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Castro and Buttigieg Feature Reproductive Rights in New Platform Proposals
Former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro this week released his “First Chance” plan to overhaul the criminal justice system. The plan, according to a press release from the campaign, “focuses on prevention and investing in marginalized communities to ensure every person has a first chance to succeed.”
The proposal contains a section titled “gender and reproductive justice” that notes, “Women and members of the LGBTQ community face particular challenges while incarcerated.” Among the section’s promises is a vow to “pass legislation requiring free access to reproductive health care,” including menstrual products. Castro also promised to end the shackling of pregnant people who are incarcerated during child delivery and to guarantee access to gender-confirmation surgery for incarcerated trans people.
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This is hardly the first time Castro has sought to elevate reproductive justice on the campaign trail. During the first Democratic presidential debate, Castro called for reproductive justice for trans people. “I don’t believe in only reproductive freedom, I believe in reproductive justice,” he tweeted that night. “All women—and that includes the trans community—have the right to an abortion.”
In an October debate, Castro again mentioned the reproductive justice movement. “We have to concern ourselves not only with reproductive freedom but also reproductive justice and invest in the ability of every woman to be able to make a choice and to be able to have her health care needs met,” he said.
Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, released his plan, “Building Power: A Women’s Agenda for the 21st Century,” on Thursday. “Women’s freedom can’t depend on Washington—it can only come from systematically building women’s power in our economy, our political system, and in every part of our society,” the plan says. “And while we must create opportunity for all women, we know that women of color, trans women and other members of the LGBTQ community, and low-income women face unique barriers that require intentional policy solutions.”
The plan includes a section titled “Advance Health and Choice,” which states “health care is a human right.” It notes that Buttigieg’s health-care plan, “Medicare for All Who Want It,” would “cover preventive and comprehensive reproductive care for women, including abortion.” The Indiana Democrat would seek to codify abortion rights into federal law, end the Hyde Amendment’s ban on federal funding for abortion, ban “interference in public and private insurance coverage of abortion, and [increase] the number of clinicians capable of providing abortions.”
Buttigieg in his plan also vowed to ensure Title X federal family planning funding “only goes to grantees that provide comprehensive and evidence-based family planning services and the full range of methods.”
What Else We’re Reading
A Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates suggested using “ankle bracelets” on pregnant people to prevent abortions.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)—facing a highly contested race in 2020—announced she will oppose the confirmation of Steven Menashi, a controversial nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit who opposes Roe v. Wade.
The Washington Post explained how a U.S. Supreme Court decision on gerrymandering opened the door for anti-choice laws.
Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) this week endorsed Jessica Cisneros, who is waging a primary challenge against anti-choice Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar in Texas.
The New Republic examines a new law in Florida that was temporarily blocked in court that requires those with felony convictions to “pay outstanding, court-ordered fees, fines, or victim restitution to the state before they can vote.”