns from labor organizations for his previous involvement in an anti-union organization. Here’s how the presidential candidates in the Senate voted. […]

Cory Booker’s plan to protect reproductive rights

In response to states across the country passing laws that restrict access to abortion, women’s reproductive rights have become a key part of presidential candidates’ platforms this year. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker recently released a comprehensive list of actions he would take as president to ensure women have the ability to access and control their own reproductive health care. His proposals aim to address three main requirements for reproductive freedom: funding, access, and expanding information about services. He also plans to make Roe v. Wade a federal law, rather than just a Supreme Court decision that guides legislation. “My […]

Why This Former Iowa A.G. Thinks It’s Time To Expand The Supreme Court

Former Iowa Attorney General Bonnie Campbell has a message for the presidential candidates visiting Iowa: expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court to protect basic, fundamental rights. She penned an op-ed in the Des Moines Register on the subject and spoke with Starting Line about the importance of the idea. While Supreme Court reform has emerged as a topic in national political conversations this cycle, Campbell’s advocacy could help raise the issue’s profile in the Iowa Caucus. Campbell said Republicans have politicized the Court by filling it with far-right conservative ideologues who haven’t committed to upholding Supreme Court […]

Where candidates stand on the Hyde Amendment

Former Vice President Joe Biden made waves Wednesday when he reaffirmed his support for the Hyde Amendment, a law that prevents federal funds being used to pay for abortions. On Thursday, after the other Democratic candidates sounded their support for repealing the amendment, Biden reversed his position at a fundraising event in Georgia. “I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to care they need and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right. If I believe healthcare is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that would make that right dependent on someone’s […]

How Kamala Harris’ Pre-Clearance Plan Could Halt Iowa Abortion Restrictions

National attention on abortion access has been heightened this year with states like Alabama and Missouri passing strict laws limiting women’s ability to access the procedure. This has prompted many presidential candidates to speak out and offer their thoughts and plans. In late May, Sen. Kamala Harris announced a plan to prevent states from dramatically restricting access to abortion in the future. Under Harris’s plan, called the Reproductive Rights Act, any state that passed policy that violated Roe v. Wade in the past 25 years would have to go through the Department of Justice to make any new changes to […]