There’s no question: Senator Bernie Sanders has a strong record on reproductive rights.

We at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund are grateful to have his support for the issues most important to us.

While Sanders has been a friend to women, when it comes to our issues, Secretary Hillary Clinton is the strongest candidate in this race. She is the only one who has put reproductive health and rights front and center in her campaign.  

She has fought not just to protect, but to expand women’s rights in this country. That’s why Planned Parenthood Action Fund endorsed Clinton for president, while also recognizing both candidates’ awesome records on reproductive health.

If you care about women’s health and the 2016 election, here’s what you need to know about Bernie Sanders.

Sanders Supports Expanded Access to Birth Control

To this day, Sanders also has reliably and consistently voted to ensure women’s access to the full range of birth control options. During the fight over the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed employers to opt out of providing insurance coverage of birth control, Sanders gave a speech on the Senate floor voicing his opposition:

“...there is growing anger that members of Congress, mostly men I should add, are trying to roll back the clock on women's rights… Let me add my strong belief that if the United States Senate had 83 women and 17 men rather than 83 men and 17 women that a bill like this would never even make it to the floor.” 

What’s more, he supports the Affordable Care Act, including its mandated coverage for birth control, and co-sponsored a bill that would protect women from bosses who want to block this coverage from them.

Sanders Supports Access to Abortion

To sum-up Sanders’ stance on abortion, just read what he had to say in a 2012 op-ed:

“We are not returning to the days of back-room abortions, when countless women died or were maimed. The decision about abortion must remain a decision for the woman, her family and physician to make, not the government.”

His strong position that we, as a nation, will never go backwards when it comes to access to abortion care is a major reason why Sanders is in our corner.

Sanders has also been a cosponsor of one of the most proactive pieces of legislation that would prevent states from chipping away at abortion access: The Women’s Health Protection Act, introduced in 2015 and 2013. This act would prevent politicians from passing laws aimed at shutting down health centers by imposing unnecessary building regulations and medical procedures such as mandatory ultrasounds — which have the sole intent of shaming women and making it harder for them to access safe, legal abortion.

Both Sanders & Secretary Clinton Have Spoken Out Boldly on Key Abortion Issues

This presidential election cycle, both Clinton and Sanders have taken bold stances in support of women’s access to reproductive health care:

  • Clinton came out in favor of repealing the Hyde Amendment — and a few days later, so did Sanders.
  • Both candidates have reaffirmed their opposition to the Helms Amendment, an important step in ensuring that women around the world — particularly women who are victims of rape and incest — are able to turn to health care agencies receiving U.S. funding for safe and legal abortion services.

Sanders Has Stood With Planned Parenthood

The PPAF thanks Sanders for being an unwavering ally of Planned Parenthood patients and consistently voting in favor of protecting patients who rely on federal funds to access birth control, cancer screenings, and other basic health care at Planned Parenthood health centers. 

As one of two Independent senators in Congress, Sanders’ vote became even more crucial this session when Republicans took control of the Senate. In the 114th Congress alone, Sanders has already voted three times to ensure that millions of patients aren’t blocked from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers — that makes four total times that he has voted to protect federal funding for Planned Parenthood health care services.

Had enough of the attacks? 

Take the pledge: Elect reproductive health champions in 2016.

Next November, we are choosing so much more than a new president. We’re choosing the future of reproductive health care and rights in our country.

The stakes couldn’t be higher: Access to safe and legal abortion, affordable birth control, and the right of patients to choose Planned Parenthood as their health care provider are all on the ballot. From now until Election Day, Planned Parenthood Action Fund is going all out to put an ally in the White House, defeat opponents in Congress, and win big for reproductive health and rights nationwide. If you’re with us – if you’re willing to do whatever it takes to secure these critical victories – take the pledge today!


This November, I’m fighting for reproductive health care and rights. I’m supporting the millions of women, men, and young people who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for care. I’m standing with Planned Parenthood Action Fund – and I’m pledging to do everything I can to elect reproductive health champions in 2016.

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