On Monday, Planned Parenthood Action Fund announced their endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden for president.
In a video statement, acting president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Alexis McGill Johnson, explains the decision. She cites the work done during the Obama-Biden administration. “While Joe Biden was Vice President, more people got insurance coverage than ever,” she states. Under the Affordable Care Act, the important resources that Planned Parenthood provides, such as birth control, STI testing, and cancer screenings, were all covered.
Biden is also featured in the video statement, stating that healthcare is a right. “As president, I’m going to do everything in my power to expand access to quality, affordable health care for women, especially women of color,” he says. He further pledges to protect the constitutional right to choose.
The right to reproductive healthcare has been at risk during the Trump administration, a fact that is highlighted in the endorsement video. McGill Johnson notes Trump’s appointment of conservative judges and consistent attacks on reproductive healthcare. Included in these attacks is the Title X gag rule that restricts funding for family planning programs and other crucial health services. Prior to the announcement, McGill Johnson told NPR, “This is literally a life and death election. We felt like we can’t endure another four years of Trump; we have to do everything we can to get him out of office.”
Biden’s record on reproductive rights has varied and been frequently questioned by abortion rights advocates. His support for the Hyde Amendment, a measure that bans federal Medicaid funding for most abortions, was criticized by some of the most influential groups and advocates in national politics, including Planned Parenthood. He reversed his support last year after the criticism. Biden’s mixed history with reproductive rights is not mentioned in the endorsement announcement.
When asked about Biden’s record, McGill Johnson noted his willingness to listen and adjust his views. “What we know is that he’s somebody that folks can work with. We know that he will deliver on basic — I mean birth control, access to abortion — these are actually bread-and-butter issues, and I think that’s what we really need right now,” she told NPR.
Sources: NPR 6/15/20; Planned Parenthood Action Fund 6/15/20; The Washington Post 6/5/19