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Vote to Protect and Expand

Reproductive Freedom in 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case securing abortion access, puts at least 26 states at risk to ban or heavily restrict abortion access. It’s more important than ever for Delaware to ensure that we remain a safe haven for access to care – for Delawareans, and for those who are forced to leave their state to receive the care they need.

The ability for Delaware to remain a state with safe and legal abortion access hinges on the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections. Right now, we have the opportunity to support candidates who will work to enhance abortion protection and expand access to abortion services and other reproductive healthcare policies. Becoming a part of the rising tide of people in Delaware standing up for abortion rights and reproductive freedom means casting ballots that reflect these priorities at the polls this election season.

Our Reproductive Freedom Platform

Learn more about what to consider when casting a pro-reproductive freedom ballot.

Medicaid Funding of Abortion and Doula Services

The cost of abortion places financial hurdles in front of patient care – those who can afford to pay or have insurance that covers abortion can receive care, while those who can’t afford the cost of care either can’t receive it or are forced to find other avenues.

That’s why Medicaid funding of abortion care and doula services is one of our goals. Funding abortion care through Medicaid will help break down socioeconomic barriers, and funding doula services will ensure that patients are supported while making decisions about their reproductive health. Access to patient supporters and advocates such as doulas may also help Delaware address racial disparities in reproductive health.

Delaware needs lawmakers who will work to require that all private insurance covers abortion and does not add out-of-pocket expenses. Even people with health insurance may not be able to shoulder the additional cost of a medical procedure, meaning they may have to shift critical funds for rent, food, childcare, transportation, or other medical expenses.

Explicitly Enshrine Reproductive Rights in the State Constitution

In 2017, Delaware lawmakers wisely codified access to abortion in state law, meaning that even with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, pregnant people can still access care in the First State. However, because it is only protected in state law, a future General Assembly could take away that right with a simple majority vote and the signature of a Governor.

Explicitly enshrining the right to reproductive liberty in the state constitution would protect that right from attack in the future. Beyond the right to access an abortion, other rights such as use of contraceptives, access to gender-affirming care, and use of IVF treatments could be under attack by a hostile U.S. Supreme Court.

We need legislators who are willing to protect our right to bodily autonomy from attacks at the federal and state level. A state constitutional amendment to explicitly protect those rights is the most durable way to ensure they are not encroached upon in the future.

Allow Young People to Access Abortion Freely and Safely

Another area in need of expansion is young peoples’ rights. Currently, Delaware mandates parental notification if a patient is under 16 years of age. In many cases, parental notification can be detrimental to a patient’s safety or wellbeing. State law allows for young people to obtain a judicial bypass if telling their parents or guardians may be difficult or dangerous, but the process is difficult to navigate and rarely used. Removing the parental notification requirement will ensure that all pregnant people, regardless of their age, have autonomy over their own bodies.

With abortion access potentially being slashed in over half of states, it is even more critical that elected officials in Delaware ensure all people who need an abortion can obtain it easily and confidentially.

Address Disparities in Reproductive Healthcare Access for Black Delawareans

Systemic racism touches many aspects of our lives, and reproductive healthcare access is no exception. With Black maternal mortality rates reaching two to three times the rates of white maternal mortality, and with barriers to abortion access disproportionately impacting communities of color, Delaware must uncover and mitigate the root causes of these disparities.

Recent legislation in Delaware would address issues such as implicit bias in the healthcare industry, allow people who receive government assistance to continue to receive it in the months after childbirth, and ban the use of shackles for incarcerated pregnant people. In addition, more progress is needed to expand the use of paid family leave in Delaware, infuse more funding into data-driven healthcare interventions for infant and maternal mortality, and expand access to substance abuse disorder treatment for pregnant people or those who have recently given birth.

Black people continue to face a number of barriers when they access reproductive healthcare. We need state leaders who are ready to acknowledge, address, and take action to eliminate racial disparities in reproductive healthcare access.

Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Delaware's Endorsements

Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Delaware’s endorsements for the 2022 cycle are as follows. To learn more visit Candidate Responses | Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Delaware, Inc. (plannedparenthoodaction.org)

U.S. House: Lisa Blunt Rochester
Attorney General: Kathy Jennings
Treasurer: Colleen Davis
Auditor: Lydia York

Senatorial District 1: Sarah McBride
Senatorial District 3: Tizzy Lockman
Senatorial District 4: Laura Sturgeon
Senatorial District 5: Kyle Evans Gay
Senatorial District 6: Russ Huxtable
Senatorial District 7: Spiros Mantzavinos
Senatorial District 8: Dave Sokola
Senatorial District 9: Jack Walsh
Senatorial District 10: Stephanie Hansen
Senatorial District 11: Bryan Townsend
Senatorial District 12: Nicole Poore
Senatorial District 13: Marie Pinkney
Senatorial District 14: Kyra Hoffner
Senatorial District 17: Trey Paradee
Senatorial District 18: Billy Devary
Senatorial District 21: Sonja Mehaffey

Representative District 1: Nnamdi Chukwuocha
Representative District 3: Sherry Dorsey Walker
Representative District 4: Keegan Worley
Representative District 5: Kendra Johnson
Representative District 6: Deb Heffernan
Representative District 7: Larry Lambert
Representative District 8: Sherae’a “Rae” Moore
Representative District 9: Terrell Williams
Representative District 12: Krista Griffith
Representative District 13: DeShanna Neal
Representative District 14: Pete Schwartzkopf
Representative District 15: Valerie Longhurst
Representative District 17: Melissa Minor-Brown
Representative District 18: Sophie Phillips
Representative District 20: Stell Parker Selby
Representative District 21: Frank Burns
Representative District 23: Paul Baumbach
Representative District 24: Ed Osienski
Representative District 25: Cyndie Romer
Representative District 26: Madinah Wilson-Anton
Representative District 27: Eric Morrison
Representative District 31: Sean Lynn
Representative District 32: Kerri Evelyn Harris
Representative District 39: Susan Clifford
Representative District 41: Joseph DiPasquale