Debate Moderators Need to #AskAboutAbortion
We need debate questions that capture the true needs of women and the lived experiences surrounding abortion access.
Safe and reliable access to abortion is fundamental to all Americans’ ability to determine our own destinies. One in three women in this country has had an abortion, and the majority (over 60%) are mothers who are trying to take care of the families they already have.
In presidential debates since at least 1984, moderators have typically posed questions on abortion that border on entirely theoretical because they focus on extreme outlier cases.
Voters deserve a debate on how to expand access to abortion so they can decide for themselves which candidate will do right by their family.
We urge debate moderators to #AskAboutAbortion:
“Among all of the barriers to accessing abortion care for American women, financial burdens rank highest. This is because the Hyde Amendment prevents low-income women from using public health insurance to access this medical service, and clinic closure laws have been so detrimental that it now requires considerable financial means to take time off work, find childcare and travel long distances to access abortion care. If elected, how would you ensure that the constitutional right to abortion is guaranteed to all Americans, regardless of their financial situation?”
“The Zika virus is a threat faced by countless Americans, particularly in Florida, where you two are currently fairing evenly. Polls have shown that 6 in 10 voters believe a woman should be able to access abortion if she is infected with Zika. If elected, would you allow a woman infected with Zika to access abortion, or would you restrict that access?”
In Texas, where women’s health clinics have closed because of laws that put restrictions on their operations, maternal mortality has doubled. If elected, what steps would you take to reverse maternal mortality in this country?
Few issues are at once more personal and more consequential to Americans as when, whether, and with whom they choose to start or grow a family. This issue is too important to leave unaddressed in our political debates.
Open Letter to Presidential Candidates and Consultants, Debate Moderators, Political Commentators, and the Media.If ever there were a time to center women’s lives in the political debate, it’s now. An open letter from All* Above All Action Fund and partners.