Healthcare

Booker vows to form White House office on abortion rights

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a 2020 presidential candidate, vowed Wednesday to create a White House office solely focused on expanding access to abortion and addressing barriers to reproductive health care.

The White House Office of Reproductive Freedom would be charged with "coordinating and affirmatively advancing abortion rights and access to reproductive health care" across the Booker administration.

The new office is just one of the executive actions Booker would take on reproductive rights if elected president, according to a plan released Wednesday by his campaign.

Booker would also repeal a long-standing ban on federal funding for abortions and roll back of several of President Trump's abortion restrictions.

"My goal with these actions isn't just to undo the damage the Trump administration and Republican state legislatures and governors have caused, but to affirmatively advance reproductive rights and expand access to reproductive care for all," Booker said in a statement.

Booker said he would end the administration's changes to the Title X federal family planning program that prohibits clinics from referring women for abortions, and roll back new rules that aim to protect health care workers and institutions from having to violate their religious or moral beliefs by participating in abortions, providing contraception, sterilization or other procedures.

"Access to health care should never be dictated by someone else's personal beliefs," the plan says.

He also indicated that he would end or change a Trump policy that exempts employers from ObamaCare's contraception mandate if they have moral or religious objections to providing birth control to their workers.

These rules are currently being challenged in court.

If elected, Booker would reverse on day one of his presidency the Mexico City policy, which bans U.S. aid from going to foreign nongovernmental organizations that provide or promote abortions.

Trump signed the policy shortly after his inauguration, continuing a tradition that stretches back to former President Ronald Reagan.

The policy has been repealed and reinstated by Democratic and Republican presidents ever since.

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