Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is facing backlash in light of his “softer” views on abortion, as reported by Faithwire. In a recent forum in New Hampshire, the up-and-coming candidate called abortion “a tragedy”, and several abortion advocates called for him to drop out of the race.
“There is a really important tone to set on this, where you don’t just say, like we’re absolutist about it, though I have to say I am relatively absolutist about it on this,” he said. “Like I think that it should be completely up to the woman and her doctor and the state should not be intervening all the way through pregnancy. But it’s a tragedy to me if someone decides that they don’t want to have a child and they’re on the fence and then maybe at some point later; it’s a very difficult personal decision and it’s something that we should be very, very sensitive to.”
He continued to call out those who celebrate abortion and said that “celebrating children, family, these are universal human values.”
But those in favor of the “Abortion is Healthcare” movement believe Yang has no room to lead the country because of his views.
Popular writer and communications consultant Lauren Rankin tweeted, “Abortion is an incredibly common human experience, one that deserves dignity and respect. You don’t get to lead the Democratic Party in 2020 if you belittle and demonize those who’ve had abortions and those who’ve defended and supported them. 1 in 4 women have had an abortion in this country, and Andrew Yang is mocking their choice and humanity when he demonizes abortion in this callous way. You don’t have to be ashamed because you made the right choice for you. Abortion isn’t a tragedy—lack of access to it is.”
1 in 4 women have had an abortion in this country, and Andrew Yang is mocking their choice and humanity when he demonizes abortion in this callous way. You don’t have to be ashamed because you made the right choice for you. Abortion isn’t a tragedy—lack of access to it is.— Lauren Rankin (@laurenarankin) February 8, 2020
When Yang referenced “celebrating abortion,” he was likely referring to the #ShoutYour Abortion campaign in 2015 that encouraged women to discuss their abortion on social media. Or potentially when National Abortion Rights Action League President Ilyse Hogue declared at the 2016 DNC that she was “fortunate enough” to get an abortion when she got pregnant at “the wrong time.”
Yang seems to be one of the few Democratic candidates not drawing a hard line on the issue. Sen. Bernie Sanders has said abortion is “absolutely essential” for Democrats to support. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden also promised to codify access to abortion nationwide should they get elected.
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Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine. She blogs at mikaelamathews.com.