2020 Democrats respond to Missouri's only abortion clinic possibly closing

2020 Democrats respond to Missouri's only abortion clinic possibly closing

Several 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls spoke out Tuesday after Planned Parenthood announced Missouri's only abortion clinic may have to close this week, making Missouri the first state without a functioning abortion clinic since the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.

The state's health department is "refusing to renew" the clinic's annual license amid an ongoing investigation, Planned Parenthood said.

"This is something we have never seen before," Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen told reporters Tuesday.

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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke Judd Gregg: Counting the costs of Democrats' desires MORE (I-Vt.) was the first to tweet about the potential closure, stressing the need for access to abortion.

"We cannot go back to the days when women in America didn't have the right to control their own bodies," he tweeted. "Access to a safe and legal abortion is a constitutional right.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates Judd Gregg: Counting the costs of Democrats' desires Buttigieg: 'Medicare for all,' free college tuition are 'questionable on their merits' MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted soon after, echoing the constitutional right to abortion access from Roe v. Wade.

"Reproductive rights are not just protected by the Constitution of the United States but must be guaranteed in every state," she tweeted. "This is a direct attack on women’s health."

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke 2020 Democrats upend digital campaign playbook Gillibrand speaks of how she benefits from white privilege MORE (D-N.Y.), who has centered her campaign around women's rights, tweeted after Planned Parenthood announced they would be suing Missouri.

"Leaving an entire state—and 1 million people—without a single abortion provider is the definition of an 'undue burden' on access. That makes it unconstitutional," she tweeted. "This is an attack on Missourians' civil rights, and it cannot be allowed to stand." 

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker prison reform bill would give older prisoners a 'second look' Booker to unveil plan for older Americans' long-term health care: report Judd Gregg: Counting the costs of Democrats' desires MORE (D-N.J.) called the potential closure "disgraceful and dangerous."

"For the first time since Roe v. Wade was decided, thousands of women and families in Missouri will be left without safe, accessible reproductive health care services of their choice," he tweeted. "This is disgraceful and dangerous." 

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro slammed the potential closure, linking it to anti-abortion laws being passed in several states.

“There is a reproductive justice and public health emergency taking place across the United States,” Castro tweeted. “Access to abortion is being undermined, doctors are being threatened, and clinics that provide safe procedures are being shut down.

The potential closure of Missouri's only abortion clinic comes amid a wave of anti-abortion laws being passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures.

Democratic candidates have blasted the restrictive laws, with many of them promising to codify the result of Roe v. Wade.