The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Brett Abrams,

Women's Group Challenges 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates to Address Questions on Ending the Hyde Amendment, Addressing Sexual Violence, Combating Police Violence Against Black and Brown Women, and Fighting for Equal Pay


Ahead of the first Democratic presidential primary debate later this month, members of UltraViolet Action are challenging 2020 candidates to address key questions on important issues facing women in the United States, including plans to expand abortion access and end the Hyde Amendmnet, addressing sexual violence, combatting police violence against black and brown womene, and plans to fight for equal pay.

In a survey of more than UltraViolet Action one million members:
  • 30% wanted candidates to answer: "Will you expand access to abortion by ending the Hyde Amendment?"
  • 26% wanted candidates to answer: "What's your plan to end sexual violence in the United States?"
  • 23% wanted candidates to answer: "How will you end police violence against Black and Brown women?"
  • 21% wanted candidates to answer: "How will you fight for pay equity for women?"

Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet Action, a leading national women's group, explained:

"Historically, when women run for President, the media and public focus their questions for women candidates on so-called women's issues, such as sexism, abortion access, or ending violence against women - but often don't ask the male candidates how they plan to address these same issues.

"That's why all of the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates, including the male candidates, should answer important questions about ending the Hyde Amendment, adddressing sexual violence, combatting police violence against black and brown women, and their plans to end the pay gap for women. It is critical that all candidates are asked about, and have answers to key issues impacting women. UltraViolet Action's more than 1 million members want answers."

Earlier this month, NBC News announced five moderators for the first Democratic presidential primary debate to be held in Miami on June 26th and 27th. The five moderators include Lester Holt of "NBC Nightly News" and "Dateline NBC"; Savannah Guthrie of "Today"; Chuck Todd of "Meet the Press"; Rachel Maddow of MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show"; and Jose Diaz-Balart of "Noticias Telemundo" and "NBC Nightly News Saturday."

The announcement came after UltraViolet Action, a leading national women's group, led a coalition of organizations in an effort to convince media outlets like NBC to ensure that at least 50% of debate and town hall moderators were women and people of color.

In May, shortly after informing the DNC about UltraViolet Action's #AskForWomen Pledge, which had secured the support of a number of prominent 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates, the Democratic National Committee announced that it will require female moderators at every 2020 presidential debate.

UltraViolet is a powerful and rapidly growing community of people mobilized to fight sexism and create a more inclusive world that accurately represents all women, from politics and government to media and pop culture.