Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

A woman holds a sign at the 2017 Women's March in Chicago. (Photo: Jonathan Eyler-Werve/Flickr/cc)

Women's Rights Advocates Call On Democratic Candidates to Address Healthcare and Equity Issues Affecting Women in 2020 Debates

UltraViolet previously helped convince the Democratic Party to include female moderators in the primary debates

Julia Conley

A month after helping to pressure the Democratic National Committee to include female moderators at every Democratic primary debate, the national women's advocacy group UltraViolet called on candidates to address a number of issues affecting women.

The group surveyed its roughly one million members in recent days, asking them what questions they would ask the 23 Democratic hopefuls if they were running the debates, which are scheduled to begin June 26.

Nearly a third of UltraViolet members said candidates should state whether they would repeal the Hyde Amendment, the 1976 provision which cuts of access to abortion care for many low-income women by prohibiting the use of federal funds like Medicaid to pay for the procedure. Many of the candidates have called for the law's repeal, with eight backing legislation in the Senate and House to do away with it. Joe Biden was forced to announce that he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment earlier this month, after pressure from women's rights advocates. Forty-five percent of Democratic voters oppose the law, while 38 percent support it.

"It is critical that all candidates are asked about, and have answers to key issues impacting women. UltraViolet Action's more than one million members want answers." —Shaunna Thomas, UltraVioletMore than a quarter of respondents wanted candidates to detail how they would combat sexual violence in the U.S. while 23 percent wanted them to address police violence toward women of color.

Twenty-one percent said candidates should be asked how they will work to ensure pay equity in the United States.

So-called "women's issues," UltraViolet executive director Shaunna Thomas said in a statement, are too often addressed only by female candidates.

Six women are running for the Democratic nomination while 17 men are running.

"All of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, including the male candidates, should answer important questions about ending the Hyde Amendment, addressing sexual violence, combating police violence against black and brown women, and their plans to end the pay gap for women," Thomas said in a statement.

UltraViolet's call comes amid recent attacks on women's reproductive rights, with states including Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio passing extreme anti-choice laws outlawing abortion care after six weeks of pregnancy—or altogether.

Some women's rights advocates have called on pro-choice men to speak out against the attacks instead of leaving the work of fighting for fundamental rights solely to women.

"It is critical that all candidates are asked about, and have answers to key issues impacting women," Thomas said. "UltraViolet Action's more than one million members want answers."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Bombshell': Israeli Spyware Used to Hack iPhones of US State Department Officials

Calling the Israel-based spyware maker NSO Group an "in-plain-sight national security threat," one expert warned that "a multi-agency investigation is immediately needed."

Jessica Corbett ·


US Progressive Caucus Hails Honduran Election as Chance for 'New Chapter' in Relations

"We encourage the Biden administration to use this opportunity to make a clean break with previous presidential administrations, which worked to ensure that the 2009 coup d'état succeeded."

Brett Wilkins ·


'The Facts of This Case Are So Egregious': Parents of Michigan School Shooter Charged in Killings

"There were a lot of things that could have been so simple to prevent," the Oakland County prosecutor said of the mother and father now being sought by law enforcement.

Kenny Stancil ·


Health Minister Says 'Highly Transmissible' Omicron Hitting Young Children Hard in South Africa

In South Africa's worst-affected province, children under the age of five now make up the second-largest group being admitted to hospitals.

Julia Conley ·


Groups Tell UN Food Agency to Ditch 'Toxic Alliance' With Pesticide Association

"This partnership with CropLife is in direct conflict with FAO's mandate as a U.N. institution to fulfill human rights to health, adequate food, clean water and environment, and safe working conditions."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo