News·3 min read

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on the abortion bans

May 17, 2019

Editor's Note: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out of the race on Aug. 28, 2019.

The Story

This week, Alabama’s governor signed the country’s strictest abortion ban into law.

Yes I’ve heard.

Then you know. The law makes nearly all abortions a felony. Doctors who perform them could face up to 99 years in prison. The only exception would be when a woman's health is in serious danger. There are no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. It goes into effect in six months, unless judges hit pause while it makes its way through the courts.

So it’s going to court?

Most definitely. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood plan to sue. Alabama lawmakers expected this. Their goal is to get the case in front of the Supreme Court, where a conservative majority could overturn Roe v. Wade.

Is that going to happen?

Supporters of the ban, and others that ban abortion at around six weeks, are hoping for a legal fight. But that could take time to play out in lower courts. And there’s no guarantee the Supremes will agree to hear these cases. In the meantime, it's unlikely that any of these bans will go into effect.

So this will definitely be on the 2020 election table.

It already is. Congressional Republicans have been mostly mum. President Trump said he's pro-life but is in favor of legal abortion in the case of rape, incest, or if the mother's life is in danger. A few GOPers have spoken out against the Alabama law. Meanwhile, many 2020 Dem candidates are raising their voices.

What are they saying?

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)...sat down with us and told us how she feels.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)...said she won’t stand for it and asked her supporters to donate to abortion rights groups.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)...called it “exceptionally cruel.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)...called on men to speak out too.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke...called it a “radical attack on women.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)...called it wrong and unconstitutional.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)...said his Medicare for All plan will cover reproductive health care, including abortion.

To see how many of the candidates feel, go here.


Trump campaigned in part by promising to fill the Supreme Court with conservative justices who could overturn Roe v. Wade. His two appointments have tipped the court to a solid right. Many 2020 Democratic candidates have a different vision for the future of the court, and reproductive rights.

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