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Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand poses with supporters at a rally in March 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand poses with supporters at a rally in March 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)


Fair pay, family leave, abortion: A look at women’s rights policies proposed by 2020 candidates

By WITW Staff on June 26, 2019

With 23 candidates scrambling for the Democratic nomination for president, CNBC took a look at how candidates including senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand are leading the way in women’s rights. Here, a roundup of some of the proposed plans.

On reproductive rights, Warren says she would pass new federal laws to uphold Roe v. Wade and ensure that all women have access to birth control and abortion. She says she would do this by making reproductive health coverage part of overall health coverage.

Booker says he would create a White House Office for Reproductive Freedom and would also guarantee access to employer-covered contraceptive care, among other proposals.

Harris says she would require states with a history of violating Roe v. Wade to obtain approval from the Department of Justice before any abortion law could take effect. She also says she would protect funding for Planned Parenthood and would nominate judges who support Roe v. Wade.

Gillibrand, Senator Bernie Sanders, former Representative Beto O’Rourke, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang all say they would appoint judges who support abortion rights as well.

Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper says he would expand a contraception plan that he oversaw in Colorado, which makes healthcare and contraception more accessible and affordable for women.

Many of the presidential candidates say they would repeal the Hyde Amendment, which blocks abortion coverage for women under federally funded health care programs such as Medicaid.

Regarding equal pay, Harris says she would hold companies responsible for paying and promoting women fairly by giving companies with 100 or more employees three years to obtain an equal pay certification. Any company that fails to meet the requirements would be fined 1 percent of profits for every 1 percent wage gap.

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, say he would mandate that companies publicly submit an annual report detailing how much men make in comparison to women. He says he would also strengthen anti-discrimination laws in order to prevent gender and sexual-identity discrimination, as well as discrimination against pregnant workers.

As for paid family leave, Gillibrand says she would give 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave to any employee who needs to care for a new child or a sick family member, or who has personal health issues. Her FAMILY Act, which she has introduced in every Congress since 2013, would provide workers at all companies with access to paid family leave. The bill would be funded by having employees and employers contribute no more than $2 per week to the fund.

The Gillibrand bill is supported by other presidential candidates including Senator Amy Klobuchar, Warren, Booker, Sanders, and Harris.