The vigorous contest of Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination has produced excellent policy proposals to address major issues. In what can be described as an love letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s supporters, Senator Bernie Sanders has released his “Reproductive Health Care and Justice for All” plan. But you decide how many of these provisions would ever be enacted. This is from the Sanders campaign:
WASHINGTON – Senator Bernie Sanders
released a major tenet of his presidential platform: Reproductive Health Care and Justice for All. The latest
policy plan builds on the Senator’s wide-ranging agenda for quality and
affordable health care for all people. The plan centers on two primary prongs
— ensuring universal and affordable access to reproductive health care, and a
comprehensive action plan to address the crisis of maternal mortality in
communities of color across the country.
“There has been no time in the history of this country when women, especially Black women, have had the reproductive freedom and justice that they deserve. In my administration, that will finally change,” said Senator Bernie Sanders. “We must once and for all put an end to the unacceptable crisis of Black maternal mortality, and ensure every woman in this country — no matter where they’re from — has the basic right to quality healthcare.”
Sen. Sanders continued, “When I am in the White House, we will fight back against the Republican assault on abortion rights across this country and defend a woman’s fundamental right to control her own body. As President, there will be no doubt that in the United States of America, abortion is a constitutional right. Period.”
The Reproductive Health Care and Justice for All plan reflects the fact that issues of justice must be addressed holistically and intersectionally. The plan will be implemented in tandem with a comprehensive, progressive agenda to end racial disparities in our economic, criminal justice, environmental, education, and health care systems.
The full and detailed plan can be found here. The following is a summary of key policies and action items as part of Reproductive Health Care and Justice for All.
As President, Bernie Sanders will:
Use executive authority to reverse President Trump’s anti-choice actions.
Codify Roe v. Wade in legislative statute, require all judicial nominees to support Roe v. Wade as settled law, and require preclearance for state abortion laws to ensure that state laws do not impose undue restrictions and barriers for abortion services.
Protect and expand funding for Planned Parenthood, and repeal the Hyde and Helms Amendments.
Ban state Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws that put undue and unnecessary burdens and regulations on doctors who provide abortion services with the goal of restricting access.
Ensure anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers do not receive federal funds.
Ensure that all communities have access to nearby abortion care.
Make birth control available over-the-counter, in addition to free under Medicare for All.
Ban ineffective abstinence-only sex education.
Increase access to and funding for reproductive services and facilities in communities of color, eliminate “contraceptive deserts,” and increase funding to hospitals where Black mothers and parents receive care.
Work with women of color-led community organizations to develop and coordinate policy.
Educate health care providers and medical school students on providing culturally competent care.
Ban discrimination by health care providers, and provide a right of action for patients discriminated against.
Establish standard protocols to rapidly address postpartum hemorrhage, a leading cause of maternal mortality in Black women.
Require hospitals that receive federal funding to hire culturally competent care liaisons to field complaints, and provide training to all labor and delivery staff, including nurses, doctors, and clerks.
Ensure there are sufficient OBGYN physicians, midwives, lactation consultants and doulas in medically underserved communities of color.
Create and expand programs for Black maternal mortality liaisons, patient advocates, care coordinators, and social workers at hospitals serving at-risk women of color.
Expand the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program for pregnant mothers, infants, and children.