Just days after the bungled Iowa caucuses, the Democratic party's presidential frontrunners faced off on a stage in New Hampshire on Friday, Feb. 7. In addition to sounding off on big party topics like health care and gun control, the candidates also discussed their stances on one issue that's barely gotten any screen time in the debates thus far: Abortion rights. During the debate, Elizabeth Warren stood out from the pack with one very important point about which communities legal abortion access impacts the most — and these tweets about Elizabeth Warren’s Roe v. Wade comments couldn't agree more.
While every Democratic candidate has said that they support abortion rights as a whole, the topic has been noticeably omitted or brushed over in the previous debates. On Friday evening, however, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Vice President Joe Biden, Tom Steyer, and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg discussed how exactly they planned to make sure that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision guaranteeing abortion rights, would be protected in the future. The right to abortion has recently come under fire, thanks to state-level bans and a wave of conservative judges being appointed to federal courts, including the Supreme Court. In January, over 200 lawmakers signed on to a legal brief that urged the Supreme Court to reconsider, and potentially overturn, Roe.
When asked if the Democratic candidates were planning to codify Roe v. Wade or establish a "litmus test" for potential Supreme Court justices to make sure that they would continue to support the legislation, Warren shared a great point about why keeping abortion legal is so important for economically disadvantaged communities. "I’ve lived in an America in which abortion was illegal, and rich women still got abortions, and that’s what we have to remember about this."
Warren said that she believed in codifying the right at a national level, citing popular opinion as one of the reasons. "Three out of every four people in America believe right now that the rule of Roe v. Wade should be the law," she added. "That means we should be pushing for a congressional solution as well. It is time to have a national law to protect the right of a woman’s choice." Currently, states have the right to pass limits on abortion access, so long as it doesn't create an "undue burden" for patients.
Warren also discussed the need for the more extreme measures in light of various states' attempts to cut access to abortions. "States are heading toward trying to ban abortion outright, and the Supreme Court seems headed in exactly that direction as well," she said. "If we are going to protect the people of the United States of America and we are going to protect our rights to have dominion over our own bodies, then it’s going to mean we can’t simply rely on the courts."
Warren's point that restricting safe abortion access only made it inaccessible to the poor was quickly picked up by viewers, who took to Twitter to ask why the important distinction was so often omitted in conversations about abortions.
It's safe to say that Warren definitely stood out from her competitors with her comments on abortion on Friday, but voters will have to wait until the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11 to see if it's enough to edge her ahead of her fellow Democratic candidates.