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Cory Booker outlines executive action plan to promote abortion rights

May 22, 2019

Sen. Cory Booker on Wednesday outlined a series of executive actions he would take to protect abortion rights if he’s elected to the White House, as he and other 2020 Democratic presidential candidates vow to push back against recently enacted laws restricting the practice in states like Alabama.

Mr. Booker says he would create a new White House office of “reproductive freedom,” guarantee access to birth control in employer-based health plans, and undo actions the Trump administration has taken on the issue.

“On day one of my presidency, I will immediately and decisively take executive action to respond to these relentless efforts to erode Americans’ rights to control their own bodies,” said Mr. Booker, New Jersey Democrat. “My goal with these actions isn’t just to undo the damage the Trump administration and Republican state legislatures and governors have caused, but to affirmatively advance reproductive rights and expand access to reproductive care for all.”

Mr. Booker’s campaign says he’ll take action to guarantee access to “employer-covered contraceptive care.” The Trump administration has moved to provide religious and moral exemptions to requirements under Obamacare that employers offer free contraceptive benefits in their health care plans, though that push has hit roadblocks in the courts.

The campaign said he would also reverse the administration’s move that would limit the ability of doctors to recommend abortion services to patients, though that, too, has been held up by the courts.

Mr. Booker would also reverse the administration’s so-called “Mexico City Policy” that prevents federal funding from going to international groups that perform or promote abortions.

His plan would also involve moving toward “evidence-based guidelines” for teen pregnancy prevention. His campaign said the Trump administration has been prioritizing abstinence-only education.

Mr. Booker also said he would repeal the Hyde Amendment in his first presidential budget. The long-running provision generally bars federal money from being used to fund abortions, with some exceptions.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden said recently that he would commit to abolishing the amendment, after he had voted against federal funding for abortions in the past.

Other 2020 contenders, including former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, have also voiced support this week for repealing the Hyde Amendment, though Congress would have to go along with it.

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