2020 Democrats respond to Missouri's only abortion clinic possibly closing

Several 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls spoke out Tuesday after Planned Parenthood announced Missouri’s only abortion clinic may have to close this week, making Missouri the first state without a functioning abortion clinic since the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.

The state’s health department is “refusing to renew” the clinic’s annual license amid an ongoing investigation, Planned Parenthood said.

“This is something we have never seen before,” Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen told reporters Tuesday.


Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) was the first to tweet about the potential closure, stressing the need for access to abortion.

“We cannot go back to the days when women in America didn’t have the right to control their own bodies,” he tweeted. “Access to a safe and legal abortion is a constitutional right.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted soon after, echoing the constitutional right to abortion access from Roe v. Wade.

“Reproductive rights are not just protected by the Constitution of the United States but must be guaranteed in every state,” she tweeted. “This is a direct attack on women’s health.”

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Warren, Pressley introduce bill to make it a crime for police officers to deny medical care to people in custody Senate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers MORE (D-N.Y.), who has centered her campaign around women’s rights, tweeted after Planned Parenthood announced they would be suing Missouri.

“Leaving an entire state—and 1 million people—without a single abortion provider is the definition of an ‘undue burden’ on access. That makes it unconstitutional,” she tweeted. “This is an attack on Missourians’ civil rights, and it cannot be allowed to stand.” 

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.) called the potential closure “disgraceful and dangerous.”

“For the first time since Roe v. Wade was decided, thousands of women and families in Missouri will be left without safe, accessible reproductive health care services of their choice,” he tweeted. “This is disgraceful and dangerous.” 

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro slammed the potential closure, linking it to anti-abortion laws being passed in several states.
“There is a reproductive justice and public health emergency taking place across the United States,” Castro tweeted. “Access to abortion is being undermined, doctors are being threatened, and clinics that provide safe procedures are being shut down.

The potential closure of Missouri’s only abortion clinic comes amid a wave of anti-abortion laws being passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures.

Democratic candidates have blasted the restrictive laws, with many of them promising to codify the result of Roe v. Wade. 

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