Booker Pledges to Create White House Office of Reproductive Freedom

Cory Booker
Cory Booker / Getty Images
May 22, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) is pledging to create a "White House Office of Reproductive Freedom" if elected in 2020.

The New Jersey senator's campaign released a comprehensive plan on Wednesday to "advance reproductive rights" in the wake of recently enacted pro-life laws in conservatives states like Georgia and Alabama. Stating that a "coordinated attack" requires a "coordinate response," Booker's plan suggests a slew of congressional and executive actions to protect abortion from "relentless efforts to erode" the practice.

"I stand with those leading the fight for reproductive freedom and will continue to fight to protect the constitutional right to abortion and ensure that everyone has real access to reproductive health care," Booker wrote in a Medium post announcing the plan. To that end, Booker outlines a number of conventional Democratic promises like only nominating pro-choice judges and codifying Roe v. Wade. 

The center piece of his plan, however, revolves around the creation of an ambitious new West Wing office to lead his administration's abortion fight. The "White House Office of Reproductive Freedom" wouldn't be limited to abortion exclusively, but would have broader purview over issues like "transportation," employment, and "education."

"For more than two years under the Trump administration, we have seen the impact of a relentless and coordinated attack on women," Booker wrote. "On day one, I will create a White House Office of Reproductive Freedom, charged with coordinating and affirmatively advancing abortion rights and access to reproductive health care across my administration — addressing all barriers to full reproductive autonomy, such as access to health care, including maternal and infant health, quality, affordable child care, and comprehensive paid family leave."

The new office would also be tasked with expanding teen pregnancy programs to a "full range" of "options" and ending the "domestic gag rule," which prohibits taxpayer-funded healthcare providers from referring patients for abortions.

Booker's also promises to repeal the Hyde amendment, which prohibits federal taxpayer funds from being used for abortion, in his first budget as president. A similar promise is made to reinstate funding for United Nations aide programs that provide abortion abroad.

"We must demonstrate better leadership to the rest of the world," the senator wrote. "It has never been more important to stand in solidarity and join the fight to ensure that all women have access to reproductive health care and abortion rights."

In February, Booker joined his colleagues in the Senate Democratic conference to block the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would have required doctors to provide medical care to babies who survive abortion.